Making homemade Italian meatballs from scratch is easy!

 Just like Grandma’s secret recipe, our Italian-style meatballs are perfect for an entrée or an appetizer! Sweet and sour meatballs are a great game day appetizer! Or make a hearty meatball sub sandwich to take to school or work. 

plated close up of Italian Meatballs

But let’s not forget traditional Italian spaghetti and meatballs, topped with tomato sauce and a liberal amount of Parmesan cheese! The meatballs make the dish!

Why We Love Italian Meatballs

This is the perfect Italian meatball recipe—they come out so incredibly juicy and flavorful! They are delicious served at a cocktail party or a tailgate party. With just a few ingredients these meatballs are cooked perfectly every time! Or use our recipe as the base to make one of our favorite meatball recipes using ground pork

Are Meatballs Italian?

There really is a difference between Italian and American meatballs. Italian meatballs are often served as the meal itself or smaller versions can be found in soups. American meatballs are usually very large and are often served with marinara sauce.

Meatballs can be made from any kind of meat like beef, chicken, pork, or turkey. Even Italian sausage can be made into meatballs. We like to make meatballs by the dozen and freeze them for future recipes like these Crockpot grape jelly meatballs. Frozen meatballs can be added to soups and sauces without needing to be thawed!

top view of Italian Meatballs

How to Make Italian Meatballs

  1. First, mix up the breadcrumbs, milk, eggs, onion, and seasonings. Add in the meat and cheese.
  2. The best method for making meatballs is to mix all the ingredients together using your hands (this is fun for the younger chefs in the kitchen).
  3. Make uniform meatballs using a 1½ Tablespoon scoop. Roll in your palm to make round meatballs.
  4. Meatballs will shrink considerably during cooking.
making Italian Meatballs

How to Bake Italian Meatballs

There’s nothing like the smell of homemade Italian meatballs wafting through the kitchen, and it’s as easy as 1-2-3!

  1. Mix up our delicious Italian meatball recipe found in this post!
  2. Space meatballs an inch apart on a parchment-lined pan and bake. 
  3. Remove meatballs from the oven and cool completely before freezing.  (Or use immediately in another recipe.)
Italian Meatballs on a baking sheet before cooking

What to Serve with Italian Meatballs

Whether you like them mild or spicy, Italian meatballs go with anything! As an appetizer, we like them with dill veggie dip, savory cranberry sauce, queso dip, and some jalapeno corn muffins.

As an entrée, they are perfect with homemade creamy mac and cheese, Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce, or added to turkey broth with some egg noodles to make a simple soup. Replace sausage with the meatballs in a strata for a change of pace! How about using them as Swedish meatballs with egg noodles in a savory gravy? Don’t forget lots of grated Parmesan!

How to Freeze Meatballs

Cooked meatballs will keep in the freezer for at least three months.

  1. Simply make sure they are fully cooled and then freeze them on a sheet pan. I recommend adding them to a clean pan before freezing.
  2. Once they are frozen, transfer them to a zippered bag with the date labeled on the outside.
close up holding a meatball with Italian Meatballs in the back

Got Leftovers?

Leftover meatballs can be reheated in the microwave and then added to nearly anything! They can be added to all kinds of other meals from soups to stews! Make omelets, tacos, burritos, or add meatballs to sauces. Or just eat them plain with some dipping sauce!

plated close up of Italian Meatballs
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Italian Meatballs

Homemade Italian Meatballs are seasoned with a perfect blend of Italian spices, then baked until juicy!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12 servings
Author Candace


  • ¼ cup dry bread crumbs more if needed
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup grated onion
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons Italian dressing mix or ½ teaspoon oregano, ½ teaspoon basil, 2 teaspoons parsley, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese freshly grated


  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine breadcrumbs, milk, egg, onion, and seasoning. Add in beef and parmesan cheese and combine until just mixed through, being careful not to overmix.
  • Using a 1 ½ Tablespoon cookie scoop (or a spoon), make 48-60 meatballs. Gently roll in your palms to create round balls. Lay the meatballs about an inch apart on baking tray.
  • Bake the meatballs for 15-18 minutes or until meatballs reach an internal temperature of 160°F.


Makes about 4 dozen meatballs.
Leftover meatballs can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. 
Or, meatballs can be frozen in a zip-top bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. 
5 from 12 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Serving: 4meatballs | Calories: 243 | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 266mg | Potassium: 245mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 86IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 129mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.

Course Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine American, Italian

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About the author

I am a wife, mother of two, and professional accountant. I love fantastic food, and it is so often the center of our lives, from everyday dinner, to family gatherings, and special evenings at fabulous restaurants. I have always loved cooking and baking, with my mom and grandma, and now, with my daughter and son. I love trying new recipes while enjoying my favorites too. I’m so happy to share them with you.
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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Looks amazing nice and small can add any sauce will have to try freeze unbaked for a quick dinner great for company