Baked Homemade Meatballs

October 10, 2016
 What are the secrets to creating full-flavored Baked Homemade Meatballs with the tender texture we crave?  Taking great care with the ingredients and the mixing method, that's what!
Baked Homemade Meatballs ~ full of flavor and the tender meatball texture we crave!

Nothing says comfort food quite like a big plate of spaghetti and meatballs, don't you think?

But all too often homemade meatballs turn out dense and flavorless, reminding us of nothing more than overcooked round hamburgers with a teeny bit of seasoning.  Which is not exactly the tender, full-of-flavor comfort food experience we're thinking of when we think of spaghetti and meatballs.

So just how do we make baked Homemade Meatballs loaded with flavor and that tender texture we crave?

By taking great care with our mixing method and with the ingredients we choose, that's how!

Follow these meatball-making tips, and then grab your fork  to sit down to one meaty plate of tender-textured deliciousness. 

Baked Homemade Meatballs ~ full of flavor and the tender meatball texture we crave!

When it comes to choosing ingredients for your meatballs, create great flavor by using a combination of different ground meats.  Using a combination of both ground beef and ground pork makes a more flavorful meatball than using simply beef alone. 

Baked Homemade Meatballs ~ full of flavor and the tender meatball texture we crave!

Of course, you can also experiment with different ground meats to fit your personal taste.  Try meatballs with differing amounts of ground beef, ground pork, ground chicken, or ground turkey to see what you like best.

Once the meat is combined, season it pretty assertively with fresh parsley, a touch of oregano, garlic, salt, pepper, and Parmesan to further amp up that flavor.

Now when it comes to texture ... there are a few tricks to keeping your meatballs tender and light.

First, add a mixture of bread and buttermilk to the meat to create a lighter texture and keep the meatballs moist.  The bread and buttermilk mixture acts as a filler that brings some "softness" to the meat.  While milk can certainly be substituted for the buttermilk, buttermilk creates a more tender meatball.

Next, keep your mixing "light" ... which means to mix and handle the meat mixture as little as possible.  Mix the ingredients until they're just barely combined as overmixing can create dense, hard meatballs once they're cooked.  And I like to use my hands as my mixing tool to be sure I'm using a light mixing touch.

Finally, use a soft touch when shaping your meatballs, too, to keep them from becoming too compacted and dense.

Baked Homemade Meatballs ~ full of flavor and the tender meatball texture we crave!

Once formed, bake your meatballs in a muffin tin ...

Baked Homemade Meatballs ~ full of flavor and the tender meatball texture we crave!

Or on a baking sheet ...
I like to line my baking sheet with foil for super easy clean-up!

Baked Homemade Meatballs ~ full of flavor and the tender meatball texture we crave!

Then grab your fork and get ready to sit down to one plate of meaty deliciousness ... All with the full-flavor and tender texture we crave in our meatballs.

 Baked Homemade Meatballs ~ full of flavor and the tender meatball texture we crave!

Baked Homemade Meatballs
(Printable recipe)
  • 1 lb. ground beef (I use ground chuck)
  • 1/2 lb. ground pork
  • 3 slices white bread
  • 3/4 c. buttermilk
  • 1/3 c. grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 3 T. minced fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 tsp. finely minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1 egg
  1. Remove crusts from the bread slices and tear or cut each slice into small pieces. In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs and buttermilk and mash together with a fork. Set aside and let stand about 15 minutes, mashing occasionally, until the mixture forms into a fairly smooth paste.
  2. Place ground beef and ground pork in a bowl. Add Parmesan, parsley, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir or mash 3 or 4 times to just begin mixing ingredients together. Add egg and the prepared bread/buttermilk mixture. Mix until evenly combined, taking care to not overmix the meat mixture as overmixing creates tough meatballs. {I use my hands as the mixing tool to keep the mixing light.}
  3. With your hands, gently shape 3 tablespoons of the meat mixture into a 1 1/2-inch ball. Use a light touch when shaping as overworking and compacting the meat too much creates dense, tough meatballs. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet or in a muffin tin. Repeat with remaining mixture, making about 20 meatballs.
  4. Bake at 425 degrees for 22 to 25 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through.
  5. Serve on top of a big plate of spaghetti or simmered with your favorite sauce.
Makes about 20 meatballs.

  • Milk can be substituted for buttermilk for soaking the bread crumbs, but buttermilk produces creamier and lighter-textured meatballs.
  • If you'd like, meatballs can be shaped up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated until they're ready to be baked.
  • For easy freezer meal prep, freeze cooked meatballs for up to 2 months.  Cool them completely in the refrigerator, then place in freezer bags and freeze.  When ready to serve, thaw and reheat by simmering in sauce or warming in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes.

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  1. I love your Meatballs they are making me hungry, thanks so much for sharing them with us. Have a great week and come back to see us at Full Plate Thursday real soon!
    Miz Helen

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