Easy, Classic Beef Meatballs Recipe {oven-baked} (2024)

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These classic oven-baked homemade meatballs are tender and delicious. But best of all, they are so very simple to make! Beef meatballs are so versatile, you can make many different dishes with them, from spaghetti to meatball sub sandwiches. These are best meatballs!

Easy, Classic Beef Meatballs Recipe {oven-baked} (1)

The best thing is having these tender meatballs on hand for those busy nights when you just don’t have time to cook! The whole family loves the store-boughten frozen meatballs, but I refuse to buy them when I have beef in my freezer, haha! These are so healthy and delicious, you probably should make at least a double batch! It’s such great way to get some healthy protein into your diet.

They are also very, very handy to have stoked in the freezer! I love having my own precooked, frozen meatballs, ready for a last-minute meal. I mix up a big triple-batch of these and bake them for 15 minutes, then bag them and stick them in the freezer. Now I can pull them out at a moment’s notice and pop them in the oven to reheat, or in a pan of sauce on the stove-top.

How to make easy meatball recipe

First, Place the ground beef in a large bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, milk, egg, salt and pepper, and gently mix together. Don’t over-mix the meat mixture, or they could be a bit tough. Just gently mix together with your hands, and then form into balls.

Divide meatball mixture into 12 portions, roll each one into a smooth ball. I use my hands, most of the time, but you can also make the beef meatballs with a cookie scoop to get them perfectly uniform in size, if you like. Then just smooth each ball to make sure it’s nice and round.

Place on a baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes, until a meat thermometer puts the internal temperature at 165. I have an instant-read thermometer that works great! You can line the pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil for easy cleanup, although I usually don’t bother. If not using parchment paper, you might want to brush the pan with olive oil, so the meatballs don’t stick.

Use these immediately in a meal, or place cooked meatballs into freezer-safe, airtight container and store in the freezer up to three months.

Easy, Classic Beef Meatballs Recipe {oven-baked} (2)

Meatballs ready for the oven

How to use beef meatballs

We like to brush BBQ sauce over these during the last 5 minutes of baking, so the sauce melts over the meatballs. We also like to add a batch of meatballs to a jar of Alfredo sauce, and serve over egg noodles.Other ways you can use these are as beef meatball sub sandwiches, spaghetti and meatballs, or crockpot meatball appetizers.

Easy, Classic Beef Meatballs Recipe {oven-baked} (3)

How to freeze beef meatballs

I like to freeze these meatballs raw, too. If you freeze them raw, you need to let them thaw in the fridge, then bake as directed. Alternately you can bake them frozen, just add 10-15 minutes extra baking time, to get them to that safe, 165 temperature.

When I am making a large freezer batch, I like to scoop the meat with an ice cream scoop, and then gently finish smoothing the meatballs with my hands. This way, they are all uniform in size. You can find a scoop on Amazon.

Tips for meatballs

  • I like to use 85% lean ground beef. This has enough fat to make the meatballs juicy, but not too greasy.
  • If you are using venison, add 3 cloves fresh garlic to the meat. You can do a blend of venison and beef, which we frequently do, and it works great. (Or, you can just use my Venison Meatball recipe.)
  • Drizzle with BBQ sauce the last 5 minutes of baking, for a delicious main dish.
  • You can add some fresh herbs for some wonderful flavor! I live far from a store, so I am often just using pantry ingredients. But some fresh parsley, rosemary, or basil would be great. You can easily turn these into Italian Meatballs, just by adding fresh herbs.
  • Freeze these fully cooked, then pull them out and place into a slow cooker with some marinara sauce on low. When you get home from work, just cook some pasta for a quick meal!

What to serve with homemade meatballs

Try this old-fashioned scalloped potatoes recipe, with a spinach salad on the side. You could also split a loaf of French bread lengthwise, spread each side with spaghetti sauce, top with juicy meatballs, and cover with mozzarella and parmesan cheese, and bake! Kids, especially, seem to love anything baked on a loaf of French bread.
Simple fried potatoes are a classic, as well. My mom always told me that people love simple food the best! And she was right. Everyone loves good fried potatoes!

Easy, Classic Beef Meatballs Recipe {oven-baked} (4)

Easy Beef Meatballs

Kay Schrock

5 from 2 votes

Print Recipe

Prep Time 15 minutes mins

Cook Time 20 minutes mins

Total Time 35 minutes mins

Course Main dish

Cuisine American

Servings 4 -6


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  • Preheat oven to 350.

  • Mix all ingredients together.

  • Shape into 12 balls.

  • Place on an un-greased baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes.

  • Cool and freeze.

  • Can double or triple recipe easily.


You may use a blend of venison and beef, if desired.

These meatballs are great with BBQ sauce, added the final 5 minutes of baking.

Make a double or triple batch to freeze some for later.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Easy, Classic Beef Meatballs Recipe {oven-baked} (5)

You might also enjoy these:

  • Easy Venison Wellington Recipe (with puff pastry)
  • Elk Birria Tacos
  • Elk Stuffed Peppers
  • Venison Summer Sausage Recipe in the oven
  • Venison Sliders
Easy, Classic Beef Meatballs Recipe {oven-baked} (2024)


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