Oven Baked Meatballs + Video

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Our oven baked meatballs are so tender and juicy – the best you’ll ever have! Skip the mess of pan frying make this baked meatball recipe!

titled (shown close up) oven baked meatballs

There aren’t many meals that are easier to make than meatballs in the oven, and there are so many ways to enjoy them!

Oven Baked Meatballs

Our family’s favorite baked meatballs are loaded with fresh herbs and cheese, and they’re a snap to make in the oven. You’ll have SO much less mess making them this way than with a skillet of oil.

For this baked meatball recipe, we make them small enough to serve as an appetizer, but flavorful enough to use in subs or for meatball soup!

Or, make a simple roasted tomato sauce or quick 5-minute marinara to serve with them with a plate of pasta.

But honestly, there is truly no need for sauce. Oven baked meatballs are tender and juicy, even without sauce! This is a simple, no-fuss recipe that makes a magnificent comfort food meal.

baked meatballs recipe ingredients in a bowl

Tips for Perfect Meatballs

Don’t over mix!
Use your hands to incorporate the ingredients until they are JUST combined. Over mixing will cause your baked meatballs to be tough and dry.

Substitute dry herbs.
You can use dry herbs and spices in place of the fresh ones if needed. Use the following measurements for this baked meatball recipe:

  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning for the fresh herbs
  • One teaspoon garlic powder for the fresh garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder for the grated onion
ground beef breadcrumbs egg milk and seasonings in mixing bowl
  • Use a scoop to portion.
    Not only does this guarantee uniform-size meatballs, but it also ensures that they cook evenly. Plus, handling them less helps to prevent meatballs from drying out.
  • Oil your hands.
    If you lightly coat your hands with olive oil or cooking spray before rolling the meatballs, they will form better and crack less.
rolling meatball mixture between hands

Baked Meatball Recipe FAQ

How long does it take to cook meatballs in the oven?

Depending on the oven temperature and size of the meatballs, they cook in about 20-25 minutes. For our baked meatball recipe we use a temperature of 375°F so they cook faster and each meatball is perfectly browned.

You should always check the internal temperature of your meat to ensure it’s safe to eat. Ground beef is cooked when it reaches an internal temp of 155°F.

Should you cover meatballs with foil when baking?

We recommend leaving the pan uncovered. Covering the meatballs causes steam to form, which prevents the deliciously crisp exterior that you get with direct heat from the oven.

Covering them with foil can help when reheating, but you will still want to remove it during the last few minutes of cook time in the oven.

How do you keep meatballs moist when baking?

The key is in the preparation! Make sure to handle the meat as little as possible and mix the ingredients just until combined.

Binders like egg and breadcrumbs help to hold in the moisture and keeps each meatball tender and moist.

italian meatballs on baking sheet, before baking

Prep Ahead Instructions

To help dinner come together even faster, prep all of your ingredients in the morning and combine them when you get home.

You can also shape meatballs up to a day ahead of time and store them covered in the refrigerator. Or, freeze a batch or two for a quick and easy meal.

oven baked meatballs cooking on sheet pan

How To Store Oven Baked Meatballs

Allow leftovers to cool before transferring them to an airtight container. These baked Italian meatballs will keep for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.

Reheat meatballs in the oven for about 15 minutes at 350°F or in the microwave until warmed through.

You can also make a few batches of this baked meatball recipe and freeze them for a later meal! Oven baked meatballs can be frozen raw or cooked, depending on your preference.

  • To freeze raw meatballs: Arrange in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Flash freeze them for 1 hour, until firm, then store in a freezer bag or airtight container.
  • To freeze baked meatballs: Once cooled, divide into meal-sized portions and place each batch in a freezer-safe storage bag. You can also flash freeze them and store them all together. This way, they won’t stick together so you can grab as many (or as few) as you need!

No need to thaw — you can cook meatballs in the oven from frozen! Arrange on a sheet pan and bake or simmer in sauce on the stove until warmed through.

With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 

italian herb oven baked meatballs on platter

Don’t miss a thing! Follow us on

Facebook Twitter Pinterest | Instagram 

Other Meatball Recipes to Make

baked meat balls on platter

Oven Baked Meatballs + Video

Donna Elick
Our oven baked meatballs are so tender and juicy – the best you'll ever have! Skip the mess of pan frying- make this baked meatball recipe!
5 stars from 2 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main
Cuisine Italian
Method Oven
Servings 18 meatballs (2 tablespoons)


  • 1 pound lean ground beef, I use 88%
  • 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, grated (or minced)
  • 2 tablespoons marinara sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, or dried (see notes)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, or dried (see notes)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, or dried (see notes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten


  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well, but do not over mix or you will have tough meatballs.
  • Using a 2 tablespoon scoop, portion out meat and place on baking sheet. After all meatballs have been scooped onto tray, roll into balls and place back onto the baking sheet.
    TIP: If you lightly coat your hands with olive oil before rolling the meatballs, they will form better and crack less.
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until the meatballs are browned and cooked through.
  • Remove and transfer to sauce or serve immediately.


Donna’s Notes

  1. You can substitute dried herbs and spices for fresh. 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning for the fresh herbs, 1 teaspoon garlic powder for the fresh garlic, 1 teaspoon onion powder for the fresh onion.
  2. Nutrition shown is for ONE meatball so that you can adjust serving sizes accordingly.


Serving: 1 meatball | Calories: 59cal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 162mg | Sugar: 1g | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled pinterest collage: baked meatballs recipe

Originally published September 2013, updated and republished April 2022

the slow roasted italian food blog cookbook banner

Disclosure: Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link your price will remain the same and The Slow Roasted Italian will automatically receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting us, it helps us keep creating new recipes.


  1. 5 stars
    This was a delicious dinner for my family! I loved that I was able to bake it instead of frying or slow cooking them!

  2. This recipe was great! I did increase it using 1lb very lean beef, 1lb ground veal and 1/2 lb of ground pork. Stepping up the other ingredients accordingly and added a few tablespoons of milk. I found mixing all the meat first, the dry ingredients separately, and the wet (eggs, minced onion minced garlic) then mixing it all up, helped to keep them tender. It’s not easy mixing 2 1/2 lbs of meat evenly. You should all try this recipe, it’s wonderful!

  3. This is a great recipe but I didn’t like the rosemary it ruined what would have otherwise been a delicious dinner. Will be making without rosemary next time. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating