These scrumptious baked Italian meatballs are savory, flavorful, and mildly sweet - making them a welcome addition to any meal! These easy yet flavorful meatballs will have you feeling like you're in Nonna's kitchen in no time!
An easy, classic Italian meatball recipe that bakes to perfection!
A reliable meatball recipe is something you should always keep in your back pocket. Meatballs can be dressed up, or down, and can easily feed the whole family!
Instead of making these meatballs with ground beef, pork, or veal, I use Italian sausage. Italian sausage already has a gorgeous flavor that really brings these meatballs to the next level!
This is a need-to-know recipe because you can make meatballs all the time and never eat them in the same dish twice!
❤️ Why You'll Love This Recipe!
So Easy! 3 simple steps to make these delicious babies! Just combine, shape, and bake!
Mouthwatering! These meatballs are filled with flavor and come out juicy and tender! The perfect accompaniment to any Italian dish!
Versatile! You can have our baked meatballs as a side dish, topping, or even by themselves as the main course! Any way you serve them, they will be a hit!
With only 6 ingredients, you will have gorgeous meatballs in no time! All but two of these ingredients are pantry staples, all you need to buy are breadcrumbs and your choice of Italian sausage!
- 1 pound Ground Italian Sausage - Italian sausage typically comes in 3 categories - sweet, mild, or hot. Personally, I like to do a mix of sweet and hot, but everyone has their own preferences and it's honestly hard to go wrong because they are all flavorful.
- ⅓ cup Breadcrumbs - I like to use either Italian seasoned breadcrumbs or Panko breadcrumbs. Panko offers a better crunch while Italian seasoned offers more flavor.
- 1 large Egg - If you do not have large eggs, 2 small eggs will work. If you prefer to be eggless, try these egg substitutes.
- 2 tablespoons Milk - If you do not have or cannot use milk, here are some milk substitutes.
- 2 teaspoons Garlic (minced) - 2 teaspoons is about the equivalent of 2 cloves of garlic. If you're out of fresh garlic, you can use a ½ teaspoon of garlic powder.
- ¼ teaspoon each, Salt & Pepper - Seasoning is always important! I prefer sea salt or kosher salt and fresh ground pepper for this recipe!
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for ingredients, amounts & instructions!*
🔪 Step-By-Step Instructions
Only 3 easy steps to follow for amazing Italian meatballs! Just combine, shape and bake!
- Combine. Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C). In a large bowl, mix all meatball ingredients (1 pound ground Italian sausage, ⅓ cup breadcrumbs, 1 large egg, 1 tablespoon of minced garlic, and ¼ teaspoon of both salt and pepper) until just combined. Do not over-mix as that will make the meatballs dense and tough.
- Shape. Portion out the meatball mixture and then roll balls in your hands to shape into 1½ to 2-inch meatballs (you should end up with roughly 12). Choose a broiler pan or wire rack on a baking sheet and generously coat with non-stick cooking spray or oil.
- Bake. Place on your chosen baking vessel almost to the point of touching and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the internal temperature is 160°F (71°C).
💭 Angela's Tips & Recipe Notes
- Make this recipe with different meats! In place of Italian sausage, you may also use ground beef or a combination of ground beef and pork. If using ground beef, opt for a high-fat percentage (90% or more) to provide enough fat for the meatballs.
- If you want to amp up the meatballs, or if you cannot find seasoned Italian breadcrumbs, you can add prepared or homemade Italian seasoning or simply add ¼ teaspoon each of dried oregano, dried basil, dried rosemary, dried thyme, and dried sage.
- Don't forget the sauce! These meatballs go perfectly with a classic marinara, a spicy arrabbiata sauce, or even a brown butter sage sauce!
- For the brown butter sage sauce, just melt 1 stick of salted butter in a small saucepan on medium-low heat until the butter begins to darken in color, then add 2-3 fresh sage leaves and remove from heat.
🥡 Storing & Reheating
To store the leftover meatballs, place in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 7 days.
Store in an air-tight container in the freezer for up to 6 months! Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
Reheating Baked Italian Meatballs
Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with baking spray or grease with olive oil. Bake for 6-8 minutes until sizzling, and remove from oven to let rest for 1 minute before serving.
😋 More Great Italian Recipes!
- Spaghetti Bolognese
- Garlic Parmesan Angel Hair Pasta
- Air Fryer Garlic Bread
- Stuffed Italian Sausages
- Italian Chicken Pastina Soup
Baked Italian Meatballs
- Preheat your oven to 400°F (205°C). Meanwhile, place all ingredients (Italian sausage, breadcrumbs, egg, milk, garlic, salt & pepper) in a large bowl and mix just until combined. *Make sure not to over-mix the meat or it can become tough.1 lb ground Italian sausage, ⅓ cup breadcrumbs, 1 large egg, 2 tablespoon milk, 2 teaspoon garlic, ¼ teaspoon each, salt & pepper
- Portion and shape the meat mixture into 1 ½ to 2-inch meatballs by rolling it into a sphere with the palms of your hands. You should have approximately 12 meatballs.
- Place the meatballs in a broiler pan, or a baking dish with a wire rack inside, that has been coated with non-stick cooking spray or oil. Be sure to leave space between them. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the internal temperature is 160°F (71°C). Serve immediately.
- In place of Italian sausage, ground beef or a combination of ground beef and pork can also be used. If using ground beef, opt for a high fat percentage- 90% or more.
- Allow your ground Italian sausage (or ground beef and/or ground pork) to come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes prior to mixing. It will save your hands from freezing and ensure that the meatballs cook quickly and evenly.
- It may be messy, but the easiest and best way to combine all the meatball ingredients is to use your hands.
- Serve over pasta with pasta sauce, or on crusty bread as a sandwich.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!