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Baked Meatballs

I spent a good five minutes pondering what to name this post.  It’s quite difficult to make meatballs sound fancy or glamorous, so I eventually settled on basic and descriptive.  What did I make?  Meatballs.  How did I make ’em?  I baked ’em.  Thanks for stopping by.

Just kidding.  But really, that’s basically it.

To the abject shock and horror of the throes of full-blooded proud I-talians populating Long Island, I don’t really remember ever eating homemade meatballs.  I have a few dismal memories of frozen turkey meatballs that, frankly, I’d like to forget.

OH MY GOSH! I just remembered that I haven’t updated you guys on so much important stuff!

  1. We made it through Sandy without any damage and only four days of powerlessness–though our thoughts and prayers are with so many people on the East coast who are still suffering through so much; and
  2. I found out that I PASSED MY BOARDS!!  Hallelujah–we don’t have to move into my car; and
  3. Marisa–you are the winner of the Focus on Food Photography for Bloggers book!  Congrats!  Email me your address at lauren@fullmeasureofhappiness.com, and I’ll have the book sent your way pronto.

Anyway, back to the meatballs.  They are really easy to make, quick to bake, and incredibly homey and delicious with some homemade tomato and mushroom sauce.  Or jarred sauce.  Or whatever sauce strikes your fancy.

Baked Meatballs (adapted from the original recipe on Pinterest–you can find it on my “Food to Make” Pinterest board.

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 eggs beaten with 1/2 C skim milk
  • 1 C seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 t each dried oregano and basil
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/4 t ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a cookie sheet.  Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl (get in there with your hands, y’all) until well-mixed.
Roll them out into golfball-sized meatballs and line them up on the cookie sheet.  They can be close together but not touching.  Bake for 30 minutes.
After they were freshly baked, I had to try one–they were so seriously juicy and delicious I probably ate three or four in the name of “testing” them.
While I was cooking the meatballs, I threw together a sauce in a large pot (onions, garlic, mushrooms, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and seasonings).  I like my tomato sauces a bit sweet, but mostly savory.  I threw in the meatballs, and let everything simmer together for a few hours while we cleaned the house and watched a movie.
Served with a big salad and angel-hair pasta.  Delicious.

I doubled this recipe cause we were having friends come over–hi Drew and Sherry!–(and I wanted lots of leftovers for a chilly Sunday afternoon), but the original recipe makes plenty for four to six.

Having never made meatballs before, I was really surprised at how easy and really tasty they were.  I would definitely make this recipe again–I love meals like this: homemade, hearty, and really comforting.  Perfect for serving to friends who still don’t have power.

So to all those out there who would jump off a cliff to defend the reign of your grandmother’s meatball recipe–what’s your secret to the world’s best meatballs?

Stay safe out there in the gas lines and without traffic lights!  Henry is on the lookout:

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  1. Hannah

    I never made meatballs either – maybe have made them 3 times more recently. Just little mini circles of meatloaf! Don’t know why grandma rarely made them. I don’t remember ever serving you frozen turkey meatballs, so I hope that wasn’t me (given Dad’s love for substituting turkey for beef, I doubt it was something I made you). Baking sounds like a great plan – I’ll try it soon!

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      Nope not you! Haha :)

  2. Marisa

    Thanks so much Lauren for the book! I emailed you with my information, I look forward to reading it and using it for my blog!! Your meatballs looked so good that I made my own version today- but didn’t bake them. If you want to check it out (with the still amateur photography!) head over here: http://uprootfromoregon.wordpress.com/2012/11/04/turkey-meatballs-in-tomato-sauce/.

    1. Marisa

      Hi Lauren- Still haven’t heard from you regarding the book! I emailed you my address and everything so I look forward to hearing from you :) Feel free to let me know if you need the address again. Can’t wait to get the book.

  3. Katherine

    Your pictures are so beautiful!


  4. Amanda@AnUnlikelyDietitian

    These look amazing. I hardly ever cook meat, but as I lie here with the rain and thunder outside, I have a small meaty plan brewing, thanks to this recipe! Mmm. Thanks :)

  5. Taryn

    The meatballs look delicious! They probably would be great on top of the butternut squash ravioli!

  6. Charles Coe

    Nice basic recipe that can be tweaked to taste (adding parmesan cheese, chopped spinach or whatever). I like going half and half on ground beef and ground pork. Lovely photos–make me want some meatballs RIGHT NOW.

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      They taste even better than they look!

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