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Classic Meatballs

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  • Prep 15 min
  • Total 40 min
  • Servings 4
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This Classic Meatballs recipe is an absolute favorite, and for great reason! All it takes to make tender, perfectly browned meatballs is 15 minutes of prep, 8 basic ingredients and a foil-lined pan. Bake to perfection, and these classic Italian meatballs could be the answer to tonight's dinner jam! Serve them with spaghetti or other noodles, rice, veggies, salad or any of your favorite dishes. This recipe truly goes with anything!
Updated Sep 22, 2023
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How to Form Perfect Meatballs

Delicious Classic Meatballs are just a few simple steps away! To make sure your homemade meatballs cook evenly and achieve perfect browning, form meatballs that are uniform in shape and size. Pat the meat mixture into a 6x4-inch square, then cut your large square into 24 individual squares. Roll each one into a ball, and voilà! You’re ready to bake the best meatballs for any get-together, potluck or family dinner.

This baked meatball recipe has been a go-to for generations of home cooks due to its perfectly precise proportions of meat, bread crumbs, milk, egg and seasonings. Feel like you’ve mastered the basics of how to make meatballs? Try out even more time-tested recipes, like our Instant Pot® Swedish Meatballs..

How to Store Homemade Meatballs

If you have any leftover meatballs, we’d recommend storing them in the fridge for a maximum of 3 days. To store in the freezer, place cooked and cooled meatballs on an ungreased cookie sheet. Freeze uncovered about 20 minutes or until firm. Place partially frozen meatballs in heavy plastic bag or freezer container. Seal, label and freeze no longer than 3 months. Keep some on hand for last-minute dinner creations!


  • 1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
  • 1/2 cup Progresso™ Italian-style Bread Crumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
  • 1 egg
Make With
Progresso Breadcrumbs


  • 1
    Heat oven to 400°F.
  • 2
    Line 13x9-inch pan with foil; spray with cooking spray.
  • 3
    In large bowl, mix all ingredients.
  • 4
    Shape mixture into 24 (1 1/2-inch) meatballs.
  • 5
    Place 1 inch apart on pan.
  • 6
    Bake uncovered 18 to 22 minutes or until temperature reaches 160°F and no longer pink in center.

Tips from the Betty Crocker Kitchens

  • tip 1
    If desired, substitute 1 lb lean ground turkey or chicken for the ground beef in this Classic Meatballs recipe. If using ground chicken, decrease milk to 2 tablespoons. Bake until no longer pink in center and thermometer inserted in center reads 165°F.
  • tip 2
    Using a jar of store-bought pasta sauce is one of our favorite dinnertime shortcuts. If you have some time to spare or you’re looking for homemade Sunday gravy or sauce recipes, try out our Easy Make-Ahead Pasta Sauce. Or, try out our hands-off Slow-Cooker Meaty Spaghetti Sauce, made with Italian sausage and mushrooms for an added boost of flavor.
  • tip 3
    Not craving Italian tonight? Change things up by substituting Progresso™ Plain Bread Crumbs for the Progresso™ Italian-style Bread Crumbs; then add your favorite barbecue or Asian-inspired sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should Meatballs Be Baked or Pan Fried?

There are plenty of different ways to make tasty homemade meatballs, but these easy meatballs are fan-favorites! With the help of 8 basic ingredients and your trusty oven, this Classic Meatball recipe achieves hearty perfection in just 40 minutes.

Baking, rather than pan frying, these homemade meatballs speeds up prep time so you can work on the rest of your meal while they’re cooking. We love serving up classic Spaghetti and Meatballs, or eating these meatballs with sides of rice and tasty salad or roasted vegetables. Browning these easy meatballs in the oven at a high heat is also neater and involves much less hands-on effort than searing them on a skillet (especially if you’re making enough to feed a crowd). We love achieving perfectly-cooked meatballs without working over a hot stove!


280 Calories, 15g Total Fat, 24g Protein, 13g Total Carbohydrate, 3g Sugars

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories from Fat
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrate
Dietary Fiber
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
1 Starch; 0 Fruit; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 0 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choice
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

More About This Recipe

  • While the meatballs are baking, create a first-course antipasto platter of meats and cheeses. Then pull together a Caesar salad, warm up garlic bread (right in the oven in which the meatballs are cooking) or steam some fresh vegetables to accompany the meal. When it’s time for dessert, scoop up dishes of Neapolitan ice cream or fruity gelato, and you’ve created your own Italian feast.

    Try even more time-tested recipes and modern new twists from in Betty’s best meatball recipes collection.

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