Easy Homemade Meatballs

40 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Easy Homemade Meatballs made in just 30 minutes that are moist, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

Perfect for all your meatball recipes, and easy to freeze! We love easy ground beef recipes like my Easy Classic Beef Meatloaf and this recipe is one of my classic Dinner Recipes you’ll want in your back pocket!

Easy Beef Meatballs


Easy Homemade Meatballs are one of the core recipes you’ll LOVE having in your back pocket. For us meatballs are an easy way to quickly make dinner and we’ve leaned on them for the school year because they also work well with meal prepping.

People have emailed me asking how to make meatballs without breadcrumbs in the past and recently I’d been referring them to the Swedish Meatballs post, but to give more details about why, the soaked bread (yes, like regular sliced bread) adds a good amount of extra moisture to your meatballs. Instead of hydrating super dry breadcrumbs, the bread itself has moisture too.

How long do you cook meatballs in tomato sauce?

  • If fully uncooked you can add them (in a covered pot) on a low-medium heat for 25-30 minutes.
  • If already browned you can simmer them for 10 minutes.
  • If frozen and raw cook them (in a covered pot) on on medium heat for 30-35 minutes.
  • If frozen, but you’ve just browned them, cook them (in a covered pot) on medium heat for 15 minutes.


How to Make Homemade Baked Meatballs:

  • Add beef, milk, onion, butter, bread, eggs and spices to a large bowl.
  • Mix the ingredients together until just combined.
  • Roll the meat into 2 tablespoon sized balls.
  • Once the meatballs have been rolled, place them on a pan in a single layer (not touching).
  • Bake the meatballs in a preheated oven (400 degrees) for 18-22 minutes.

The PERFECT easy homemade meatballs you can freeze ahead or add different mix-ins!

Tips for Easy Homemade Meatballs:

  • Keep the seasonings simple, this gives you the most flexibility when cooking them with different sauces.
  • Instead of adding breadcrumbs to the mixture, I add milk soaked bread; this adds to the moisture.
  • Freeze the meatballs before they’re browned which keeps the shape of them as you brown them. They finish cooking through in the sauce.
  • To make large batches I use an ice cream scoop, lightly roll and place onto a cookie sheet.
  • Line with parchment paper and freeze on a full cookie sheet. You can break them apart and freeze in dinner sized portions.
  • You can brown them as much as you’d like, then simmer them slowly in your desired sauce to finish.

Why cook meatballs from frozen?

  • They brown evenly and maintain their ball shape and don’t cook down into sort of lumpy looking rocks.
  • They keep their interior moistness as they are still only about half cooked in the middle by the time the gravy is added.
  • They take almost no time at all to cook the day you want to make them because its a matter of cook the meatballs for 5-7 minutes, add gravy and serve with either mashed potatoes or pasta.

Make ahead for meal planning and freeze, these homemade meatballs are a total breeze and perfect for busy weeknight meals.

I’m listing below a bunch of different mix-ins, but don’t worry this is actually a short list for upcoming meatballs recipes on the blog! And they all start with this same meatball base.

Make these homemade meatballs unique with different flavors:

  • Homemade Italian Meatballs: To the recipe add ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning and 3 minced cloves of garlic.
  • Salisbury Steak Meatballs: To the recipe add ¼ cup brown mustard, ¼ cup ketchup and 2 teaspoons beef better than bouillon base to the meatballs.
  • Greek Meatballs: use olive oil instead of butter, add 3 cloves minced garlic, swap half the meat for lamb if you’d like, 1 tablespoon each of oregano, coriander, cumin and ½ tablespoon of cinnamon
  • Perfect Swedish Meatballs
  • Korean Beef Meatballs: Add 1 tablespoon minced garlic and 1 tablespoon minced ginger with 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 2 tablespoons brown sugar with only 3 tablespoons milk instead of ⅓ cup.

Easy Homemade Meatballs close up

Tools Used in the making of these Swedish Meatballs:
Meatballer: The less you handle ground meat the less the heat of your hands will break down the fat in the meat making a tougher meatball/burger/etc.
Ice Cream Scoop: If working in bulk it can be easier to use an ice cream scoop, scoop a bunch quickly then roll them all at one time.
Cast Iron Skillet: This is my most used pan in my kitchen, heavy, keeps heat well and gives the BEST sear ever.
Kosher Salt: Different than regular table salt, I don’t bake with this but I almost always season with this while cooking. Lower sodium, but still better flavor.



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Easy Homemade Meatballs

Easy Homemade Meatballs made in just 20 minutes that are moist, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Quick to make and easy to freeze!
Yield 40 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 3 slices bread
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion , minced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter , (4 tablespoons if cooking immediately)
  • 2 pounds ground beef , (80/20)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce


  • In the bowl of your stand mixer add the milk to the slices of bread.
  • Melt the butter in a pan and add the minced yellow onions.
  • Cook them on medium low until translucent but not browned.
  • Remove from heat and let cool.
  • In your bowl with the milk soaked bread add the rest of the meatball ingredients including the cooked onions.
  • Mix it on low until the bread is broken apart and the meat is combined with the ingredients (using the stand mixer and not your hands helps keep the mixture cold and tender).
  • Using a meatballer/ice cream scoop or your hands scoop them into balls about the size of a ping pong ball.
  • Freeze on a cookie sheet if possible.
  • If cooking immediately, add the rest of your butter to your skillet and cook on medium high on all sides for a total of 4-5 minutes.
  • Remove the meatballs from the pan and serve with your favorite sauce.


Serving: 5g | Calories: 56kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 61mg | Potassium: 87mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 35IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 0.6mg

Easy Beef Meatballs collage

Easy Homemade Meatballs made in just 20 minutes that are moist, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Perfect for all your meatball recipes, and easy to freeze!
The PERFECT easy homemade meatballs you can freeze ahead or add different mix-ins!

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. Super yummy. I had to substitute gluten-free oats (3/4 cup) for the bread.
    I also added some dried mushroom powder, dried green onion top powder and dried garlic scape powder, plus a spoonful of my homemade tomato paste. I did this to use them up, not because of need.

    My mom dies not like meatballs but really liked these. They were moist and the flavor was great.

  2. Great recipe! I’m making these for your garlic meatball bites. Thank You for sharing your talents with someone(me) who doesn’t always make food my man likes. I try and keep trying! Been cooking since I was a kid( with a talented Mom to teach me). Some things I like, some things he likes. 🙂 Have a Great Day!

  3. Just made a 1/2 batch as a test. SO easy! Cooked one to taste…oh wow! This is now my go-to recipe for meatballs. Can’t wait to try Italian and other seasonings. Thanks!

  4. not clear on the freeze/cook/use cycle. I want to make these ahead, even precook them, then freeze them for later use. But not freeze them raw (which requires more cook time when I need them) and want to be food.safe. So, what are the steps for this then please? scoop into balls, brown and cook all the way? or partially and if so, to what point? or soemthing else? thanks!

    1. You’ll want to cook them all the way, let them cool down and freeze. I like to flash freeze mine on a baking sheet for about and hour and then store them in freezer-safe storage bags. It helps to keep their shape better. Hope this helps!

    1. You’ll want to freeze them about an hour before cooking. If you don’t have time, just start with a lower heat to brown to help maintain the roundness. Enjoy!!

  5. There are so many delicious ways you can enjoy meatballs! And everyone seems to love them right?! These look so delicious! Saving!