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Easy Baked Meatballs | cafedelites.com
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5 from 9 votes

Italian Baked Meatballs

Italian Baked Meatballs in a rustic tomato sauce is what's for dinner! So soft and tender, you'll be hooked on meatballs when you try our easy recipe.
It may be hard to get the texture and taste right out of a humble meatball, but I’m here to tell you it’s super easy. Dry Baked Meatballs are a thing of the past with our baked meatball recipe. And that homemade Marinara sauce is crazy good!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 36 meatballs
Calories: 70kcal
Author: Karina


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced


  • 1/2 pound (250 g) ground beef mince
  • 1/2 pound (250 g) ground pork mince, (or beef)
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, or parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil (or parsley), finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup milk, (or water)


  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, (optional -- adjust to your preference)
  • 28 oz (800 g) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil or parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar


  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Fresh basil, chopped
  • Parmesan cheese or Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly grated


  • Heat oil in a medium-sized pan over medium heat. Sauté onion until soft, (about 2 minutes). Add garlic and sauté for a further minute, until fragrant. Set aside.


  • Preheat oven to 410°F (210°C). Line a large baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl combine half of the sautéed onion and garlic mixture with the ground meats, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, egg, cheese, breadcrumbs and basil (or parsley). Add half of the milk, mixing a little with your hands, then add the rest of the milk. Mix again until all ingredients are just combined (don't over mix or meatballs will be hard/tough).*
  • Scoop out 1-tablespoonful of meat per meatball and roll into balls, placing meatballs on lined baking pan as you go.
  • Spray generously with cooking oil spray and bake for 12 minutes, or until just cooked though.
  • Broil (grill) on high heat in the last 2 minutes of cooking time to get them crispy and browned.
    While meatballs are baking, make your sauce.


  • Return the pan with the remaining onion/garlic mixture to the stove over medium heat. Stir in the crushed red pepper flakes, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, herbs, salt, pepper and sugar. Bring to a simmer and let cook for about 10 minutes, while stirring occasionally. Taste test and adjust salt and pepper, to your taste.
  • Transfer baked meatballs and pan juices into the sauce. Stir to evenly coat and let simmer for about 2-3 minutes to let the sauce infuse into the meat and completely cook the meatballs.
  • Serve over pasta of choice. Garnish with additional fresh herbs and parmesan cheese.


*The meatball mixture should still be moist in consistency, but hold its shape when rolled into meatballs.


Calories: 70kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 176mg | Potassium: 116mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 86IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1mg