Looking for an easy recipe for homemade meatballs in the oven? Sure, you can just throw them in sauce but baked meatballs keep their shape and texture and bring so much more to the sauce. I was inspired by Daniele Uditi at Pizzana (specifically, by his appearance on The Chef Show) to try his baked meatballs at home. The result is our staple baked meatball recipe.

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I don’t have a searing wood-fired pizza oven, but that’s not a deal-breaker. Baking at the highest possible heat and simmering in a sauce, I can get close to the flavor and texture of authentic Napoli meatballs in the oven.

Plate of bake meatballs for baked meatball recipe - swirled on top of spaghetti with Parmesan on top

This baked meatball recipe scales beautifully and fills our freezer. You can freeze the meatballs after the oven sear, or not. Remember you still have to cook them in the sauce – they aren’t safely done until you do. You can go from the freezer to the hot sauce, just be careful and add simmer time.

Oven Meatballs – Recipe Notes

  • Customize the recipe using any chili paste you like (we’ve experimented with barbecue sauces and curry pastes), any herbs or spices with or in place of the parsley, and you can serve baked meatballs with whatever pasta sauce your family loves.
  • You can substitute lamb, veal, turkey, or other ground meats for the sausage but try for something with similar fat content. If not, the baked meatballs won’t sear properly and may shrink.
  • You can use Romano with or instead of Parmesan, but don’t substitute regular breadcrumbs for Panko. You need the body to bake meatballs in the oven that will hold up to a simmer. Breadcrumbs won’t do it.
  • You can, however, substitute crushed Rice Chex or other thick rice cereals for the Panko if you need a gluten-free meatball recipe.
  • The milk is optional, it just helps with mixing.
  • Check out our simple meat sauce to simmer, it goes beautifully with the meatballs. Leave out the ground meat (and veg and mushrooms if you like, it works either way).

Let’s Make Baked Meatballs in the Oven, Buon Appetito!

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5 from 1 vote

Baked Meatballs Recipe

I watched Daniele Uditi make his Chef Show meatballs baked in the oven at Pizzana and we've come up with a great dupe!
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 12 meatballs


  • 1 tbs ghee or clarified butter important – oil will burn
  • 1 pound 93% lean ground beef
  • 1/2 pound Italian sausage mild or hot, remove casings
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp chili paste optional, for flavor
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha or other chili sauce optional, for flavor
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano finely grated
  • 2 cups Panko bread crumbs
  • 4 cups sauce tomato, marinara, or pasta sauce


  • Preheat oven to 550 degrees Fahrenheit; grease sheet pan with ghee or clarified butter.
  • Mix beef, sausage, and eggs thoroughly by hand in large mixing bowl.
  • Add remaining ingredients, mix by hand until fully incorporated.
  • Place meatballs on sheet pans with at least 1/2 inch between (weigh 45g or make by hand approximately the size of golf balls).
  • Place in oven, do not open for 10 minutes. NOTE – They are not done at this point. You must simmer them in a sauce.
  • Remove and carefully place in simmering pasta sauce (enough to cover); simmer for one hour.

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