This easy meatball recipe is ideal for adding to your favorite simmering tomato sauce and served any number of ways. There’s no topping homemade meatballs made with simple ingredients and loads of flavor!
This time next week, I’ll be in Jamaica and tha’s a very reassuring thought. I’m feeling ready for a little reprieve, reconnect time with the husband, and some sunshine. It’s important to gear up for the very grey Michigan winters. It’s also important to get away from my kids every so often. We went to see Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour in theatre today with another mom friend and 5 little ladies who were a little less committed to SITTING and watching rather than running all over the theatre. There’s something about “play dates” at this age that always go side ways and it seriously makes me wonder how teachers do what they do! But let me tell you, my love for Taylor Swift is very much solidified after 2 hours and 49 minutes of Swifty fun. I had taken my laptop to be “that” person, but ended up watching every minute. I’m sorry meatballs, ya’ll had to wait just a little while longer to grace the Internet with your precense!
ROLL CALL FOR THIS RECIPE
- Family-Friendly Meal Seekers: There’s something about the size, shape, and presentation of meatballs that is eternally kid-friendly. Homemade meatballs are a family favorite in so many households for a reason!
- Leftover Magic: Serve as an appetizer, spaghetti and meatballs, meatballs subs — there’s no shortage of ways to use leftover meatballs!
- Adaptable: Meatballs have no shortage of variations – get creative or tweak for your preferences or picky eaters!
KEY INGREDIENTS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Beef: Ground sirloin is 90% lean ground beef and has a heartier flavor than ground chuck or round. It is also leaner and kept moist in the dry cooking (baking) through the use of egg, breadcrumb, and cheese. Feel free to use ground turkey, ground chicken, ground pork, venison, or another variety of ground beef, or any combination of!
- Onion: If you want to better guise the fresh onion, you can grate the onion, use less, or substitute in onion powder (1-2 teaspoons depending on how much onion flavor you want).
- Egg: You can use 1/4 cup egg substitute or egg whites, as well as a flax egg, if preferred (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons water)
- Breadcrumb: Italian-style have added Italian seasoning (herbs) and a bit of salt, however plain bread crumbs work great. In a pinch, instant oatmeal or panko can ba used.
- Cheese: I find a finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese works best, but you can use grated or shaved Parmesan, if you prefer! Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, or another hard cheese work great, too.
- Salt and Black Pepper: You can try with less salt or a salt substitute, if you prefer. Any salt will do, however a fine grain is best to most easily distribute throughout. Use more or less pepper to your liking — I love to use fresh ground for a stronger, more peppery flavor!
- Parsley: Adding a hint of color and earthy, fresh flavor, you can use 2 teaspoons of dried parsley or omit.
- Garlic: Use more or less fresh garlic to your liking. Feel free to use jarred minced garlic or substitute in 1 teaspoons of garlic powder, if you prefer.
- Worcestershire: Adding unique umami flavors of vinegar, molasses, anchovies, garlic, tamarind, chili pepper, salt, and pepper, Worcestershire is nearly as difficult to describe as it is to learn to say. However, it is what I consider the “secret ingredient” in my meatballs. Of course, you can omit it if you wish!
VARIATIONS, STORAGE, and TIPS
- To add a bit of spice, a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes is a nice addition to the meatball mixture.
- For a busy weeknight, you can make the meat mixture a day in advance, if you prefer. You can even roll the raw meatballs and store covered in the fridge to bake the following day.
- Store leftover meatballs in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
What herbs other than fresh parsley can be used?
Most fresh herbs would work well – sage, thyme, oregano, or basil would all work well!
What if I don’t have a cooling rack? Can I baked the meatballs without one?
Absolutely! Baking the meatballs on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan is for easy clean up and the cooling rack over top to keep the meatballs in a round-shape that allows heat to surround the meatball mixture, providing an even cooking process, ensuring the meatballs are cooked through while ensuring juicy meatballs! The meatballs should reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.
How long do you simmer the meatballs in spaghetti sauce or marinara before serving?
Over medium-low heat, simmer the sauce and meatballs until bubbly and hot, aboug 10-15 minutes before serving. You can also place in the crock pot for 2 hours on low.
What can you serve with spaghetti or meatballs subs?
My go-to side dish for meatball meals is a green salad and/or green beans. And if serving spaghetti, garlic bread is a must! I would recommend using this Italian Vinaigrette on a simple salad and trying out Balsamic Green Beans with Almonds as sides. Steamed or roasted fresh vegetables are always a good choice, too.
Can I freeze leftover meatballs?
You can freeze raw, uncooked meatballs or meatballs that have already been baked. I prefer to bake before freezing, personally. Which ever route you choose, freeze solid the meatballs on a baking sheetin a single layer before transferring to a storage bag or freezer-safe container. Freeze up to 2 months.
- Using ground sirloin keeps these easy baked meatballs low in fat — both from the lean meat and the baking versus pan frying cooking method
- Meatballs are rich in protein, offering an ounce of protein per meatball
- Naturally low-carbohydrate
- Beef is rich in iron and zinc
- 1 lb ground sirloin
- 1/3 cup finely diced onion
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp fresh minced parsley
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place a cooling rack over the top; mist with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine all of the meatball ingredients, incorporating with your hands until well-combined.
- Form meat mixture into 18 round balls, rolling between your palms into rounds that are roguhly 1 1/2-inches in diameter. Place meatballs on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining meat mixture.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes or until browned and cooked through.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 18 Serving Size: 1 meatball
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 84Total Fat: 3.4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1.4gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 137mgCarbohydrates: 5.4gFiber: 0.4gSugar: 0.7gProtein: 6.8g
Love flavors and inspiration from Italy? No shortage of ideas here!
- Instant Pot Italian Beef
- Pasta Fazool
- Simple Italian Sausage and Orzo Soup
- Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
- Zesty Italian Soup
- One Pot Rigatoni Bolognese
- Italian Helper
- Italian Sausage and Quinoa Soup