Mary's Baked Italian Meatballs

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 20 mins

Buttermilk is the surprising secret for these flavorful meatballs! This is an adaptation from Cook's Illustrated's Pasta book. These are juicy and tender but lean, and ready to plop into your favorite sauce.


  1. In a food processor, mince garlic.
  2. Add onion, and pulse to chop.
  3. Add bread slices, crumbled, and pulse to shred.
  4. Add buttermilk, pulse, and let stand until liquid is absorbed.
  5. Add red pepper flakes, salt, Parmesan cheese, egg, parlsey and pepper, and pulse to mix.
  6. Add ground beef, pulse till thoroughly mixed.
  7. Form into meatballs 1-1/2 to 2 inches in diameter.
  8. They will be soft (it makes about 20 meatballs or so).
  9. Place on a foil-lined 10 x 15 jelly roll pan.
  10. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.
Most Helpful

I have tried making meatballs before, but these were the best meatballs I have ever made!
The meatballs very delicious and tender and the recipe was so simple, I think the buttermilk makes all the differences.

ShortieOne January 07, 2013

Wow - fabulous meatballs! Tender and delicious!

mandagirl August 03, 2009

I intended to make the meatballs, honestly I did, but ran short of time. Substituted one tablespoon of dried Italian Herb seasoning for the parsley as I was out of parsley, and left out the parmesan as I was out of that too. I doubled the recipe and made two meatloaves instead of meatballs to use for this week's work lunch sandwiches (on whole grain bread with ketchup). I ate the first sandwich hot from the oven and that was delicious. They are less noteworthy at room temperature but still quite good. Thank you for the tasty recipe.

Heirloom Tomato May 12, 2009