These Baked Italian Meatballs will soon become your family's very favorite meatball recipe! They are tender and juicy and have amazing flavor. All the tips and tricks included will have you feeling like an Italian Nonna in the kitchen!-Can be frozen for easy dinner prep!
1lbup to 1.25 lbs. lean ground beef 85/15 or 90/10 are great ratios
2cupstorn bread , crusts removed, see notes
¼cupextra virgin olive oil
½cupcoarsely ground parmesan cheese see notes
2-3plump garlic cloves minced ** see note
24ozjarred marinara sauce (Rao's is a great brand)
Preheat the oven to 400°. Prepare a large rimmed baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
In a large bowl combine the milk and bread. With clean hands mix/smash the two together so the bread breaks down and absorbs the milk. Let sit for about 5 minutes.
Add the egg, extra virgin olive oil, parmesan cheese, dried basil, garlic, onion powder, salt and pepper. Stir with a fork or whisk to combine, making sure to break the egg down into the mixture.Pro Tip: give this mixture a big sniff... these are going to be some damn good meatballs!
Add the beef and pork to the bread mixture. With clean hands stir and combine the meats and bread mixture.Pro Tip: make sure to not over mix the meat creating tough meatballs!
Let the meatball mixture sit for another 5 minutes.
Using a measuring cup or cookie scoop, portion about ¼ cup of the meatball mixture at a time and lightly roll/pat into a meatball. Place on the parchment lined baking sheet.Pro Tip: use wet hands when forming the meatballs, it will prevent all the meat from sticking to your hands!You will have around 20 meatballs (5 rows of 4)
Bake for about 30-35 minutes until the meatballs are browning and are cooked through, reaching 165° internal temp.
Remove the meatballs from the oven. There are two options when adding the marinara sauce for serving:1. Place the meatballs in a Dutch oven with the marinara sauce, and pop back in the oven for another 15 minutes, lid on.2. Warm the marinara on the stove top while the meatballs are baking. Stir the cooked meatballs into the sauce when they come out of the oven.
Serve over cooked pasta. About 3-4 meatballs per person.
Bread: Use any bread, crusts removed. I like to purchase a French loaf, ciabatta, or sour dough and remove the crust. This is a great recipe to use up day old bread!Parmesan: A really rustic grate makes for the best meatballs. I like to pulse my parmesan in a blender or food processor until it is crumbly.**Garlic: don't let me tell you how much garlic to use, you measure that with your heart... if you want 5 cloves, go for it!!Marinara: Try making this Homemade Marinara or using this Tomato Cream Sauce to go with your Meatballs.Make Ahead and Freezing:You can absolutely make these Italian Meatballs ahead and have them ready to bake in the fridge. They will be good raw, covered in the fridge for 2-3 days.They are also a great dinner to have ready in the freezer! Bake as directed, cool completely and freeze. They will be good for 3 months in the freezer!To use, thaw in the fridge overnight and then warm in a 400 degree oven, in marinara sauce, for about 15 minutes.You can also pop meatballs straight from the freezer into marinara sauce and place in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or simmer over medium heat on the stove top. Cut one open first to make sure they are warmed through before serving.