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Classic Meatballs

classic meatballs Entree Italian
Classic Meatballs
  • Prep 15 min
  • Total 40 min
  • Servings 4

Why reinvent the wheel? For generations, home cooks have relied on this classic meatball recipe for its infallibility and ease—and when we say they’re easy, we really mean it. All it takes to achieve this meaty main dish is eight basic ingredients, like ground beef, a few seasonings, an egg, milk, onion and breadcrumbs. Got it? Now, if you have 15 minutes to spare and a foil-lined 13x9 pan, perfectly browned and tender meatballs could be the answer to tonight's dinner jam. If that’s not enough to convince you that these are the best, we’ll keep going—most meatball recipes require you to stand over a hot pan or skillet rotating them until evenly brown, not this recipe. After you roll your meatballs into little spheres, all that’s left to do is place them in your baking pan and let the oven do the rest. This frees up time for you to boil a pot of spaghetti, toast a hoagie, steam some rice, sauté veggies or even whip together a quick sauce. MORE+ LESS-

Updated December 10, 2019
Progresso Breadcrumbs
Make with
Progresso Breadcrumbs

Ingredients

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

Steps

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

Expert Tips

  • For evenly-sized meatballs that will cook in the same amount of time, pat the meat mixture into a 6x4-inch square. Cut into 24 squares. Roll each square into a ball.
  • Mix things up by substituting 1 pound lean ground turkey or chicken for the ground beef. (If using ground chicken, decrease milk to 2 tablespoons.) Bake until no longer pink in center and thermometer inserted in center reads 165°F.
  • We’re always fans of a dinnertime shortcut and a jar of store-bought pasta sauce is one of our favorites. But, if you have some time to spare or you’re looking for homemade Sunday gravy or sauce, we think you might like our Easy Make-Ahead Pasta Sauce, which can be ready in as little as 40 minutes. Or try utilizing our hands-off Slow-Cooker Meaty Spaghetti Sauce, made with Italian sausage and mushrooms for an added boost of flavor.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories
280
Calories from Fat
140
% Daily Value
Total Fat
15g
23%
Saturated Fat
6g
28%
Trans Fat
1g
Cholesterol
125mg
42%
Sodium
480mg
20%
Potassium
280mg
8%
Total Carbohydrate
13g
4%
Dietary Fiber
1g
3%
Sugars
3g
Protein
24g
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
2%
2%
Vitamin C
0%
0%
Calcium
6%
6%
Iron
15%
15%
Exchanges:
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
1
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

More About This Recipe

  • Baking, instead of pan frying, these meatballs allows you to speed up prep time and work on the rest of the meal while they’re cooking. Use the baking time to 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. This baked meatball recipe has been a go-to classic for generations of home cooks, who rely on its precisely perfect proportions of meat, bread crumbs, milk, egg and seasonings. Once you’ve mastered the basics of how to make meatballs, you can try even more time-tested recipes and modern new twists from Betty’s best meatball recipes collection.

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