Simple, Homemade Meatballs

posted by Andrea | 11/12/2012

homemade meatballs

I’ve mentioned (just a few times!) that Dave and I really love pasta!

I make some sort of pasta dish every single week and we really never get tired of it. Pasta is definitely my go-to meal when we’re short on time… or when nothing else sounds good.

I always have the ingredients in the house — and in fact — I often have some sort of pasta dish already made up and ready to re-heat in my freezer.

So for as much as I love pasta, you might be shocked to know that I’ve NEVER made homemade meatballs!

Seriously, I’m not sure why. I’ve made homemade meatloaf many times, and I’ve also made store-bought, frozen meatballs many times. I guess I just never felt the need to make homemade meatballs — but now that I know how simple {and delicious} they are, I might never go back!

I basically “made up” the recipe below using a few different meatloaf recipes I’ve tried in the past. Also, someone left a comment on the Simple Organized Living Facebook page suggesting that I try mixing a Kraft Fresh Take mix-ins with ground beef to make meatballs.

So since I already had several packages in the house (thanks to some freebie coupons) I decided to try the Italian Parmesan kit… and was it ever delicious!

Recipe for Simple Homemade Meatballs

{to print this recipe, just click on the “clean print” button at the top of this post}

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 egg; lightly beaten
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 package Kraft Fresh Take (I used all the bread crumbs but only 1/2 the cheese)

NOTE: If you don’t want to buy a Kraft Fresh Take, you can substitute 1/2 c. Italian bread crumbs, 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, and 1 t. each dried Basil, Oregano, and Garlic Powder 

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350* F
  • Lightly grease a rimmed baking dish (or line it with a non-stick mat or parchment paper)
  • In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients above

  • Form meat mixture into 1″-2″ balls and arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet (I made about 14 2″ balls)

I’m lovin’ my nice neat rows :)

  • Bake uncovered for 1 hour, or until the centers are no longer pink

Serving Suggestions

These meatballs are honestly so good plain — but you can also eat them with your favorite sauce (BBQ, honey mustard, ketchup, sweet n sour, maple brown sugar, pizza or pasta sauce, etc.)

We ate half of them on top of pasta with my homemade pasta sauce… and then ate the rest of them later in the week with a brown sugar and ketchup based sauce drizzled over the top — served with cheesy potatoes and vegetables {I forgot to take a picture, but they sure were yummy.}

Both were equally delicious and I will most definitely make both recipes again.

In fact, I’m thinking of making a triple batch the next time, freezing them, and then pulling out a few whenever I need a quick meal.

YUM

And SO simple!

homemade meatballs

Do you have a favorite meatball recipe?

Visit my virtual recipe box for more simple, delicious, family friendly, recipes!

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20 comments

  1. Shannon

    11/12/2012

    Happy Monday Andrea! I’ve never made homemade meatballs before because it seemed to be so complicated. Your post has inspired me to try your recipe and make them!

    [Reply]

  2. Chris

    11/12/2012

    What is that thing on your cooking sheet? Some kind of grease absorber?

    [Reply]

    Danielle Reply:

    It looks like a non stick silicon baking pad, like Silpat.

    [Reply]

    Jamie Reply:

    Looks like a Silpat (silicone baking mat).

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes Chris,
    As others have mentioned, the mat is just a simple Silpat silicone baking mat that keeps things non-stick and makes cleanup a bit easier. I use them often when cooking and baking :)

    [Reply]

  3. Nasreen Fynewever

    11/12/2012

    Looks great, Andrea! You’ll have to let us know if you continue to eat red sauce items as frequently when Nora gets older. We are realizing how little patience we have for mealtime with red sauce since our boys have been eating our food. :) I might have to come eat meatballs with you.

    Wanted to mention that I shared your “will not work for free” post with the blogging community yesterday when someone else wrote about having boundaries.

    Thanks again for helping me with my home via your tips and being an encouragement to me as I try my hand at freelance writing and speaking. Your journey has been successful and honest and though I am in a different field, I learn a lot from you and bookmarked your lessons from your first five years.

    Best to you, keep rockin’ this space. Your giveaways drive people crazy! Your advice is solid. :)

    [Reply]

  4. Calliope

    11/12/2012

    From scratch here is the greek recipe:
    1 kgr minced beef and pork (approx 2/3 are the beef but you can also do 50-50)
    4-6 fat slices of Damp stale bread
    1 egg
    2 tbs ketchup or 1 tbs vinegar
    Oregano
    Fresh Spearmint or mint (in the winter i use dried)
    Salt, pepper and some olive oil

    Mix everything together.place in the fridge for 30′-60′ .mixture should be soft enough.
    Prepare the tomato sauce of your liking and after you’ ve fried or baked the meatballs, put them in the sauce for 15′ or so. Serve with spaghetti or french fries
    Yummy and super easy.

    Optionally you can add to the mixture anything your kid won’t eat. Like zuccini,tomato,squash,cauliflower, carrots etc ;)

    [Reply]

  5. Melissa

    11/12/2012

    I can’t wait to try this recipe!

    [Reply]

  6. Jessica

    11/12/2012

    Thanks for sharing. I actually saw this recipe on the Fresh Take package and wanted to try it. My girls (ages 2 and 3) LOVE meatballs with red sauce. That is my go to for when I need to feed them QUICK. but pre made frozen meatballs are so pricey. I think I’m going to take your advice and make a batch for the freezer.

    Thanks

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    What Fresh Take package do you have? I was looking for a specific meatball recipe on the package (so I knew it would turn out) but didn’t see any. I basically just used a meatloaf recipe I had and adapted it to what I hoped would work for meatballs — glad it turned out!

    [Reply]

    jessica Reply:

    It was on the inside Italian Parmesian package. Maybe it would be online? I dont know if there is a website or not. Just mix the package with 1lb of ground beef, 350* for 20 mins.

    [Reply]

  7. Amy

    11/12/2012

    I am definitely going to try this recipe. I never make homemade meatballs because frying them is so messy. I don’t know why it never occured to me to bake them. Thanks Andrea!

    [Reply]

  8. Kris

    11/12/2012

    My recipe is similar to yours except i add a few shakes of Worcestershire sauce. If I’m making meatballs for red sauce I cook them right in the sauce.

    [Reply]

  9. Linda R.

    11/12/2012

    That meatball recipe sounds great! I’m going to try it this week. Hope you have a great week!

    [Reply]

  10. Olga

    11/12/2012

    I love making homemade meatballs. They are one of my favorite freezer meals too. Of course, I really like them with a tomato sauce, but they are also good with a honey, ketchup and garlic sauce. My favorite meatballs of all are chicken meatballs with a cheesy, crispy topping. They are so easy to make and really, REALLY yummy. My husband loves them too:).

    [Reply]

  11. Andrea

    11/13/2012

    I just made these for dinner. I didn’t have Italian bread crumbs so I put oatmeal, garlic powder, basil, parsley (in the absence of oregano), salt, and pepper in a food processor. Anyway, the meatballs were terrific even without sauce. Dinner was a hit. Thanks for the recipe. I really like your blog (and your name).

    [Reply]

  12. maren

    11/14/2012

    Mine is similar and also YUMMY!
    2 lbs ground beef (I like 80/20 for meatballs)
    1 box chicken flavored stovetop stuffing (I use generic, I am sure other flavors would be fine but I have only used chicken)
    2 eggs
    1 1/4 C water

    Form into meatballs and bake for about 30 minutes (depending on how large you make them) at 350.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I’ve never seen a meatball recipe that called for stuffing — but it sounds delicious and I’m guessing that by adding the stuffing, it will stretch the meat a little further making it a more “frugal” way to make meatballs.

    Thanks for the tip!

    [Reply]

  13. Cathleen

    02/25/2013

    I have substituted oats for breadcrumbs in both my meatloaf and meatball recipes and it turns out great. Especially when I include ground pork in the meat mixture.

    I also have been finely shaving vegetables to sneak them in (as Calliope suggests) and it seems to work well. They haven’t caught on yet!

    I am having meatballs tonight! YUM

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Cathleen, I’m actually trying my meatballs with oats too tonight!

    [Reply]

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