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This easy meatball recipe is way better than store-bought meatballs. They take minutes to put together and are great for dinner or as an appetizer.

This delicious meatball recipe can be made for dinner or even served as an appetizer. We also like to use them as a base for Crockpot Meatballs and Grape Jelly Meatballs.

Easy meatball recipe piled in a white bowl.

We Love Homemade Meatballs!

These homemade meatballs are a family favorite dinner recipe. We’ve made them for years and love them for so many reasons.

Here’s why:

  • Beyond simple! If you don’t mind getting your hands a little dirty, you too can make these meatballs in just minutes.
  • They’re quick. From start to finish, these guys can be made in 20 minutes.
  • Easy to make ahead and freeze. Make several batches and freeze them so you always have meatballs ready to use in other recipes like Spaghetti, Meatball Soup or Sweet and Sour Meatballs.

We love eating meatballs in soups and pasta, but they’re just as good on their own dipped in a sauce!

Ingredients for homemade meatballs in bowl.

Meatball Ingredients

  • ground beef – For tender and flavorful meatballs, stick with fattier meats. The most popular meat choice is ground beef (80/20 or 70/30), but other subs include ground pork, veal, or even Italian sausage.
    • Ground turkey and chicken are options, but they don’t have as much fat as beef which leads to a drier meatball. Also, you can combine your meats such as ½ ground beef and ½ pork.
  • eggs – They act as part of the binding agent to hold the meatballs together.
  • milk
  • grated parmesan cheese – Freshly grated works best!
  • plain breadcrumbs – This is the other part of the binding agent (with the eggs). It also helps absorb the juices/liquids in the meat.
  • garlic powder – It adds just a hint of flavor that makes them even more delicious.
  • onion powder – Or use minced onion or even real onions.
  • seasoning salt or garlic salt
  • black pepper

How to Make Meatballs

  1. MIX. Place all ingredients into a large bowl and gently mix with your hands, careful not to over-mix. Just squish it all together a few times to combine.
  2. SCOOP. Scoop and divide the meat mixture into desired-size meatballs.
    • To make them more uniform: Use a cookie scoop and gently roll it to smooth out the shape. Cookie scoops are generally 1” and make a perfectly sized smaller meatball.
  3. BAKE. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-14 minutes, depending on the size. Be sure to check for doneness.
  4. SERVE hot or simmer and serve in your favorite sauce.

This recipe makes about 50 meatballs in less than an hour, which is a fraction of the time it would take to make that many otherwise, and they taste amazing!

Flavor variations

  • Spices. Easily adjust the flavor of these meatballs by adding different spices. Italian seasoning is a classic spice.
  • Add heat. Use chili powder, paprika, or red pepper flakes to give the meatballs some heat.  
  • Fresh herbs. Remember that when using fresh herbs like basil, oregano, or parsley you need twice as much as when you use dry herbs.
Uncooked homemade meatballs on foil lined baking sheet.

Keep meatballs from falling apart 

Here are a few tips to help out:

  • Sauce: To add the meatballs to a sauce like Marinara Sauce or tomato sauce or to cook them in the crock pot, brown them first in a frying pan. This will form an outer crust which will help them keep their shape as they finish cooking.
  • Binder ratio: The beaten eggs and bread crumbs both act as binding agents. It is important to not add too much or not enough or the ratio of binding ingredients to the meat will be off and you won’t get the desired texture. 
  • Additions: Be careful when adding extra chopped veggies as they will alter the ratio and the meatballs may not hold together.
Easy meatball recipe  - Italian meatballs in a pan with marinara.

Recipe Tips

  • Make meatballs without breadcrumbs. There are a few items to use instead of breadcrumbs. For ¼ cup fine, dry bread crumbs, substitute any of these items:
    • ¾ cup soft bread crumbs
    • ¼ cup cracker crumbs
    • ¼ cup crushed cornflakes
    • ⅔ cup regular rolled oats 
  • Make it in the slow cooker. Some people like to brown them first, but you can skip this step and put the raw meatballs straight into the crockpot. Add your sauce of choice and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on High for 4-6 hours.
A white bowl filled with bbq meatballs.

Storing Info

  • STORE. Keep homemade meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
  • FREEZE meatballs raw or after they’ve been cooked.
    • Lay out the meatballs side by side on a baking pan and place them in the freezer.
    • As soon as the meatballs begin to freeze, transfer them into a Ziploc freezer bag or another freezer container.
    • Label the container and add the date.
    • Raw meatballs can be stored for 3-4 months. Cooked meatballs can be stored for 2-3 months.
  • Reheat. When you’re ready, pull the desired amount out of the freezer and thaw them in the refrigerator.
Easy meatball recipe in white bowl topped with fresh herbs.

For More Meatballs:

5 from 203 votes

Easy Meatball Recipe

By: Lil’ Luna
These homemade meatballs are way better than store-bought. They take minutes to put together and are great for dinner or as an appetizer.
Servings: 50 meatballs
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes


  • 2 lbs ground beef I use 80/20
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt, seasoning salt or garlic salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


  • Preheat oven to 450°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets (baking pans will work if you don't have rimmed cookie sheets) with foil and set aside.
  • Place all ingredients into a large bowl and gently mix together with your hands, careful not to overmix. Just squish it all together a few times to combine.
  • Using a cookie scoop or your hands, divide the meat mixture into desired-size meatballs. As long as they are uniform, they can be as large or small as you like.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 10-14 minutes, depending on the size. Be sure to check for doneness. Serve hot with your favorite sauce.



  • TO FREEZE: Allow meatballs to cool completely on the baking sheets. Once cool, scrape the fat away from the meatballs and seal tightly in a freezer safe bag or air tight container and place in the freezer.
  • When you’re ready to use them, defrost them in your fridge, or put the frozen meatballs right into a soup or sauce. *Note, for cream based sauces, defrost the meatballs completely before adding.


Serving: 1meatball, Calories: 57kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 20mg, Sodium: 74mg, Potassium: 60mg, Vitamin A: 20IU, Calcium: 14mg, Iron: 0.4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American
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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    These recipes are awesome. The videos are also super. Keep bringing more and more recipes to my PC please. Thanks!


  2. I used 85/15 ground chuck. I followed the recipe exactly. To much egg, to much milk. . With the level of those two liquids this really turned into a mush. I had never worked with a meatball mix like this. After you cook them and refrigerate them, squeeze them. There is no semblance of ground beef. It’s a Pâté at best. A waste of two pounds of beef.

    1. I totally agree. First thing I thought was “one CUP of milk?!?” Turned out to be way too mushy. I would recommend 2 eggs and a 1/4 cup of milk

    2. In these situations, I add more meat and an egg. Problem solved, enough for another meal in the freezer!