Ready in 30 minutes, baked not fried, and only 5 simple ingredients, these meatballs are a game changer! Make a big batch and freeze some so you have them on those busy nights!
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Meatballs are such a fun recipe to make, aren't they? They can be a pain though, especially if you are frying them. These meatballs are simple to make and they are baked not fried, so you don't have to worry about oil splattering all over the kitchen.
This recipe is based off a recipe from the Sopranos Cookbook. That cookbook has the classic Italian recipes, long, slow, and kind of daunting. I've simplified the recipe without losing any of the delicious flavors.
I love to make a big batch of these and freeze extras. That way, when I need them, I can just defrost them and serve them for dinner. No fuss at all!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- It's freezer friendly! That's right, meatballs are very freezer friendly! Make a big batch of them and freeze them after you bake them. When you need them, add them to marinara sauce, and top pasta with them for an easy weeknight dinner or even Sunday dinner!
- Only 5 ingredients! Can you go wrong with such a simple recipe? The ingredients in this recipe you probably already have at home, so you can make this in a pinch or during the busy week.
- Get the kids involved! Kids love helping in the kitchen, and when they do, they tend to eat better. Give the kids the job to roll the meatballs and place them on the baking sheet. Just make sure they wash their hands really well once they are done!
Ingredients You'll Need
These ingredients are easily found in the grocery store, and you might even have them already in your pantry and freezer!
- Ground beef- 80/20 is the perfect mix of meat and fat for meatballs
- Italian bread crumbs- Use your favorite brand. It will have all the seasonings in the bread crumbs already so we don't have to add any other seasonings.
- Eggs- to bind the meatballs together
- Cheese- for added flavor
- Garlic- garlic makes everything a little more flavorful!
The Right Type of Meat
To make tender and moist meatballs, you need some fat in the meat. 95/5 or even 93/7 ground beef would not have enough fat.
The type of meat you want to look for is 80% fat. Fat adds moisture and richness to the meatballs.
You can mix meat too, if you want to make these 6 ingredients meatballs instead. Ground pork has more fat than ground beef, a combination of both would make a delicious meatball.
Let's Make 5 Ingredient Meatballs!
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, add the meat, cheese, breadcrumbs, eggs, and garlic to the bowl.
Hot Tip! The easiest way to make sure garlic is small and you don't have big chunks of garlic in your meatballs is to grate the garlic with a microplane. A little trick I learned from Rachael Ray a long time ago!
Mix the ingredients together until just combined. Once the ingredients are mixed, it's time to make the meatballs! Depending on how big your family likes the meatballs, take a portion of the meat and roll it between your palms. Place the meatballs on a parchment paper or silicone mat lined baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. Once they are cooked, place them in your favorite sauce for at least 5 minutes. Serve over pasta, in a bulky rolls, or eat them by themselves!
Tips and Tricks
- Do NOT overmix! If you overmix the meat, it will turn tough. Mix the ingredients together until they are just combined.
- The easiest way to mix the meatballs is with your hands. You can use a wooden spoon, but it will be a little more difficult. Getting your hands dirty is the best way to do it.
- An ice cream scoop is handy to use to make sure the meatballs are all the same size. That will ensure the meatballs all cook at the same time.
- The cooking time will depend on how big your meatballs are. If you use a smaller ice cream scoop, the meatballs will cook quickly. The meatballs will take longer to bake if you use a larger ice cream scoop.
- Don't eat ground beef? No worries! Substitute chicken, turkey, or a mixture of meats to make these meatballs your own.
- As soon as these are done baking, add them to the sauce that you are serving them with. Marinara sauce, Bolognese sauce, or serve them in a sourdough dinner roll topped with mozzarella for meatball sliders. There are lots of ideas in this post about what to serve with meatballs.
- Serve them at a party! Add them to a slow cooker with your favorite sauce. Have bulky rolls close by so guests can make their own meatball subs.
- Add these meatballs to buffalo sauce, barbecue sauce, or Swedish meatball sauce.
- Make smaller meatballs and add them to Italian Wedding Soup. An easy and cozy dinner for those long winter nights.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Use your favorite gluten free Italian breadcrumbs instead of regular Italian bread crumbs.
Yes! To fry them, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large saute pan. Add the meatballs to the hot pan and cook for 10 minutes, rotating the meatballs throughout the cooking process. When they are done cooking, drain as much of the oil off as you can, and add them directly into your favorite sauce.
Yes! You can make these a day or two before you need them. Place them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When you are ready to cook them, place them in the sauce you are going to serve them with and allow them to gently reheat. My favorite way to do this is to add the sauce and meatballs to a slow cooker and let them come up to temperature together either on low or high, depending on your needs.
To freeze them, allow the meatballs to cool completely. Place the meatballs on a clean baking sheet and freeze them. Once they are frozen, place them in a Ziploc bag or an airtight container and freeze for 3-4 months. I prefer to freeze the meatballs, plain, meaning not in the sauce. When you freeze them in a sauce, defrosting them can cause them to fall apart. To defrost, place the amount of meatballs you need in the refrigerator and allow them to defrost, then add to your favorite sauce.
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Did you love these 5 Ingredient Meatballs? I'd so appreciate it if you would give this recipe a 5 star review! That will help other hungry readers find my recipes!
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5 Ingredient Meatballs
- 1 Pound Ground Beef 80/20 Mixture
- ½ cup Italian Breadcrumbs
- ½ cup Parmesan Cheese
- 2 Eggs
- 2 Garlic Cloves Minced
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Add all the ingredients to a large bowl. Mix all the ingredients together until it is just combined. Try not to overmix.
- With an ice cream scoop, take portions of the meat mixture and roll them into balls. Place the balls on a parchment or silicone mat lined baking sheet.
- Bake the meatballs for 25 minutes. If the meatballs are a little larger, they might need 30 minutes. When they are done baking, place them in your favorite sauce and allow them to simmer for 10 minutes. Serve!
- A leaner ground beef will result in a tougher meatball. 80/20 or 85/15 are the perfect balance of meat and fat.
- To make these 6 ingredient meatballs, mix ground beef with ground pork.
- An ice cream scoop is the best way to ensure that you have meatballs of similar size.