Easy Homemade Meatballs

Easy homemade meatballs in a red sauce

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga 

  • Total: 47 mins
  • Prep: 17 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Servings: 4 servings
  • Yields: 14 to 16 meatballs
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
334 Calories
15g Fat
11g Carbs
36g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 334
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 6g 29%
Cholesterol 153mg 51%
Sodium 218mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 36g
Calcium 54mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Meatballs are easy and fun to make from scratch. This recipe is very simple and uses just a few ingredients to create classic homemade meatballs. They're perfect for all of your favorite recipes, including spaghetti and meatballs, sandwiches, soups, and game-day snacks.

In a basic meatball, the egg and breadcrumbs act as a binder that holds the ground beef together. The onion, salt, and pepper add just enough flavor, so they'll work in a variety of dishes. You can also add other herbs and seasonings or use different types of ground meat. To avoid tough, chewy meatballs, do not overmix the meat, pack the meatballs too tightly, or use meat that's too lean.

The best part is that these meatballs freeze beautifully after they're baked. They can replace store-bought frozen meatballs in any recipe and save your family money. Make as many batches as you want by scaling up the recipe, then keep them on hand in the freezer for easy meal prep any time.

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Click Play to See This Easy Meatball Recipe Come Together

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup onion (minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound ground beef (lean)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for meatballs
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga 
  2. Heat the oven to 350 F.

  3. In a large bowl, combine the egg, water, breadcrumbs, onion, salt, and pepper and combine. Break the ground beef into chunks, then add it to the bowl. Mix gently, but thoroughly, with your hands to combine. Don't overmix.

    Combined egg, water, and breadcrumbs
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga 
  4. Form the mixture into meatballs about 1 inch in diameter and place on a broiler pan or a pan with sides topped with a wire rack.

    Raw meatballs are placed on wire rack in a pan with high sides
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga 
  5. Bake at 350 F for 25 to 30 minutes until meatballs register 165 F on a meat thermometer.

    Cooked meatballs on a rack
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga  

Tips

  • Make sure the meatballs are the same size so they all cook evenly.
  • A standard meatball is 1 inch in diameter, which is a good size for most uses. To be more precise, weigh the meat on a kitchen scale; each meatball should be about 1 ounce or between 26 and 30 grams.
  • Make them a little larger if serving the meatballs alone (e.g., as an appetizer) or smaller for bite-sized meatballs in soup.
  • You can also use a cookie or ice-cream scoop to get uniform meatballs.

How to Store and Freeze Meatballs

  • Let the meatballs cool, then store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • To freeze cooked meatballs, chill in the fridge, then place them on a cookie sheet and freeze solid. Pack meatballs into freezer containers or zipper bags, label and date, and freeze up to a year. You can use them straight out of the freezer in many recipes or thaw them in the fridge overnight first.

Recipe Variations

  • Make this recipe with ground pork, chicken, or turkey, or a combination of any of those meats. With leaner meats, you'll likely have to reduce the cooking time.
  • If you prefer a bit more flavor, add some dried herbs: Basil, oregano, thyme, and/or marjoram are all good choices. Minced garlic and scallions are great additions as well.
  • Baked meatballs are a little healthier, but these can be pan-fried. Broiled meatballs are also quick (about 10 minutes) and turn out crispy and browned.
  • When using right away, another option is to let the raw meatballs simmer in a gravy or sauce. Many recipes brown them in the skillet first.