Jen’s Incredible Baked Meatballs

By Ann Fulton

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These tender, flavorful baked meatballs have been a family and reader favorite for many years. Hundreds of readers have called them the best meatballs ever! Serve them with spaghetti and your favorite sauce, as an appetizer, in a meatball sandwich-or all by themselves. A perfect meal prep recipe that freezes well, too!

These tender, flavorful baked meatballs have been a family and reader favorite for many years. Hundreds of readers have called them the best meatballs ever! Serve them with spaghetti and your favorite sauce, as an appetizer, in a meatball sandwich-or all by themselves. A perfect meal prep recipe that freezes well, too!

 

Perhaps you are like me in this way:  I have recipes everywhere…a shelfful of cookbooks, a box with recipe cards, and various pages torn from magazines, newspapers…and so many slips of scrap paper with my own hand-written notes that I scratch out as I create in the kitchen.

Amidst all the recipes, I return often to the gems given to me by my friend, Jen. Like me, Jen  likes to experiment with new recipes and acquired many of her favorites from her grandmother.

This meatball recipe reduces mess–and fat–by baking the meatballs instead of pan-frying. Parmesan and panko add great flavor and texture. Make them ahead and simmer all day with Basic Marinara sauce (your favorite store bought works, too) in a crock pot set on low. Or heat on the stove as you are boiling water for pasta.

A single recipe yields two dozen golfball-size meatballs.  The recipe can easily be doubled and the baked meatballs freeze well.  I made the batch pictured below with a friend.  Meal prep is inherently rewarding–and so much more fun when chatting the whole time!

Jen's Incredible Baked Meatballs have been a reader and family favorite for years!

Click here for my favorite gluten-free option to panko.  And for a sauce option using vine-ripened plum tomatoes, I love this recipe for Balsamic Pesto Marinara Sauce.

slider-Blender-Tomato-Sauce

Shortcut Blender Tomato Sauce (above) pairs beautifully with these meatballs and is perfect when vine-ripened tomatoes are in season.  When canned tomatoes are the best option, Basic Marinara (below) is a great option.

Basic-Marinara
Jen’s Incredible Baked Meatballs
Tip #1: Double the batch and freeze half to serve later as mini meatloaves. Or reheat with sauce, top with cheese and make into a mean meatball sandwich. Tip #2: If you have a leftover piece of rind from the Parmesan, let it simmer in the crock pot with the marinara sauce or save for another soup recipe. This will add a great flavor boost to most any sauce or soup.

Yield: approximately 24 meatballs
Ingredients
  • 1 pound hamburger, grass-fed if desired
  • 2 eggs, beaten with 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup panko or breadcrumbs (see notes)
  • 1 small onion, minced or grated (1/2 a large onion)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley or basil
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients with hands.
  2. Form into golfball-size meatballs.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
Notes
  • For a gluten-free option, crushed Rice Chex work beautifully.
  • When making a big batch, I recommend mixing all of the ingredients except the beef first. This will ensure everything is well incorporated but help prevent over-working the meat.
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The Fountain Avenue Kitchen https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/
These tender, flavorful baked meatballs have been a family and reader favorite for many years. Hundreds of readers have called them the best meatballs ever! Serve them with spaghetti and your favorite sauce, as an appetizer, in a meatball sandwich-or all by themselves. A perfect meal prep recipe that freezes well, too!

Jen’s Incredible Baked Meatballs. One of our most popular recipes!

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Comments

  1. Kelly

    If making ahead and then reheating with sauce how long do you “cook” for? Or can I just use the warm setting? Trying to reheat next day for build your own party sliders.

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Kelly, After baking, you don’t need to cook the meatballs further. The warm setting is perfect – build your own party sliders will be so much fun!

      Reply