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How to Bake Meatballs in the Oven

Easy Oven Baked Meatballs

An easy, foolproof, and amazingly delicious recipe for baked meatballs the whole family will love. Use for pasta dishes, meatballs & gravy, appetizers, and more. 

  • Total Time: 38 minutes
  • Yield: 20 meatballs 1x


Units Scale
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2/3 cup finely crushed crackers
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Then prep a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
  3. Next, add 20 to 24 crackers to a Ziploc bag and crush using a bowl or cup until you have finely crushed crackers.
  4. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the ground beef, egg, milk, crushed crackers, salt, onion powder, and pepper.
  5. Mix the ground beef mixture until all ingredients are mixed thoroughly. Start by mixing the ingredients with a spoon and then knead with your hands.
  6. Now you’re ready to form the meatballs. We use a 1.78″ meatball maker which makes it so easy to scoop uniform meatballs and makes the process much quicker. (Run the meatball maker in hot water before using so the meat mixture doesn’t stick to the inside of the meatballer.) If you don’t have a meatball maker or cookie scoop – keep dividing the meat mixture in half until you have 20 equal portions or meatballs 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 inches in size.
  7. Place the meatballs on your pre-prepared baking sheet with parchment paper. Be sure to arrange the meatballs with plenty of space in between them to be cooked evenly.
  8. Bake in the oven for 18 to 22 minutes at 400 degrees. The meatballs should be nicely browned and juicy.
  9. Cook to an internal temperature of 160°F, using a meat thermometer. Or cut into one meatball to make sure it is no longer pink.
  10. Enjoy in your favorite main dish or appetizer!


Crackers: we love to use crushed Ritz crackers or saltine crackers, but you can use bread crumbs if you prefer. Make sure whatever you use is finely crushed.

Doubling the recipe: this recipe is easy to double to make about forty 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 inch meatballs.

Italian baked meatballs: add 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, Italian bread crumbs instead of crackers, red pepper flakes, and substitute the onion powder for garlic powder or Italian seasoning, perfect for Italian-style dishes like spaghetti and meatballs. Stuff with mozzarella cheese for added variety.

Ground beef: we use 85% lean and 15% fat ground beef, so the meatballs are nice and juicy, and not dry. You can use 97% lean and 3% fat, just be aware they have a bit less moisture.

Ground meat varieties: this recipe also works wonderfully for ground chicken, ground pork, or ground turkey. You can also use half turkey and half ground beef.

Garnish options: garnish with fresh basil or fresh parsley.

  • Author: Northern Yum
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 meatball
  • Calories: 73
  • Sugar: 0.4 g
  • Sodium: 112.4 mg
  • Fat: 4.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 2.7 g
  • Protein: 4.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 24.8 mg

Keywords: meal idea, dinner

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