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a white dutch oven skillet filled with baked meatballs, marinara sauce, fresh basil with a wooden spoon and pink towel
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5 from 4 votes

The Best Baked Meatballs

This easy method for oven-roasted meatballs results in moist, juicy, and flavorful meatballs that don't require frying. Serve with marinara sauce and your favorite pasta shape for a satisfying dinner your entire family will love!
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6
Calories: 682kcal


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced or grated
  • 1 c panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 c milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 c chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb ground pork preferably 20% fat
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt

Marinara Sauce

  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced or grated
  • 2 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 4-6 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes optional
  • salt


  • Preheat the oven to 400F.
  • Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil to the pan along with the diced onion. Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, the onions should be very soft and aromatic but have no color. Add the garlic and the crushed red pepper and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to cool completely.
  • Place the breadcrumbs in a large mixing bowl, pour in the milk, and stir to combine. Let sit for 5 minutes while the breadcrumbs absorb the milk then, whisk in the eggs, grated parmesan cheese, parsley, oregano, salt, and sauteed onion mixture.
  • Next, add the ground pork and beef to the bowl and use your hands to thoroughly mix together. Try not to overwork the mixture. Shape and roll the meatballs to your desired size and place them on a rimmed baking sheet. You can also use a cookie or ice cream scoop to get uniform meatballs.
  • Bake the meatballs for 20 to 25 minutes. The meatballs are done when the outsides are golden and the center is cooked through. Serve with marinara sauce and your favorite pasta!

Marinara Sauce

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until combined. Next, add garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add the tomatoes, basil leaves, oregano, chili flake, and a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, cover, and continue to simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the basil leaves before serving.


Ingredient Notes + Substitutions: 
  • Beef/Pork: You can use all beef for this recipe or even ground turkey/chicken.
  • Breadcrumbs: for gluten-free meatballs use GF breadcrumbs.
How to know if meatballs are done:
  • My favorite method for testing meatball doneness is to just rip one open and see if it's cooked inside. If you prefer to use a thermometer look for a temperature of 160F. Just remember they will carry over and you can always finish cooking them in the sauce.
Storing Leftovers:
  • Leftover meatballs can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat over low heat in a saucepan or in the microwave.
How to Freeze Meatballs:
  • Let the cooked meatballs cool completely, then arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Transfer to a freezer Ziplock bag for up to 3 months. To serve, defrost meatballs in the refrigerator overnight then reheat in a pot of sauce on the stovetop. 


Calories: 682kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 49g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 181mg | Sodium: 1683mg | Potassium: 630mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 310IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 314mg | Iron: 4mg