These delicious oven Baked Beef Meatballs are flavour-packed, simple to prepare and ideal to serve with so many dishes! Seasoned to perfection with garlic, parsley and oregano, these Baked Italian Meatballs are sure to become a much-loved family favourite recipe.
Why you’ll love this recipe:
These delicious Italian Meatballs are baked to perfection in the oven, offering a fantastic moist, tender texture and slightly crisp exterior.
This is our family’s favourite recipe for meatballs – and has been enjoyed for many years. The ease of preparation and fantastic flavours make this recipe one to make time and time again.
Homemade meatballs are ideal for entertaining, a perfect component for a comforting dinner or are just great to have on hand in the freezer.
You will love this recipe for Baked Italian Beef Meatballs because:
- Baking the Beef Meatballs in the oven is the easiest way to cook them, and produces the best results. It also makes for easier cleanup and means you can get on with other tasks without watching over the meatballs.
- You can adjust the quantities to your needs – the written recipe can easily be halved or doubled!
- There are so many ways to enjoy these delicious meatballs – serve with salad, pasta, as an appetiser or some crusty bread.
- They are packed full of flavour and are juicy and tender.
Ingredients in this recipe:
Please see the recipe card further along in the post for exact quantities of ingredients and the full method.
Lean Ground Beef Mince: I use a ground beef mince that is approximately 90% meat to 10% fat. Although the meat is lean, when cooked in this manner, it will still result in juicy, tender meatballs.
Breadcrumbs: I use white sandwich bread (ideally day old – other bread works fine too!) and process in a food processor until I have fine bread crumbs.
Egg: I use a large free-range egg. The egg helps bind the ingredients together.
Garlic: freshly minced garlic is used in this recipe.
Herbs: I use fresh flat-leaf parsley and dried oregano for a delicious flavour.
Sea salt and black pepper: Season the mixture to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Parmesan Cheese: To achieve the best flavour I use good quality, freshly grated, Italian parmesan. I use Grana Padano in this recipe. Freshly grated Parmesan is important – pre-grated Parmesan can contain additives, which can give a grainy texture.
How to Make Baked Meatballs:
1 – Make your meatball mixture:
To a large bowl, add all of your ingredients. Mix well to combine.
If you would like to check the seasoning, take a small amount of mixture and fry it in a little oil in a frying pan. Adjust the seasoning to your liking accordingly, adding more salt, pepper and herbs if required.
2 – Scoop and shape:
Using a 15ml tablespoon or a small ice cream scoop, scoop out the mixture. This will ensure all of your meatballs are the same size, and therefore, will cook evenly.
3 – Prepare to bake:
Gently roll the meatballs in your hands, and place them on a lined baking tray.
4 – Serve and enjoy:
Bake the meatballs until just cooked through. Serve warm with your favourite accompaniments and enjoy.
Tips for success and FAQs:
The quality of these delicious Baked Beef Meatballs comes down to the quality of the ingredients that you use. Therefore, good quality ground beef mince and freshly grated Parmesan cheese make a huge difference in this recipe.
To avoid tough meatballs, ensure you do not overwork the mixture. Mix until everything is just combined.
To ensure that the meatballs become golden brown, cook evenly and do not steam, we recommend using two baking trays.
Alternatively, you can pan-fry the meatballs in a little olive oil until golden brown.
Yes, they can be. First, allow them to cool completely. Then place them on a clean baking sheet lined with some non-stick baking paper. Cover with clingfilm, and place the tray into the freezer until the meatballs are frozen. Once frozen, transfer them to an airtight container. You can keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, they will take 20-25 minutes in a covered dish at 180 degrees C (355 F).
Yes, they freeze well uncooked. Place the rolled meatballs onto a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper. Cover with clingfilm, and place the tray into the freezer until the meatballs are frozen. Once frozen, transfer them to an airtight container. You can keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months. Cook them from frozen, following the instructions for cooking in the recipe card – just add an extra 10 minutes of cooking time.
I like to use a small ice cream scoop to firstly scoop out the meatball mixture. Then, I dampen my hands slightly, so that the mixture does not stick. Gently roll until a meatball shape has formed. If you prefer, you can wear gloves for this step – just oil them lightly before rolling.
Once cool, store the baked meatballs for up to 2 days in the fridge, in an airtight container. Again, if you prefer to keep them for longer, see our instructions above for freezing.
First, add white sandwich bread to a food processor, and process to form breadcrumbs. Store any leftovers in the freezer – they’ll come in handy for many recipes!
Variations and substitutions:
Breadcrumbs: if you do not have fresh breadcrumbs, use half the quantity listed in the recipe card of Panko breadcrumbs. You could also use gluten-free breadcrumbs.
Ground beef mince: you can use half beef and pork, or half veal and pork.
Herbs: fresh basil also works well, as does dried.
You’ll find many occasions to serve these delicious Baked Beef Meatballs. Some of our favourite ways to enjoy them are with:
I hope these tasty Italian Baked Meatballs also become your family favourite. Again, you’ll find so many ways to enjoy them. I would love to hear from you if you give them a try!
More delicious recipes for you to try:
Baked Beef Meatballs
- 500 g (1.1 lb) lean ground beef mince See Note 1
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs – I use white sandwich bread and process to crumbs in a food processor See Note 2
- 2 cloves garlic – minced
- ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese – freshly grated See Note 3
- 1 egg – beaten
- ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley – finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste See Note 4
- basil pesto or homemade tomato sauce
For accuracy, when weights are provided, we recommend weighing your ingredients. This will produce the best results.
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C (355 F).Line two baking sheets with baking paper.
- Prepare all of your ingredients as you will be mixing them all together at the same time.Make your breadcrumbs, freshly grate your Parmesan cheese and chop your garlic and parsley.
- To a large bowl, add your ground beef mince and all of the other ingredients. Mix until well combined, but do not overmix.
- Using a small ice cream scoop or 15ml tablespoon, scoop out the mixture. Roll into smooth balls.
- Place the meatballs on the lined baking trays, allowing even spacing in between.
- Bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until golden and just cooked through. (You can use a thermometer to check – the internal temperature should register 71 degrees C or 160 degrees F.)Serve warm with your favourite accompaniments.
- Beef mince: I use lean beef mince, which is approximately 90% meat to 10% fat.
- Breadcrumbs: I use white sandwich bread and blend it in a food processor to make breadcrumbs. I always make extra and freeze – they are great to have on hand!
- Parmesan cheese: For the best flavour, always use good quality, freshly grated Italian parmesan. Avoid that which is pre-grated, as it may contain additives and not combine as well with the meatball mixture.
- Seasoning: always ensure that you use adequate seasoning. To check that the seasoning is to your taste, take a small amount of the mixture and cook it in a small frying pan before rolling the meatballs.
The nutritional information is an estimate only, and is derived from online calculators. For accurate results, we recommend calculating the nutritional information based on the ingredients and brands you use.
This post was originally published in May 2019. It has been updated with new photos and more information. The recipe remains the same.