Meatballs are a versatile and tasty dish that can be enjoyed on their own, with pasta, or as a sandwich filling. However, baking meatballs can be a bit tricky if you don’t know the ideal temperature and cooking time. In this article, we’ll answer the question “How long to bake meatballs at 350°F?” and provide you with tips and tricks to make the best baked meatballs.
What Exactly Are Meatballs?
Meatballs are tiny, spherical balls of ground meat served in a sauce or stew. They can be made with various ground meats like beef, pork, lamb, turkey, chicken, or veal. In addition to the ground meat, meatballs are often seasoned with herbs and spices and may include other ingredients such as breadcrumbs or rice.
Baking: The Best Way to Cook Meatballs
While there are different methods for making meatballs, many people believe that baking them in the oven is the best choice. Baking meatballs is simple and uncomplicated. All you need to do is prepare the meat mixture, shape it into meatballs, place them on a baking sheet, and bake them in a preheated oven. Baking meatballs adds flavor without using as much oil as pan-frying. It is also a convenient option if you need to cook a large batch of meatballs.
Tips for Making Delicious Meatballs
To make the finest meatballs, here are some tips you can follow:
- Choose the best meats: While any ground meat can be used to make meatballs, fattier meats like beef, lamb, and pork produce softer meatballs.
- Keep everything chilled: Chilling the meat mixture before shaping it into meatballs helps them hold their shape better during baking.
- Add some water: Adding a small amount of water to the meat mixture can help keep the meatballs moist and tender.
- Taste the mixture: Before shaping the meatballs, it’s essential to taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
- Be gentle when shaping: When shaping the meatballs, handle the mixture gently to avoid dense and tough meatballs.
- Bake rather than fry: Baking meatballs in the oven is a healthier option than frying. It reduces the amount of oil used and results in a crisp and flavorful exterior.
How Long to Bake Meatballs at 350°F?
Meatballs should bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for approximately 25-30 minutes. However, baking time may vary slightly depending on factors such as the size of the meatballs and the number of pans you have in the oven. It’s important to keep an eye on the temperature and time to avoid overcooking or undercooking the meatballs.
How to Bake Meatballs at 350°F: Step-by-Step Guide
Here’s an easy recipe for baking meatballs at 350°F:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs and milk, and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine ground meat, grated onion, minced garlic, eggs, parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce, and the desired seasonings.
- Mix in the moistened breadcrumbs with the meat mixture.
- Gently mix the meat until just combined. Avoid over-mixing to prevent tough meatballs.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick foil.
- Use a cookie scoop to shape the meat mixture into medium-sized meatballs and place them on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake the meatballs for 25-30 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 160°F.
- Remove from the oven and let them rest for a few minutes before serving.
Baked meatballs are delicious on their own or served with various sides and sauces. Here are some serving suggestions:
- Mashed Potatoes
- Buttered Noodles
- Green Beans
- Caesar Salad
Best Dipping Sauces for Meatballs
To add extra flavor to your meatballs, you can serve them with a variety of delicious dipping sauces. Here are some suggestions:
- Grape jelly sauce
- Chili sauce
- Barbeque sauce
- Cranberry sauce
- Sour cream sauce
Storing and Reheating Baked Meatballs
If you have leftovers or want to prepare meatballs in advance, here are some tips for storing and reheating:
- Store cooked meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- To reheat, place the meatballs on a baking sheet in a preheated oven at 350°F until heated through.
- You can also freeze cooked meatballs in a single layer on a baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag. Frozen meatballs can be stored for up to 3 months. Thaw them overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Baking meatballs at 350°F is a straightforward and delicious way to enjoy this classic dish. By following the tips and recipe provided, you’ll have perfectly cooked meatballs with a crisp exterior and a juicy and flavorful interior. Whether you’re serving them with pasta, as a sandwich filling, or on their own, these baked meatballs are sure to be a hit. Enjoy!