Family Favorite Basic Meatballs

Total Time
Prep 25 mins
Cook 25 mins

I found this recipe in a cooking magazine that I pick up occasionally. My family loves these with pasta, and they're great in meatball subs with fresh tomato sauce (recipe posted separately). No frying required, either.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
  • 34 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated (Romano may be substituted. For best flavor, splurge on a chunk of cheese rather than use the caniste)
  • 12 cup whole milk
  • 12 cup beef broth (the low sodium variety is recommended)
  • 12 cup chopped parsley (fresh, not dried)
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground pepper (I recommend fresh ground for better flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (I usually cut this in half since most of my family is very spice-sensitive)
  • 1 pinch nutmeg (fresh grated is best)
  • 2 lbs ground chuck (80-85% is good. I don't recommend using very low fat beef for these, they won't have the right textu)
  • 1 cup beef broth


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Stir together first 13 ingredients (bread crumbs to nutmeg) in a large bowl.
  3. Add the meat and mix thoroughly (I use a fork to mix, to prevent overhandling the meat). Shape meat mixture into 2-inch balls, approximately 1 1/2 oz each by weight (I like to use a #30 scoop to portion them out, then I roll them into balls by hand).
  4. Spray a shallow pan (such as a baking sheet with an edge all around) with nonstick cooking spray. Place meatballs on the prepared pan, taking care not to crowd them or let them touch).
  5. Pour the 1 cup of beef broth into the bottom of the pan (make sure bottom of pan is covered). Bake for 25 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through.
  6. Reserve the pan juices to make the tomato sauce (recipe posted separately).


Most Helpful

Great flavor in these meatballs, and so easy to make! We really loved the spiciness. With the parmesan being salty, I would cut back a little on the salt next time, but this is a solid 5 star recipe.

PanNan June 01, 2011

Great tasting meatballs! The spices were spot on and we really enjoyed them in our spaghetti. I added them to recipe #138252 in place of the ground beef in that recipe. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe! **Made for Culinary Quest - Suitcase Gourmets**

Bayhill August 24, 2014

Yummy meatballs and very similar to our family meatball recipe. I made 1/2 of the recipe and made as written with the exception that I didn't add the basil, oregano and garlic to the meat mixture, but instead added it to the tomato sauce mixture that I made with the meatballs. I only made 4 meatballs for myself and then saved the rest of the meat mixture to use for more meatballs or a meatloaf in the future. I topped my pasta and meatballs with more fresh grated Parmesan cheese and served with garlic bread and salad, yummy!!! Made for CQ 2014. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

diner524 August 22, 2014

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