Spring is a busy time of year for our family. School, gardening, music, and sports take up a lot of our time.
I like to make a huge batch of these baked Italian meatballs and freeze them for easy dinners. They can be served in lots of different ways (see Kitchen Tips below), and you can add or subtract spices to change the flavors.
While I wish I could say that this meatball recipe was handed down to me by my Italian grandma…that’s not the case. It was scribbled on a notecard in my Mom’s recipe box, and probably came from this cookbook that she got as a wedding gift. Anybody else have one of these?
Regardless of the source, these baked meatballs are delicious and they freeze perfectly. I can grab them from the freezer and have dinner on the table in minutes!
Bonus: meatballs are a great way to help your kids eat more veggies. Kids can mix the ingredients and roll the meatballs, too. Read on for a secret tip on forming meatballs if you don’t want to touch the meat mixture with your hands.
Amazing Baked Italian Meatballs
1 pound hamburger
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup bread crumbs (extra credit for homemade)
1 teaspoon onion powder
3-4 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a large bowl, mix all ingredients until well-combined. You can do this with a spoon, but I think it’s much easier to smush everything quickly with my hands.
To make perfectly-sized meatballs, use a spring-loaded ice cream scoop. You can roll them in your hands to make perfect spheres, or place them directly on the cookie sheet if you don’t mind the ice cream scoop shape.
Plop them onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat. They won’t spread while baking, so you can place them pretty close together.
Bake at 350F for 30 minutes or until fully cooked (browned all the way through). I use this as a good excuse to break a meatball in half and then
gobble it up taste it for the correct flavors.
Sneak some shredded veggies in your meatballs. Zucchini, carrots, spinach, or chard are all good choices. Just watch out for those angry meatballs.
Meatballs are good for more than just spaghetti!
- Pair them with a crusty French roll and spaghetti sauce to make meatball subs.
- Crumble and use as a pizza topping.
- Add baked meatballs to minestrone soup.
- Meatballs add protein to mac-and-cheese.
- Use with dinner rolls to make sliders.
- Serve as an entrée, with or without brown gravy.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
In a large bowl, mix all ingredients until well-combined. You can either do this with your hands or with a spoon.
- To make the meatballs, use a spring-loaded ice cream scoop and plop them onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment or a Silpat.
- Bake at 350F for 30 minutes or until fully cooked (browned all the way through).