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"Wicked Easy" Italian-Style Meatballs

These are the best oven-baked meatballs! So easy to make, juicy and flavorful! They are perfect for appetizers, meatball subs, or on top of spaghetti.

Italian Style Meatballs

These are the best oven-baked meatballs! So easy to make, juicy and flavorful! They are perfect for appetizers, meatball subs, or on top of spaghetti. 

Meatball ingredients ready to be mixed

These are the main ingredients for the Italian-Style meatballs! For the meat, I like to use half ground beef and half ground pork because it creates a juicier meatball. If I want to cut back on the fat, I sometimes use ground turkey instead of pork. 

breadcrumbs and milk

The first step is to soak the breadcrumbs in the milk until they become soggy and swell up. This mixture is called a “panade” and will act as a binder in our meatballs, adding moisture while preventing the meat proteins from shrinking and becoming tough.

Rough chopped onions

Next step is to cut up the onions. I like the onions to be diced so they are not too big in the meatball. You can do this with a knife or just rough chop them and then finish in a food processor. 

Onions in a food processor

You have to use caution when chopping the onions in the food processor that you don’t go too far and liquify them. Best to proceed slowly, stopping often to scrape down the sides and check their size.

Minced onions being sauteed in a pan

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and then add the diced onions. Stir while cooking them until they turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Do not brown the onions. 

Milk and Breadcrumbs Panada

After about 10 minutes, the breadcrumbs should have absorbed the milk and swelled in size. At this point you can add the other ingredients to the mixture.

Panada with raw eggs

Let the onions cool before adding them to the mixture. Everything can get added right into the same bowl.

Meatball ingredients all mixed

You will want to make sure the meatball mixture is well combined, and all of the ingredients are evenly dispersed throughout. I find it the easiest to do this by using my hands. For best results, cover the mixture and refrigerate for about an hour.

Meatball test mixture cooking in a pan

Before portioning out the meatballs, I suggest cooking a little bit of the mixture to check the flavor and to make sure the seasonings are correct.

Fully cooked meatball test patty

When the sample tester portion is done, taste it and then adjust seasonings and flavor as needed. It is better to find out now rather than later when you have already made and cooked the meatballs! 

Preheat oven to 425*F

Before I start portioning out the meatballs, I like to preheat my oven. I cook my meatballs at 425 *F (220 C) because the higher temp cooks the meatballs quicker while giving them a nice brown color!

Various sized dishers

I find that using an ice cream scoop / disher helps keep the portions the same and allows for even cooking. The scoops come in different sizes, so you just have to decide what size meatballs you prefer!

Prepare Meatball Pan

Once I have my disher picked out based on the portion size I desire, I need to grease my sheet pans that the meatballs will be cooked on.

Portioning Meatballs

Now it is time to scoop out the meatballs and place them onto the prepared baking sheets. The yield will vary depending on the size disher you are using. My meatballs are about 1 1/2 inches in diameter which gives me about 60 to 70 small meatballs! 

meatballs cooking in the oven

Bake the meatballs in the preheated oven until browned and cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes. I usually turn the meatballs halfway through the cooking process to ensure even browning. 

Cooked meatballs cooling

When done, allow the meatballs to cool if not using them immediately. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. 

Bagging Meatballs for storage

I often times will make a double batch and then freeze the extras. The meatballs can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months without any loss in quality. To use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat over medium low heat until warm. 

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Check out the videos below to see how to cook meatballs sous vide, as well one that shows a recipe for a super quick and delicious tomato sauce!

Italian-Style Meatballs

These oven-baked meatballs are juicy, flavorful, and wicked easy to make! They are perfect for serving as appetizers, in meatballs subs, or on top of spaghetti.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 60 small meatballs


  • 1/2 cup Plain Breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup Milk (or water, beef stock, etc.)
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 each Onion, diced about 1 cup
  • 1 Lb Ground Beef
  • 1 Lb Ground Pork or Turkey
  • 3 each Eggs
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano, dried
  • 1/2 tsp Basil, dried
  • 3 Tbsp Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 bunch Fresh Parsley, chopped about 4 Tbsps.
  • 4 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Ground Black Pepper


  • Soak breadcrumbs in milk for at least 10 minutes.
  • Heat olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the diced onions and cook while stirring until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Mix the eggs into the breadcrumb mixture. Then add all of the other ingredients, as well as the cooled cooked onions, and mix to combine.
  • Cook a small tester portion of the meatball mixture and then taste to make sure the flavor and seasonings are good. Adjust if necessary. For best results, cover and refrigerate the mixture for about an hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 425*F (220 *C). Then spray a baking sheet(s) lightly with cooking spray.
  • Using wet hands or an ice cream scoop / disher, form meat mixture into meatballs and arrange onto prepared baking sheet(s).
  • Bake in the preheated oven until browned and cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes depending on size. Turning the meatballs halfway through the cooking process helps to promote even browning.
  • Serve immediately, or cool and then store covered in the refrigerator or freezer until needed.
Keyword appetizer, Baked, hors deouvre, Italian
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