Easy Beef Meatball Recipe | Quick & Delicious

easy beef meatball recipe

Welcome to our easy beef meatball recipe, where we show you how to create a quick and delicious dish that will satisfy your cravings. Whether you’re looking for an appetizer, a sub filling, or a topping for your spaghetti, this recipe is perfect for you. In just 30 minutes, you can have juicy and flavorful meatballs that will become a staple for Italian food lovers.

Our homemade meatball recipe is simple and versatile. It uses classic ingredients like ground beef, egg, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. The combination of these flavors creates meatballs that are both tender and savory. You can bake them in the oven or fry them in a pan, depending on your preference.

To make these easy beef meatballs, simply combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Form the mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls and bake them in the oven at 400°F for 17 to 20 minutes until they are cooked through. Serve them with marinara sauce and cooked noodles, or enjoy them on their own. They are also freezer-friendly, so you can save some for later use.

For those who prefer alternative cooking methods, we’ll show you how to fry the meatballs in a pan for a slightly different texture. Additionally, we’ll provide you with substitutions and variations to customize the recipe to your liking. Whether you’re looking for gluten-free options or want to experiment with different types of ground meat, we’ve got you covered.

Stay tuned as we guide you through all the steps to create the perfect homemade meatballs. Don’t forget to check out the additional serving suggestions and upgrade options for a fancy twist. Get ready to indulge in a flavorful and satisfying meal that will leave you wanting more.

Homemade Meatball Recipe

This homemade meatball recipe is simple, versatile, and perfect for quick weeknight meals. Made with classic ingredients like ground beef, egg, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper, these meatballs are sure to be a hit with your family and friends.

“These homemade meatballs are so easy to make, and they taste amazing! They’re a family favorite in our house.” – Jennifer, home cook

Whether you prefer to bake them in the oven or fry them in a pan, these meatballs turn out juicy and flavorful every time.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to making these delicious homemade meatballs:


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  1. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, onion, garlic, egg, salt, and black pepper.
  2. Using your hands, mix the ingredients until well combined. Avoid overmixing, as it can lead to tough meatballs.
  3. Shape the mixture into 1 1/2-inch meatballs and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. If baking, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Bake the meatballs for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through and lightly browned.
  5. If frying, heat a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook for 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides and cooked through.

Once cooked, these homemade meatballs can be served with your favorite marinara sauce, on top of spaghetti, as a filling for meatball subs, or even as a topping for homemade pizza.

They are also great for meal prep and can be frozen for later use. Simply place the cooked meatballs in an airtight container or freezer bag and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Serving SuggestionsPairing
Classic Spaghetti and MeatballsGarlic bread and a green salad
Meatball SubsToasted hoagie rolls, marinara sauce, and melted mozzarella cheese
Meatball SoupVegetable broth, diced vegetables, and pasta
Meatball Stir-FryStir-fried vegetables and steamed rice

Get creative and customize these homemade meatballs by adding additional flavors like fresh herbs, bacon, or sun-dried tomatoes to the mixture. The possibilities are endless!

Ingredients and Instructions

To make these easy beef meatballs, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Optional: 1/4 cup chopped Italian flat leaf parsley

Follow these simple instructions to make the meatballs:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, egg, breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped onion, minced garlic, Kosher salt, ground black pepper, and optional Italian flat leaf parsley.
  3. Mix the ingredients together until well combined.
  4. Form the mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls and place them on the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake the meatballs in the preheated oven for 17 to 20 minutes, or until they are no longer pink in the middle.

Once the meatballs are cooked, serve them with your favorite marinara sauce and cooked noodles for a classic meatball and spaghetti dish. Alternatively, you can enjoy the meatballs on their own as a tasty appetizer or snack.

Ground beef1 pound
Breadcrumbs1/4 cup
Grated Parmesan cheese1/4 cup
Chopped onion1/4 cup
Minced garlic2 cloves
Kosher salt1 teaspoon
Ground black pepper1/2 teaspoon
Optional Italian flat leaf parsley1/4 cup

Alternative Cooking Methods

If you prefer a different cooking method for your easy beef meatballs, you can fry them in a pan with oil over medium-high heat. This will give the meatballs a slightly different texture compared to baking. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide:

  1. Heat some oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Once the oil is hot, carefully add the meatballs to the pan.
  3. Cook the meatballs for 7 to 10 minutes, flipping them every few minutes to ensure even cooking and prevent burning.
  4. Continue cooking until the meatballs are browned and cooked through.
  5. Remove the meatballs from the pan and drain them on a paper towel to remove any excess oil.

Whether you choose to fry or bake your meatballs, both methods result in delicious, homemade goodness. Choose the method that suits your taste preferences and enjoy your easy beef meatballs.

Remember, cooking times may vary depending on the size of your meatballs and the heat of your stove, so keep an eye on them as they cook to avoid overcooking. Experimenting with different cooking methods can add variety to your meals and allow you to discover new flavors and textures.

If you’d like a visual guide on how to fry meatballs, take a look at this image:

frying meatballs

Substitutions and Variations

While the traditional ingredients for meatballs typically include eggs and breadcrumbs, there are several substitutions you can try for dietary reasons. These substitutions can help you achieve the same delicious results while accommodating specific dietary needs. Instead of eggs, you can experiment with using a flax egg as a binding agent. A flax egg can be made by mixing 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water. This mixture can replace one egg in your recipe.

When it comes to replacing breadcrumbs, there are a few options to consider. Oatmeal can be used as a substitute for breadcrumbs, providing a similar texture and adding a hint of nutty flavor. Rice can also be used as a filler in meatball mixtures. Additionally, crushed gluten-free crackers can be a great alternative for those following a gluten-free diet.

If you’re looking to switch up the flavor and texture of your meatballs, you can also experiment with different types of ground meat. While ground beef is the most common choice for meatballs, you can try using a combination of ground beef and ground pork. This combination can result in juicier meatballs with a richer flavor profile. Ground turkey is another option worth considering, especially if you’re looking to reduce the fat content of your meatballs.

Here’s a summary of the substitutions and variations you can try in your easy beef meatball recipe:

EggFlax egg (1 Tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 3 Tbsp water)
BreadcrumbsOatmeal, rice, or crushed gluten-free crackers
Ground MeatCombination of ground beef and ground pork
Ground turkey (for reduced fat)

Feel free to mix and match these substitutions and variations to create meatballs that suit your taste and dietary preferences. Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different flavors and ingredients!

Freezing and Storage Instructions

If you find yourself with leftover meatballs, don’t worry! You can easily store them for future meals. Follow these instructions to freeze and store your delicious meatballs:

  1. Allow the meatballs to cool completely before freezing.
  2. Transfer the cooled meatballs to a clean baking sheet.
  3. Place the baking sheet with the meatballs in the freezer and let them freeze for 1 hour.
  4. Once the meatballs have hardened, transfer them to a zip-top bag or freezer container.
  5. Label the bag or container with the date and contents.
  6. Store the meatballs in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To thaw the meatballs, you have a couple of options:

  1. Place the frozen meatballs in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Cook the frozen meatballs on low in a slow cooker with marinara sauce for an easy and flavorful dinner.

Now you can enjoy your homemade meatballs anytime by simply thawing and reheating them. They’re perfect for quick weeknight meals or if you’re hosting a gathering and need a convenient appetizer option. Don’t let those tasty meatballs go to waste!

Storage MethodDuration
Fridge (covered container)Up to 3 days
Freezer (zip-top bag or freezer container)Up to 3 months


“I love freezing meatballs because it saves me so much time on busy days. I can easily thaw them and have a delicious meal ready in no time. Plus, I can use them in various dishes like spaghetti, subs, or soups. Highly recommend!” – Jane

Additional Serving Suggestions

different ways to serve meatballs

While spaghetti and meatballs is a classic dish, there are many other ways to enjoy meatballs. Here are some delicious ideas:

  1. Meatball subs: Make mouthwatering meatball subs by filling hoagie rolls with meatballs, red sauce, and melted mozzarella.
  2. Meatball soup: Add meatballs to Minestrone soup for a hearty and flavorful twist.
  3. Meatball Stroganoff: Substitute plain beef with meatballs in a creamy Stroganoff sauce for a comforting meal.
  4. Mashed potato topping: Serve meatballs on top of creamy mashed potatoes and drizzle with brown gravy for a satisfying combination of flavors.
  5. Meatballs with pesto: Toss meatballs in pesto sauce and serve them on a bed of veggie noodles for a fresh and vibrant dish.
  6. Calzone stuffing: Stuff meatballs inside a calzone along with your favorite cheese and sauce for a delicious handheld meal.
  7. Meatball pizza topping: Use meatballs as a topping for homemade pizza to add a tasty twist to your favorite pie.
  8. Bowl meal addition: Add cooked meatballs to a bowl meal with rice, veggies, and your choice of sauce for a satisfying and well-rounded meal.
  9. Baked pasta incorporation: Combine meatballs with roasted vegetables and baked ziti for a flavorful and comforting pasta dish.

With these serving suggestions, you can explore different flavors and create a variety of meals using the same easy beef meatball recipe. Enjoy experimenting and discovering your favorite ways to serve meatballs.

Upgrade Options for Fancy Meatballs

If you want to take your meatballs to the next level and add some extra flavor, there are several delicious upgrade options to consider:

  1. Fresh Minced Onion or Garlic: Adding fresh minced onion or garlic to your meatball mixture can enhance the overall flavor and provide a delightful aroma.
  2. Crumbled Bacon: For a smoky and savory twist, mix in some crumbled bacon into your meatball mixture. The bacon adds richness and depth of flavor.
  3. Sun-Dried Tomatoes: Want a burst of sweetness and tanginess? Add some chopped sun-dried tomatoes. They bring a unique touch and pair well with the savory taste of meatballs.
  4. Fresh Herbs: Experiment with different fresh herbs like basil, parsley, or oregano. Finely chop them and incorporate them into the meatball mixture for added freshness and aromatic flavors.
  5. Flavored Liquids: Instead of using milk, try using different flavored liquids like broth or red sauce. It can infuse the meatballs with additional savory notes and add moisture.
  6. Crushed Red Pepper: If you prefer a little heat, sprinkle in a pinch of crushed red pepper. It will give your meatballs a subtle kick and add some spice.

By incorporating these upgrade options, you can transform your easy beef meatball recipe into a gourmet delight that will impress your family and guests!

Upgrade OptionFlavor Profile
Fresh Minced Onion or GarlicEnhances overall flavor and aroma
Crumbled BaconSmoky and savory twist
Sun-Dried TomatoesSweetness and tanginess
Fresh HerbsFreshness and aromatic flavors
Flavored LiquidsExtra savory notes and moisture
Crushed Red PepperSubtle kick and spice

Cooking Instructions

Now that you have gathered all the ingredients, it’s time to start cooking your homemade meatballs. Follow these simple steps:

  1. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, egg, Italian-seasoned bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, and olive oil.
  2. Mix together all the ingredients, making sure not to overmix. Overmixing can result in tough meatballs.
  3. Shape the meat mixture into meatballs. You can use a cookie scoop or your hands to form them into approximately 1 1/2-inch balls.
  4. In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the meatballs to the skillet and cook until browned on all sides.
  5. Once the meatballs are browned and cooked through, transfer them to a pot of simmering marinara sauce.
  6. Allow the meatballs to simmer in the sauce for at least 15 minutes to absorb the flavors.

Your homemade meatballs are now ready to be enjoyed! Serve them over spaghetti, in a meatball sub, or any other way you prefer.

Ground beefCombine with other ingredients in a bowl.
EggMix into the meat mixture.
Italian-seasoned bread crumbsAdd to the mixture for binding.
Grated Parmesan cheeseEnhance the flavor of the meatballs.
Garlic powderAdd a savory taste.
Onion powderGive the meatballs a hint of onion flavor.
Italian seasoningProvide additional herbs and spices.
Olive oilUsed for cooking the meatballs.

Freezing Instructions

When it comes to the homemade meatball recipe, freezing is a great option for preserving any leftovers or for preparing ahead of time. Whether you have cooked meatballs or uncooked ones, here are the step-by-step instructions for freezing them:

Cooked Meatballs:

  1. Allow the cooked meatballs to completely cool on a cooling rack or a baking sheet.
  2. Once cooled, place the meatballs in a freezer bag, removing as much air as possible. Alternatively, you can use an airtight container for storage.
  3. Label the bag or container with the date and contents.
  4. Transfer the meatballs to the freezer and store them for up to 3 months.
  5. To thaw the frozen cooked meatballs, place them in the refrigerator overnight.
  6. When ready to enjoy, reheat the meatballs on the stovetop in a sauce or gravy until heated through.

Uncooked Meatballs:

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Shape the uncooked meatball mixture into individual meatballs.
  3. Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet, making sure they are not touching each other.
  4. Transfer the baking sheet to the freezer and freeze the meatballs until solid, which usually takes about 1 hour.
  5. Once frozen, transfer the meatballs to a freezer bag or an airtight container.
  6. Label the bag or container with the date and contents.
  7. Return the meatballs to the freezer and store them for up to 3 months.
  8. To cook the frozen uncooked meatballs, thaw them completely in the refrigerator.
  9. Once thawed, follow the cooking instructions from the original recipe.

Freezing your homemade meatballs allows you to have a convenient meal always on hand. Simply thaw and reheat, and you’ll have juicy and flavorful meatballs ready to be enjoyed!


Creating your own homemade meatballs is a simple and enjoyable process that allows you to unleash your culinary creativity. With an easy beef meatball recipe that can be customized to your liking, you can indulge in juicy and flavorful meatballs that are sure to please your taste buds.

Whether you prefer baking or frying, the end result will be delicious meatballs that can be enjoyed on their own, or paired with your favorite sauce or accompaniment. These versatile meatballs are perfect for adding to pasta dishes, sandwiches, soups, and more, offering a satisfying and comforting meal for any occasion.

By following this homemade meatball recipe, you can easily create a delectable dish that will impress your family and friends. So why wait? Get into the kitchen, grab your apron, and let your culinary skills shine as you whip up a batch of these mouthwatering meatballs!


How long does it take to make these easy beef meatballs?

These meatballs can be whipped up in just 30 minutes.

Can I freeze these meatballs?

Yes, these meatballs can be frozen for later use. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

What are the basic ingredients for this homemade meatball recipe?

The basic ingredients for this recipe include ground beef, egg, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper.

Can I customize this meatball recipe?

Yes, you can customize this recipe by adding additional flavors like fresh herbs, bacon, or sun-dried tomatoes.

How do I make these easy beef meatballs?

To make the meatballs, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, then form into 1 1/2-inch balls and bake at 400°F for 17 to 20 minutes.

Can I fry the meatballs instead of baking them?

Yes, you can fry the meatballs in a pan with oil over medium-high heat for 7 to 10 minutes.

What can I use as a substitute for eggs and breadcrumbs?

If you need to replace the eggs or breadcrumbs for dietary reasons, you can try using a flax egg (1 Tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 3 Tbsp water) and substitutes like oatmeal, rice, or crushed gluten-free crackers.

Can I use different types of ground meat for this recipe?

Yes, you can experiment with different types of ground meat, such as a combination of ground beef and ground pork for juicier meatballs, or ground turkey to reduce the fat content.

How do I store leftover meatballs?

Leftover meatballs can be stored in a covered container in the fridge for up to 3 days. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

What are some other ways to enjoy meatballs?

Meatballs can be used in meatball subs, soups, pasta dishes, or served on top of mashed potatoes. They are versatile and can be enjoyed in various ways.

How can I add more flavor to the meatballs?

You can add fresh minced onion or garlic for extra flavor. Other add-ins include crumbled bacon, sun-dried tomatoes, or fresh herbs like basil, parsley, or oregano.

Are there alternative cooking instructions for meatballs?

Yes, you can fry the meatballs in a skillet with olive oil until browned and cooked through. Then, simmer them in marinara sauce for added flavor.

Can I freeze the meatballs?

Cooked meatballs should be completely cooled before placing them in a freezer bag and transferring them to the freezer. Uncooked meatballs can be frozen by placing them on a parchment-lined baking sheet until solid, then transferring them to a freezer bag.

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