Easy Meatballs With Herbs

Baked Meatballs With Herbs
Diana Rattray
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Yield: 48 meatballs
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
235 Calories
14g Fat
4g Carbs
22g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 235
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 5g 27%
Cholesterol 84mg 28%
Sodium 185mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 22g
Vitamin C 1mg 6%
Calcium 59mg 5%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 337mg 7%
*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.)

These meatballs are baked in the oven, which has several advantages. They require less fat, they cook more evenly all around, and you do not have to stand by the entire time to check their browning and turn them if necessary. It makes the recipe an easy and hands-off dinner.

This recipe uses a little trick to brown the meatballs. Instead of placing them directly on the baking or roasting pan, you use a cooling rack to keep the meatballs dry. As it cooks, the ground beef releases liquid. If the meatballs sit in the liquid, they can get soggy and won’t brown as well.

Check whether your cooling rack is indeed oven safe. If it has a nonstick coating, it likely isn’t designed to be used in the oven. Under the impact of heat, the coating can break down, and bits and pieces can end up in your food. You need an uncoated metal rack for this recipe.

The pattern of the rack also matters. For example, a grid wire pattern offers much more support for the food, whereas in a parallel pattern, the meatballs can slip through the wires if the bars are very far apart or if the meatballs are small.

An oven pan with a cast aluminum grate is ideal for this recipe. You can preheat it in the oven, and when you place the meatballs on the preheated hot grate, it sizzles just like when you place meatballs in a frying pan. This searing makes the meatballs especially flavorful.

A roasting pan with an insert with bars not too widely spaced for meatballs will also work well here.

For this recipe, use 85 percent lean ground beef for the most flavorful and moist meatballs.

The meatballs are flavored with four different herbs, a mix of fresh parsley, dried thyme, basil, and oregano. These herbs are less readily available fresh year-round and therefore are more commonly used as dried herbs. If you want to use fresh herbs, the rule of thumb is to triple the dried amounts.

Enjoy these tasty meatballs in your favorite pasta sauce for a family dinner or with a barbecue sauce, sweet and sour sauce, and pineapple chunks. Serving them as an entrée is not the only option; the meatballs are also good as an appetizer with a dipping sauce for a party or an outdoor gathering such as Father’s Day.



  • 2 pounds 85 percent lean ground beef

  • 1/3 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs, garlic-flavored or plain

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten

  • 1/4 cup milk, or evaporated milk

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a large baking pan or roasting pan with foil and place a large cooling rack on foil.

  3. In a large bowl, combine ground beef with breadcrumbs, garlic, parsley, dried thyme, basil, and oregano, salt and pepper, beaten egg, and milk. Mix with hands until well blended.

  4. Shape into 1-inch meatballs using hands or a cookie scoop. Place on rack.

  5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until cooked through and nicely browned.


  • To keep the mess to a minimum, put the ingredients in a large food storage bag, close it, and squeeze the bag to blend ingredients. Alternatively, use disposable gloves to mix ingredients. The paddle attachment of a stand mixer does a good job, but take care not to overmix if you use the mixer.