Sundays are just made for meatballs, am I right? There is really no better picture that comes to mind when someone says the word ‘comfort food’ then a big bowl of spaghetti and meatballs.
Meatballs are little balls of love, but they can also be labor intensive. I have found that frying meatballs takes a lot of time and patience because they need to be babysat. Then there is the issue of the oil splattering all over the stove.
No thank you.
I have found a better way, and that is to bake them.
I have made these meatballs countless times both in oil on the stove and baking them. I am being honest here when I say that I have found virtually no difference between the two. So why go through the trouble of frying when you don’t have to?
The meatballs are baked for about 30 minutes, depending on the size of your meatball of course. Massive size meatballs will take longer to cook. Mine are about 2″ big, about twice the size of cocktail meatballs, if that helps any.
I rotate them once during baking. For this recipe I don’t worry about them cooking all the way through because they end up in my spaghetti sauce to finish cooking and become even more tender.
Another bit of advice I have for you is to double the recipe if you can. You are already going through the trouble of rolling and baking the meatballs, why not make an extra batch and freeze them? You can freeze them raw or you can freeze them after they’ve cooked and cooled.
WHAT CAN I DO WITH FROZEN PRECOOKED MEATBALLS:
- You can make single or double size portions of spaghetti and meatballs as quick as it takes to boil water and cook pasta.
- You can make meatball subs
- You can make Swedish meatballs
- Make Italian meatball soup
- Chop the onion and garlic REALLY small and then saute them until they are soft. No one (a) likes big pieces of onion in their meatball and (b) crunchy onions in their meatball. Make them so small you won’t notice them.
- Add WARM broth (or water) to the meat as you are combining the ingredients.
- A good ratio to remember for meatballs is 1 egg and 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs per pound of meat. So for this recipe we used 2 eggs and 1 cup of breadcrumbs.
- Season season season generously with salt and pepper at each stage. Unseasoned meatballs are just that, flat with no flavor. Do not dump a bunch of table salt in the bowl at the end and expect the same results! Use kosher sea salt (fine) and start seasoning from step one all the way through.
- Frying is not needed – A meatball can come out just as crispy in the oven as fried in a pan. But why use all that oil and splatter up the stove when you don’t need to?
- Lightly oil your hands or place them under ice cold water and gently pat dry before forming the meatballs. This will prevent the meat from sticking to your hands.
Adapting these tips will make a HUGE difference in your meatballs. They will be moister, they will hold together sooo much better. The ratio of egg and breadcrumbs to meat also makes these meatballs taste meatier like a meatball not like a meatloaf.
I hope you enjoy them and if you try them, please leave us a comment.Print
Pan frying is the messiest and highest calorie way to cook meatballs, baking them is simple and we have trick to keeping them super moist!
- 2 lbs Ground Beef (80%-20%)
- 1/3 cup Onion, finely diced
- 2 Cloves Garlic, finely minced
- 2 Large Eggs, room temperature
- 1 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1/4 Cup Parsley, chopped
- 3/4 – 1 Cup Breadcrumbs
- 1/2 Cup Warm Beef Broth (or water)
- Line a baking sheet with a piece of Parchment paper and set it aside.
- In a small sauté pan, over low heat, cook the onions in a little olive oil until they are soft and translucent, approximately 4-5 min. Season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Set aside and let cool.
- Place the ground been in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add the eggs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, breadcrumbs, then the cooled onions and garlic. Using your hands as claws, combine the meat with the other ingredients until loosely combined. Add some of the warm broth and continue to combine until all the ingredients are blended in. You may use some or all of the broth.
- Again, using your hands, scoop out some of the meat and being to shape and roll into the desired size meatball and place on the baking sheet. Continue until all the meat has been used.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 30-35 minutes, turning once.
- Continue cooking the meatballs in your favorite sauce.
Recipe Adapted from: The Food Network