Meatloaf Meatballs

25 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Meatloaf Meatballs are tasty, bite-sized meatloaves with a sweet ketchup sauce. Baked meatballs are a quick and easy weeknight dinner or holiday appetizer!

Craving comfort food like Classic Meatloaf, but short on time? You’ll love this easy, hearty Main Dish made in just 30 minutes!

Meatloaf Meatballs on plate with mashed potatoes and green beans


Meatballs are an ultimate jack-of-all-trades recipe – they can be dinner, an appetizer, lunchbox meal prep, or a snack. You can throw meatballs in a hoagie for a sandwich or keep them in a crockpot with sauce for an easy party dish. There are almost as many ways to make meatballs as there are ways to serve them.

These Meatloaf Meatballs are comfort food meets convenience. They have the same tasty flavors as your favorite meatloaf recipes you grew up with but in a bite-sized portion perfect any time you need a meaty dish quick. In less than 30 minutes, you can have a main dish, appetizer, or meal prep for later. You may never go back to making regular meatloaf again!

Meatloaf Meatballs trio of prep steps

You can serve Meatloaf Meatballs just like you would a traditional meatloaf with classic sides like Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans. Leftover meatballs would make the ultimate meatloaf sub on Garlic Bread and smothered in Marinara Sauce and provolone cheese. Portion out meatballs with Brown Rice and freeze up to 3 months for a ready to serve healthy meal prep.


Tips for Making Meatloaf Meatballs

  • You don’t want to handle the meat mixture too much, or you will end up with tough, dry meatballs. You want mix just enough to combine your meatball ingredients.
  • Rolling Meatloaf Meatballs is certainly fun, especially for kids, but you can handle them too much trying to get them all the same size. Use a cookie scoop to make Meatloaf Meatballs uniform so they all cook evenly and keep you from packing the meat mixture too tight.
  • Another way to keep from over-mixing or handling your meat mixture too much is to mix the dry ingredients first and whisk the egg a few times before adding everything together.
  • If you want to lessen the onion flavor, sauté the minced onion and garlic for a couple minutes, until just soft and fragrant, before adding to the meatball mixture.

Meatloaf Meatballs in baking dish


  • Meat: You can use a traditional meatloaf mixture of 1 part ground beef and ½ parts ground veal and ground pork. To use leaner meat, like ground turkey or ground chicken, add 1 tablespoon olive oil to keep the meat juicy.
  • Bacon: Wrap your meatballs in a slice of raw bacon or add cooked bacon crumbles to the meatball mixture. Instead of the meatloaf sauce, try maple syrup and dijon mustard as a glaze with the bacon.
  • Seasonings: Add up to ½ cup minced veggies like celery, carrots, or green bell peppers. Other classic meatloaf seasonings you can add are Italian herbs, onion soup mix, and parsley.
  • Sauce: Double the meatloaf sauce and reserve half for serving, either with the meatballs in a crockpot or heat the sauce on the stovetop. Use your favorite Barbecue Sauce in place of ketchup, or use half ketchup and half BBQ sauce.
  • Breadcrumbs: Any breadcrumbs will work, like panko breadcrumbs or Italian breadcrumbs. Try other meat binders like quick oats, diced bread soaked in milk, or crushed crackers. For low carb Meatloaf Meatballs, use crushed pork rinds.

Slow Cooker Meatloaf Meatballs

  • Spray slow cooker insert with cooking spray.
  • Double the sauce recipe ingredients and mix in a medium bowl. Pour half the sauce into the crockpot.
  • Prepare and shape the meatballs. Nestle meatballs in the sauce in slow cooker.
  • Top meatballs with remaining sauce. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours.
  • Optional: Transfer meatballs to baking sheet and broil for a few minutes before returning to sauce to serve.



  • Serve: These Meatloaf Meatballs can be at room temperature for up to 2 hours before they should be stored. You can keep Meatloaf Meatballs warm in a slow cooker for up to 4 hours.
  • Store: Cool Meatloaf Meatballs to room temperature before storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 
  • Freeze: Place Meatloaf Meatballs on a baking sheet and freeze for one hour. Transfer frozen meatballs to a sealed container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating Meatloaf Meatballs in the oven on low.

close-up of Meatloaf Meatballs in baking dish

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Meatloaf Meatballs

Meatloaf Meatballs are tasty, bite-sized meatloaves with a sweet ketchup sauce. Baked meatballs are a quick and easy weeknight dinner or holiday appetizer!
Yield 25 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder



  • 2 pounds ground beef , 90/10
  • 1/4 yellow onion , minced
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

Meatloaf Glaze:

  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a large bowl mix the ground beef, onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, eggs, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper until just combined.
  • Roll mixture into 25 meatballs and place into 9x13 baking dish.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  • Turn oven onto broil.
  • Glaze with sauce then broil until the sauce caramelizes, about 1 minute. (If you prefer not to broil, cook at 450 for 5 minutes)


Calories: 108kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 202mg | Potassium: 148mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 35IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg

Meatloaf Meatballs collage

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.

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  1. So yummy! I did use instant oatmeal instead of the breadcrumbs & also added a little chopped bell pepper- green. SAUCE IS GREAT!

  2. My second request how many meatballs does this make, the directions say to roll into 25 meatballs but the photos show 20 meatballs in the dish?

  3. Why does the recipe directions say to make 25 meatballs when all the photos show 20 meatballs? What size cookie scoop did you use?

    Thanks for a prompt reply!

    1. Sorry I missed this comment. It made me 25 but I recipe test as I go so I taste test the mixture as I go. I had twenty left to shoot but would’ve had 25 if I wasn’t testing. I use a cookie scoop, leveled.

  4. Made these with the Bacon wrapped variation and they turned out so good – the whole family loved them!

  5. Delicious! I subbed the breadcrumbs with almond meal for gluten free, but the flavor was great and I loved that I could put them on a sheet pan lined with parchment for easy clean up. Loved the glaze too! I will be putting these in my dinner rotation.