The Best Baked Meatballs: A Crowd-Pleasing Recipe

Are you ready for the best baked meatballs out there? Crispy on the outside, juicy and flavorful on the inside, these oven baked meatballs are sure to quickly become a fan favorite! You won’t be able to eat just one.

A Family Favorite: Spaghetti and Meatballs

When cooking for a large family (or, let’s face it, any sized family!) it can sometimes be difficult to come up with a recipe that everyone will eat and love. Here at the Stay at Home Chef household, that fan favorite is definitely spaghetti and meatballs. Not only is it super simple to throw together, but it’s also filling and always delicious. The secret? These oven baked meatballs! Some chefs boil or fry their meatballs, but we swear by this baking technique. You’ll get meatballs that are perfectly crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside every time. These are so good that you’ll want to double or triple the recipe and freeze the leftovers. You’ll have a quick meal on hand that is a guaranteed winner!

Spice Level: Customize to Your Taste

Our oven baked meatballs include a few red pepper flakes. We find that the spice works wonderfully with the rest of the ingredients, and in the end, lends a bit of heat. If you’re really spice-averse, then you can skip it.

No Egg, No Problem!

You may notice that this baked beef meatballs recipe doesn’t call for an egg. That’s no mistake! The ingredients hold up well on their own, without the addition of an egg.

Baking vs Frying vs Boiling: The Chef’s Choice

Again, we love our oven baked meatballs recipe best. But, it all comes down to personal preference. We will mention that frying involves a lot of excess oil, and boiling takes away a lot of the flavor you’ll get from baking. Chef’s choice, as always, but we stand by our baking method!

Should I Sear Meatballs Before Baking?

Some baked meatball recipes will call for you to sear the meat before baking. We’ve decided to keep things simple and have omitted this step completely. We find that if we let them bake for the full 30 minutes, they crisp up really nicely on their own. If you like an extra crispy meatball, leave them in the oven for 35 minutes – just make sure that they don’t burn.

Customize: Ground Chicken or Turkey Options

Absolutely! You can easily turn this baked beef meatballs recipe into a baked chicken or turkey meatball – we know because we’ve done it. You’ll want to follow the exact same instructions that you’ll find below, simply replace the ground beef with ground chicken or turkey. Explore different flavors with different meats!

Gluten-Free Options for Breadcrumbs

If you’re following a gluten-free diet, or are simply gluten sensitive and can’t eat it, there are a few ingredients you can use in the place of breadcrumbs in our baked beef meatballs:

  • Oats
  • Crushed tortilla chips (make sure to opt for no-added-salt varieties)
  • Unsweetened cereal like cornflakes or bran
  • Gluten-free crackers (again, no salt added works best)

Troubleshooting: The Perfect Binder

The key is in the binder. In this recipe, that binder is the breadcrumbs or whatever you use to substitute them. You need to find the perfect balance as too many breadcrumbs make for a loose meatball, while too little means that they’ll fall apart. Follow our recipe to a tee and you shouldn’t have any problems.

Serving Suggestions: Endless Possibilities

There are many different ways to serve up your baked beef meatballs. Here are some of our favorite options:

  • On their own
  • With spaghetti, homemade marinara, and garlic bread or breadsticks
  • On a sub with melted cheese of your choosing
  • Pair a salad with any of the above!

Make-Ahead and Freezing Instructions: Convenient Meal Prep

These meatballs can be frozen. Place on a baking sheet after forming into meatballs and place the pan in the freezer. Once frozen, remove from baking sheet and transfer to a resealable plastic bag for longer-term storage. They will stay good in the freezer for 1 to 3 months.

This is an excellent recipe for meal prepping too! Freeze any extras to use later down the line, or store in the fridge for up to 5 days to get ahead for the week.

Storage and Reheating Instructions: Enjoy Leftovers

Store any leftover baked meatballs in an airtight container or plastic bag in the refrigerator. They will keep for up to 5 days. When you’re ready to eat, you can reheat them in the microwave at 30-second increments until warmed through.

You could also reheat them on the stovetop in a saucepan with a bit of added marinara sauce. Heat on medium-low until they are completely heated.

If you’re interested in more delicious Italian-inspired recipes, be sure to check out our collection on our website or watch our cooking show on YouTube or Facebook. We’ve got you covered every step of the way!

Let us know how your baked meatballs turn out in the comments below. We love hearing from you and would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Happy cooking!