If you've been searching for the perfect homemade baked meatballs recipe, your search is over. These meatballs taste just like they came from your favorite Italian restaurant, and they're so stinking easy to make!

baked meatballs in tomato sauce, from Shelf Cooking

When we find a recipe we love, we can't wait to share it with you guys. And this is one of those recipes we just can't keep a secret any longer. It's the star ingredient for pasta night!

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What's so great about these baked meatballs? Well, how long do you have? They're freezer-friendly, amazing leftover, and we can't even explain how delicious they are. You can't go wrong with this homemade meatball recipe, and we can't wait any longer to share it, so let's do this!


Let's shelf cook this up for a minute, shall we? We bet you can use what you already have in your freezer, fridge, or pantry to make a big batch of these marvelous meatballs. Here's how to modify this recipe to fit your needs:

  • Ground Beef – If you don't have ground beef, you can use ground chicken or turkey in its place.
  • Pork Substitute – No pork? Use ground turkey or go for all-beef.
  • Cheese – Out of one of these cheeses? No sweat. Use a cup of whatever you've got.
  • Breadcrumbs – To make this recipe gluten-free, use oat flour instead. Throw it in your food processor and let it do all the work for you!
  • Milk – If you're out of milk, you can use unsweetened almond or coconut milk.
  • Egg – All out of eggs? That's okay! Try one of these egg substitutes.

Feel free to experiment with fresh herbs, too. A little minced garlic is a great replacement for garlic salt. Want to sneak in some veggies? Try minced mushrooms or shredded zucchini! Now, time for an important order of business. Let's talk about leftovers for a hot minute.


Meatballs and spaghetti, from Shelf Cooking

Is there anything you can't serve with homemade meatballs? They're pretty much the GOAT (greatest of all time). We've got ideas for days, but since you're probably dying to get to that recipe, we'll keep it short! Here are eight excellent ways to serve up these meatballs:

  • Over Pasta – This is probably our favorite way! Round up your favorite noodles, make some of our spaghetti sauce, shred a little fresh Parmesan, and enjoy! You'll literally never need to go to an Italian restaurant again once you get your meatballs and spaghetti sauce game down!
  • On Pizza – Put your phone down! You can make your own pizza in minutes. It will taste better, cost less, and you'll have a ton of fun making it! Top your pizza with a few sliced meatballs and our easy pizza sauce. (You can also make a quick and easy French bread pizza topped with meatball slices!)
  • Beef Stroganoff – Make that $1 box of helper a whole lot better with these homemade meatballs!
  • Meatball Sub – Bring out the hoagie rolls! You know what to do. If you have provolone or mozzarella cheese, add a slice to each roll.
  • Mac & Cheese – Whether you want to doctor up the boxed mix or give new life to some homemade macaroni and cheese, meatballs are the perfect way to add some protein.
  • With Barbecue Sauce – Turn these meatballs into the perfect appetizer with a bottle of barbecue sauce. When your meatballs are done, just toss them in the crockpot on warm and slather them in the sauce. Grab a few toothpicks for serving.
  • In a Frittata – Yep, you can have meatballs for breakfast, too! Why now?! Slice them in quarters and add them to a frittata.
  • Over Mashed Potatoes – If you have leftover mashed potatoes, pop a few meatballs on top!

Pretty darned versatile, right? You could also serve these on top of rice or veggie noodles. Go ahead and be creative and use what you have!


These meatballs are crazy good leftover and reheat super easily! Store them in the refrigerator for three to four days and reheat in the microwave when ready to serve.

Want to freeze some meatballs for later? Good idea! We suggest freezing before you bake them. Just line a baking sheet with parchment paper and flash-freeze raw meatballs. Once frozen, store in a freezer baggie.

Ready to serve? Thaw them in the refrigerator overnight and then cook according to recipe instructions. Easy peasy!


Meatballs in a cast iron skillet, from Shelf Cooking

Who's ready for their new favorite recipe?! We're so excited to share this one with you guys. Make it on a metal rack and you'll have some amazing caramelized meatballs on your hands. The grease will all drip below (#LessFat) and you'll be left with some crazy delicious meatballs. Now, let's make some meatballs!

Adapted from Food.com

baked meatballs in tomato sauce, from Shelf Cooking

Easy Homemade Meatballs

Make these baked meatballs on a metal rack, and you'll end up with SUPER caramelized edges. So good!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 12 meatballs


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • ½ lb pork
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • cup milk


  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and place a metal cooling rack on top.
  • In a large bowl, combine all ingredients by hand and mix thoroughly.
  • Shape into balls, about 3 tbsp in size, and place meatballs on top of the cooling rack.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160°F. Serve and enjoy!


Sit meat out 15-30 minutes before you plan to mix together. This will keep your hands from going numb from the cold meat!
If you plan on freezing, we suggest flash freezing on a sheet pan before baking. Store in a freezer bag once frozen. Thaw in the refrigerator the night before you need them, then bake as the recipe states.
Feel free to double or triple the recipe so you can have a few meals' worth in the freezer, ready to go!
Keyword meat, meatballs

Doesn't that sound easy?! And wait until you smell these meatballs cooking. If you're not hungry already, you will be soon.

Now that you have this recipe, you'll never need to buy frozen meatballs again! And no matter how you decide to serve this up, we're pretty sure you're gonna love them. We can't wait for you to take the first bite!

What's your favorite way to serve meatballs? Are you a pasta gal? A sub fan? Let us know in the comments!

Meatballs in a cast iron skillet, from Shelf Cooking

Looking for a few more easy recipes to try?

Have a ball!