I have a deep love for meatballs, and I’m sure many others do too. That’s why I’ve created several fun variations of meatball recipes on my website. But, I wanted to share a basic and foolproof homemade meatball recipe that can be used in various meals. Now, you can keep a batch of these delicious meatballs in your freezer and whip up quick weeknight dinners in no time. Let’s get started!
This homemade meatball recipe is super simple and perfect for when you need something fast, easy, and uncomplicated. The beauty of keeping these meatballs simple lies in their versatility. Their straightforward flavor profile allows them to pair well with a variety of sauces and meals.
And, if you’re feeling adventurous, I have a couple of upgrade options for you below to take these meatballs up a notch and make them a little fancier.
Why Do Meatballs Have Egg and Breadcrumbs?
Eggs and breadcrumbs play a crucial role in meatballs. They help bind the ingredients together and contribute to a tender texture. While it’s possible to make meatballs without eggs and breadcrumbs, they may not hold their shape as well and have a firmer texture, similar to that of a hamburger.
If you need to replace eggs or breadcrumbs for dietary reasons, you can try using a flax egg (1 Tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 3 Tbsp water) as a substitute for eggs. Additionally, oatmeal, rice, or crushed gluten-free crackers can replace breadcrumbs.
Can I Use Different Types of Ground Meat?
Absolutely! Meatballs work great with different types of ground meat. However, it’s essential to consider that various ground meats have different fat and moisture content. Substituting the meat can impact both the texture and flavor of the meatballs.
The recipe below uses Italian sausage, which is already packed with herbs and spices. Due to this, the meatballs require only a small amount of extra seasoning. If you decide to substitute Italian sausage with a different type of ground meat, be sure to adjust the seasoning accordingly.
How to Use Homemade Meatballs
These homemade meatballs pair wonderfully with Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce, which is also freezer-friendly. The combination of flavors will have your taste buds dancing with joy. Alternatively, you can serve the meatballs with your favorite sauce or even use them to create delicious meatball subs.
How to Make Homemade Meatballs – Step by Step
- In a small bowl, lightly whisk two large eggs. In a separate bowl, combine ½ cup breadcrumbs, ½ cup grated Parmesan, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp onion powder, ½ tsp Italian seasoning, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Pre-mixing these ingredients ensures even distribution without overmixing the meat.
- Add the whisked eggs, breadcrumb mixture, ¼ cup milk, 1 lb. Italian sausage, and 1 lb. ground beef to a bowl. Use your hands to mix the ingredients thoroughly.
- Let the meatball mixture sit for five minutes to allow the breadcrumbs to absorb some moisture.
- Divide and shape the meatball mixture into approximately 32 meatballs, using 2 Tbsp for each. Keep in mind that the size may look bigger in the images. I find a 2 Tbsp measuring cup useful for portioning the meat.
- To bake the meatballs, preheat the oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the meatballs on the baking sheet, leaving about one inch of space between them.
- Bake the meatballs for approximately 15 minutes or until lightly browned. If using a red sauce, transfer the meatballs to a pot and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. If not using a red sauce, bake for an extra 3-5 minutes or until cooked through.
- To cook the meatballs in a skillet, heat one tablespoon of cooking oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, swirl the oil to coat the skillet, then add the meatballs. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until thoroughly browned and cooked through.
Whether you choose to bake or cook the meatballs in a skillet, finishing them off with a brief simmer in red sauce adds an extra burst of flavor and helps maintain their tenderness.
Lastly, if you’d like to freeze the cooked meatballs, allow them to cool completely in the refrigerator before placing them in a freezer bag. They can be stored in the freezer for up to three months. When you’re ready to use them, drop them straight from the freezer into a pot of red sauce and simmer until heated through.
Try These Other Meatball Recipes
- Swedish Meatballs
- Turkey Meatballs
- BBQ Meatballs with Cheese Grits
- Teriyaki Meatball Bowls
- Spinach Feta Turkey Meatballs
- Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
- Giant Slow Cooker Meatballs
- Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs
- Sheet Pan BBQ Meatballs
- Slow Cooker Meatball Subs
- Gluten-Free Meatballs by MamaKnowsGlutenFree
For more scrumptious meatball recipes, head over to my website Ekilove and explore numerous unique and delightful options. Happy meatball making!