Need an appetizer? Baked Garlic Parmesan Meatballs Recipe is an easy oven baked meatballs recipe and is perfect with beef, chicken, turkey and more. So much flavor is packed into these garlic parmesan meatballs and it's so fun to eat oven baked meatballs right off a toothpick!
It's safe to say that no matter what, this baked garlic parmesan meatballs recipe is always a hit. I actually prefer oven baked meatballs compared to other methods of preparation. The last thing that I want is to eat a greasy ball of meat and have to worry about spilling on myself in the process!
I've made these garlic parmesan meatballs more times than I can count and there's a reason that I keep coming back to it time and time again. Not only do I love food that is bite-sized and delicious but this baked meatball recipe is really, really simple to make, too.
Just know that homemade meatballs are not always going to look uniform to one another in size and texture no matter how hard you try. That said, I tend to think of that as a perk to show others that they really are homemade meatballs!
Baked Garlic Parmesan Meatballs Recipe
Making garlic parmesan meatballs from scratch isn't hard but it is important to have a good texture and to make certain that you don't bake them too long.
No one wants to eat dried out meatballs. And no one wants to be served an over baked garlic parmesan meatballs recipe and then have to pretend they're good.
The great news is that since these meatballs are made using beef, pork, ground chicken or ground turkey, you can easily experiment and find your favorite choice or a combination that you prefer.
Our favorite, or should I say the way we make this recipe most frequently, is half ground chicken or ground turkey and the other half ground beef or pork.
I find the fat content in the ground beef or ground pork helps to add moisture and flavor to these AMAZING chicken or turkey meatballs. Just you wait and see.
As long as you don't over bake them in the oven, you shouldn't have any issues at all in regards to them being too dry to enjoy.
If you do happen to overcook oven baked meatballs or they are dry, don't toss them out. That would be such a waste! If you end up with dried meatballs, just add gravy or a sauce.
Adding a gravy or even mixing baked meatballs with pasta and pasta sauce can be a great way to add moisture back into your baked parmesan meatballs and not have them feel as though they're dried out.
Turkey and Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
I started experimenting with chicken parmesan meatballs quite a while ago, and turkey meatballs shortly thereafter. Our experimenting with ground chicken parmesan meatballs and ground turkey meatballs began when we started cutting back on our red meat intake.
My love of chicken parmesan meatballs started with pasta. Growing up, our neighbour was Italian and boy oh boy could she cook. Needless to say her chicken parmesan meatballs were like none I have ever tired before or since.
Even though I have her chicken parmesan meatballs recipe, the meatballs just aren't the same when she doesn't make them.
Luckily, she passed along all of her chicken parmesan meatballs wisdom, one fact at a time. One week at a time. And she let us pick all of her apples from her tree too. We continued thinking she was the best even after we found out she was happy we were picking them so she didn't have too.
She would let us help her with whatever she was making and once we were ready she allowed us to roll all of her meatballs.
So much better than store bought, these ground meat meatballs, no matter which kind of ground meat you use, ground turkey, ground chicken, ground beef or pork meatballs will not disappoint. I can pretty much guarantee it.
Garlic Parmesan Meatballs
Garlic parmesan meatballs are a tasty appetizer but there are certain aspects of cooking meatballs that you need to keep in mind.
What temperature should meatballs be cooked to?
For beef meatballs, you're going to want to bake them until they reach an internal temperature of 145-160 degrees. You should consider purchasing a meat thermometer so that you can get the most accurate reading of the meat.
What is the secret to tender meatballs?
Ingredients that add moisture are going to be your best bet to having meatballs that are tender and tasty. This is where the fat from the beef is great, as is the moisture that is added in from the egg as well.
Why are my meatballs falling apart?
If you're doing your best to make meatballs and they're aren't sticking together, it’s probably one of two things.
The first issue you could be encountering is there is too much moisture in your meatballs, which is why the meat isn’t binding well with the egg and bread crumbs. While you want your mixture to be moist, you don’t want it soggy. Too much binder causes meatballs to fall apart.
If you’ve added more than one egg per pound of meat, then your meatballs are at risk for being spongy and soggy. If you have added too much egg, try and add more meat and other ingredients to balance your egg-to-meat ratio.
The other issue could be you don't have enough bread crumbs added to your meatballs. Thankfully, this issue is easier to correct! Bread crumbs act as a binding agent in meatballs so if you didn’t add the full amount then this could be why your meatballs are falling apart.
If you’ve added the proper amount of bread crumbs and you’re still having issues with binding, soak some of your bread crumbs in water and see if that helps. Another tip is to not over handle your meatballs. Get them into round-ish shape, more-or-less bound and call it good enough.
Ingredients Needed To Make Beef Meatballs From Scratch
- Ground beef, ground pork, ground chicken or ground turkey
- Bread crumbs
- Parmesan cheese
- Yellow onion
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Crushed red pepper flakes, if desired
- Dried parsley flakes
- Mozzarella cheese
How To Make Baked Garlic Parmesan Meatballs Recipe
Making this Baked Garlic Parmesan Meatballs Recipe isn't hard. Place ingredients listed above into a large bowl, combine until blended. Some people use a spoon but I like to use my hands to mix it all up.
If you haven’t done this before, it may feel a little weird but it really is the best way to get those ingredients combined well.
Decide which ground meat you want to use. Either use ground beef, ground pork, ground chicken or ground turkey.
When you're ready to form the meatballs, just grab a small palmful of the meatball mixture and form a ball. You'll still need to grease the rimmed baking sheet or use parchment paper with cooking spray before you bake meatballs.
And that's literally it. They'll need to back for a bit but after that, they'll be good to enjoy!
Sometimes I even shove a small cube of mozzarella cheese inside each meatball. Just because the burst of mozzarella cheese is wonderful! Serve with marinara sauce if desired.
Make certain to scroll down to the bottom of the post to see the full baked meatball recipe.
How to get a crispy crust on oven baked meatballs
If you love the crispy crust frying provides but you want to avoid the extra grease and fat, try baking your parmesan meatballs for 15 to 20 minutes, then broiling them for five to 10 minutes. This will add that crunchy crust you’re going for.
Does covering with foil cook this baked meatball recipe faster?
Some people cover their oven baked meatballs with foil because they feel that it helps the meatballs cook faster. They also do this as a way that can help to trap in the moisture to prevent the baked parmesan meatballs from drying out.
This baked meatball recipe doesn't call for covering the meatballs with foil but if it's something that you want to try, go for it.
Why do you put egg and bread crumbs in meatballs?
When making oven baked meatballs, the egg and bread crumbs act as a binder. Binders hold the meatball mixture of meat, cheese and herbs all together so it can bake in that pleasing, round, bite-sized shape.
Another point worth noting is using bread crumbs is economical because it helps your meat stretch further. If you’re watching your budget then this is a handy hack and will only enhance the flavor of this delicious parmesan meatball recipe.
How do you bind meatballs without eggs?
If you're making meatballs and realize part-way through that you don't have any eggs in the house, or if you want to omit eggs, there are substitution options for this binding agent. This should have the same outcome and bind well with the bread crumbs.
- Milk—use ¼ cup to replace one egg (dairy, non-dairy, condensed milk or heavy cream all will work)
- Mayonnaise—use three tablespoons of mayonnaise for each egg that’s called for
- Chia seeds—to make a “chia egg” use one tablespoon chia seeds and 2.5 tablespoons water to replace one egg
- Vinegar—to replace one egg use one tablespoon vinegar and one teaspoon baking soda
- Lemon Juice—use two tablespoons lemon juice and one teaspoon baking soda for each egg that’s called for
How to make bread crumbs from scratch
While you can certainly purchase pre-made bread crumbs ahead of time, making your own homemade bread crumbs is quick and easy!
Preheat your oven to 300°F.
Using a food processor, grind your bread down to a crumb.
Spread bread crumbs in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Bake at 300°F for 10 to 15 minutes, until toasted and dry.
Allow to cool on the baking sheet before using.
Bread crumb substitutes for oven baked meatballs
There are a few options for those who want to skip the bread, substitute the bread, or make gluten free meatballs and keto friendly meatballs. The egg in this parmesan meatballs recipe works as a binder as well, so you can do without the bread crumbs and still find they’ll hold together nicely.
However, you can also swap out bread crumbs for another binding agent. Here are a few suggestions.
- Nuts (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, chia and flax seeds)
- Cereal (Corn Flakes or other unsweetened cereals)
What kind of dipping sauces work best with this baked meatball recipe?
Meatballs taste great without dipping sauce but are completely wonderful with them, too. Some of my favorite dippings sauces for meatballs include:
- Homemade gravy
- Marinara Sauce
- Ranch/Blue Cheese Dressing
- Sour Cream
- Spicy Sriracha Sauce
As you can see, if you like the dip, see if it goes well with your meatballs! If you're looking for more dip ideas check out how to make dip and see if you can find at least one you want to try!
There are so many there to choose from.
How to store and reheat meatballs?
If needed, meatballs will last inside your fridge for up to 3 days, including the day you made them.
Meatballs can be reheated in oven, microwave, saucepan or skillet.
It;s always better to reheat from defrosted but that's not always possible.
To reheat these meatballs inside your oven
If they are straight out of the freezer it’s going to take a little longer for them to thaw all the way through. However, if you take them out of the freezer and place them in the refrigerator the night before, then it will take less time to reheat.
Oven: Place them all onto a baking sheet with the oven set to 30o degrees Fahrenheit. Place them in the oven for about fifteen minutes. It will depend on how many you are heating, but 15 minutes should do the trick.
Microwave: Place the meatballs on any plate or bowl in a microwave for three to four minutes and enjoy!
Pan: Spray any cooking oil on the pan and place the meatballs in the pan. Using a medium heat gradually check them and their internal temperature of them. Make sure that the meatballs are 165 degrees on the inside because that means their done.
Can you freeze baked meatballs for later?
You bet. Freezing oven baked meatballs is actually a great idea and a super simple way to meal prep, too. Since this baked meatball recipe makes 15 homemade meatballs, you can either make this and freezer for later or easily double the batch and enjoy half now and freeze the rest for another snacking time.
When it comes to baked parmesan meatballs, you're going to love the flavor and taste. There are so many ways that you can add and alter the taste as well that it's possible to make a new variety of meatballs every time you cook up this simple meatball recipe!
Can I freeze this Baked Garlic Parmesan Meatballs Recipe?
You most certainly can! These homemade meatballs can be cooled and frozen on the cooled baking sheet, inside your freezer, for about an hour.
Next, place meatballs inside a resealable freezer bag, removing as much air as possible or inside an air tight container for up to 3 months.
Freezing meatballs is super convenient. Perfect if you want to throw frozen into some canned tomatoes or tomato sauce to simmer until needed for serving.
Meatballs only last a few days inside your fridge but inside your freezer are super convenient. In the time it takes to boil pasta you can have your sauce prepared and dinner is ready!
I often will make a triple recipe and freeze the extra meatballs until needed. Once you do this once you'll do it for the rest of your life. I can't wait until you try it.
Tips for Best Baked Meatballs
- when recipe requires ground turkey or ground chicken, do not purchase ground turkey breast or ground chicken breast as the ground meat will be too lean and you could end up with dry meatballs
- ground meat with a higher fat content will work best to produce moist baked meatballs
- like ground beef, ground turkey can be bought with different fat content or percentage that can be found on the packaging so check, use a higher fat content when making a dish without a sauce
- ground turkey or ground chicken usually contains dark meat and is generally between 85 and 95 percent lean, otherwise breast meat is as high as 99 percent lean
- do not over mix your ground meat or your final product could become dense and harder to eat, lightly oil your hands (using vegetable or olive oil) if you feel it's necessary to avoid ground meat sticking to your fingers while you carefully blend all of the ingredients together
- using ground meat with a lower fat content means you have to be sure to season with salt and pepper at a minimum, as well as other herbs and spices to avoid serving bland ground meat
- make sure to include a little milk, egg, crumbs, broth or cheese adds moisture and bind to your ground meat
- use combinations of ground meats to reduce the possibility of dryness and add flavor, don't be afraid to try different combinations
- to avoid over cooking use a meat thermometer for best results, serving dry, flavorless baked meatballs that crumble and won't hold their shape
Three More Tips
- try to make sure all of your ingredients are cold or right out of the fridge to try and prevent fat from melting in your ground meat while you're preparing the meatballs, before being baked
- make sure to include a little milk, egg, crumbs, broth or cheese adds moisture and bind to your ground meat
- make sure your oven is hot and totally preheated so outside of baked meatballs cooks first and helps to keep center of meatball moist
More Delicious Appetizer Recipes
- Best Appetizers For Parties, Tailgates, or Cravings
- Easy Mushrooms on Toast with Avocado Appetizer
- Simple Football Deviled Eggs with Bacon
- Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped Onion Rings
- Jalapeno Cheeseburger Sliders with Spicy Mayo
Baked Parmesan Meatballs
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and get out your ingredients.
- Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Chop and dice up your onions until in small pieces and add to large mixing bowl.
- Add egg to large mixing bowl.
- Using a spoon or your hands, mix ingredients until blended. Do not overmix.
- Mixture will look like something like this
- Using a spoon or your fingers, grab enough of the meat mixture to make a meatball, between 1 ½ and 2 inches in diameter.
- Form entire bowl of meat mixture into meatballs.
- Place meatballs evenly spaced on a greased baking sheet.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145ºF.
- Serve with marinara sauce.
- Enjoy every bite!