These easy baked meatballs are an all beef meatball recipe with a surprise ingredient that helps keeps these moist and totally not dry! Serve this with your favorite pasta sauce for an easy comfort food dinner.
Recipe at a Glance
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20-22 minutes
Notes: These meatballs are as easy as mix, form, bake! No browning on the stove top needed, these bake up to perfection in the oven!
How to avoid dry meatballs
Ugh, the dry crumbly meatball.
No one wants or enjoys a dry meatball. So, how do we avoid a dry meatball and get that soft and moist texture? The answer is two part.
First, you need to add moisture to the meatballs in the form of milk or half & half. I used half & half in this recipe. Trust me! This is the game changer!
You could also use water, but the milk or cream will give you just a bit more flavor. I’ve also tried the method of mixing the cream with the breadcrumbs first and then adding that to the meat mixture, but for me this was inconsistent and left me with clumps of breadcrumbs. So no special technique needed, just pour the cream into the mixture and form those meatballs!
This recipe also uses finely chopped basil for extra Italian flavor. You could dice it yourself, but I absolutely love the time saver of this pre-chopped basil. You’ll find it near the other fresh herbs and it keeps for up to 4 weeks in the fridge after opening!
And, while many other meatball recipes include a variety of meats like sausage, ground pork, or veal, this is an beef only version! Not only is this perfect if you don’t eat pork, I also love an all beef meatball for the cost effectiveness of only needing to buy one kind of meat!
A few tips to help you get the best meatball!
- Don’t over mix the meat mixture, you don’t have to knead it like a dough. Just gently mix together and then form the meatballs. Mixing too much will make the meatball to tough!
- Bake your meatballs slightly elevated on a cooling rack or baking rack on top of the baking sheet. By doing this the fat and oils will bake away from the meat and settle underneath it, and the meatball will be elevated above all this. If you don’t elevate them the meatball will sit in these fats and they can become too oily or soggy. We want moist meatballs, not soggy!
- If you’re not making your own sauce, use the best jarred sauce you can find. The sauce is going to be the second most important ingredient here, so you really need a sauce that’s high quality and will enhance the flavor of the meatballs! My go-to is definitely Rao’s!
- Save the leftovers in an air tight container for another lunch or dinner! My personal preference is to use leftovers within 3 days. And, when I reheat meatballs I cut them in half so it’s easier to get the center nice and hot again.
- No need to brown these in a pan before baking. What makes these easy is needing only one cooking method! Just mix, bake, eat!
Like easy dinners? You’re in luck, I do too! I’ve got a ton of dinners that are easy and could become some of your family’s new favorites!
If you make this recipe let me know what you thought in the comments!Print
Easy Baked Meatballs
Easy baked meatballs are an all beef meatball recipe with a surprise ingredient that keeps these super moist! Cover in homemade sauce or you favorite jarred sauce and serve with pasta for a comforting dinner.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 32 minutes
- Yield: About 20 meatballs
- Category: Meatballs
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Italian
1 pound ground beef
3 cloves garlic, grated
1 tablespoon finely chopped basil, I buy this pre-chopped basil
1 and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup half & half or milk
1/4 cup plain Panko bread crumbs
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare your baking sheet by lining it with tin foil, then placing a cooling rack or baking rack on top and spraying it with cooking spray so the meatballs don’t stick to it.
2. To make the meatball mixture, in a large bowl add the ground beef, grated garlic, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, milk, and the egg. Gently mix until everything is blending together, but don’t overmix to avoid having tough meatballs!
3. Once everything is combined, form into meatballs about the size of a golf ball and place them on the baking rack on the baking sheet. Bake for 20-22 minutes until no longer pink inside and cooked through.
Serve with fresh grated Parmesan, more sauce, and pasta!
If you want to make this easier use your favorite jarred sauce. Go for a quality jarred sauce if you’re not making your own.
Get as close to a pound of ground beef as you can. Many times the packages are slightly over 1 pound which is OK, but try to be under 1.25 pounds.
Keywords: easy baked meatballs