Carla's Basic Meatballs

"A snap to make and a breeze to freeze! This is a basic recipe for meatballs suitable for all uses. Feel free to be creative and add any additional spices or flavors you need to suit your tastes."
photo by Jonathan Melendez photo by Jonathan Melendez
photo by Jonathan Melendez
photo by Jonathan Melendez photo by Jonathan Melendez
photo by Jonathan Melendez photo by Jonathan Melendez
photo by vajefferson photo by vajefferson
photo by IBikeNYC photo by IBikeNYC
Ready In:
12 meatballs




  • Mix ground beef, egg, onion, carrots, breadcrumbs, milk, Worcestershire sauce, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste together.
  • Shape mixture by Tablespoonfuls into 1-1/2-inch balls.
  • Place the meatballs in a lightly greased 13x9x2-inch or 15-1/2x9-1/2x1-inch baking dish.
  • Bake, uncovered, in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven until light brown, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Drain off any excess fat.
  • Use meatballs as desired.

  • Cover and allow meatballs to cool slightly before freezing. No special equipment is needed in the preparation for freezing. Ziplock bags work fine for me. Allow meatballs to thaw about 30 minutes at room temperature before using. Use as desired with your favorite recipes.

Questions & Replies

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  1. this recipe took no time at of 20 min maybe. However it wasn't amazing..i think oven cooked meatballs taste dry. Regardless of the fact, on this particular day this easy recipe came in handy.
  2. This is an excellent basic meatball recipe. I left the onions out due to an onion-phobic teenage son, and added garlic powder to goose it up a little. I'm sure the addition of the onions would perk these up even more. Easy, tasty, and fast.
  3. very quick recipe! These were pretty good, though a little dry from the oven (I used extra lean hamburger) This would be rectified once they were served with a sauce, though. I also used triple the amount of worcestershire sauce though and next time would add a little horseradish, too. Will use again, thanks for posting.
  4. My family loves these meatballs!!
  5. These were easy, fast and nice and juicy. I used 85% lean beef. Next time I will add garlic, chopped bell pepper and maybe some oregano to jazz them up a bit.


  1. I was looking for a really basic meatball that would go well with "whatever" I decided to make when I pulled them out of the freezer. I made these and browned them in clarified butter instead of the oil and used cracker crumbs in place of the breadcrumbs. I browned them until "just done" to freeze. They aren't over seasoned but taste great so whatever I make I can use these without conflicting flavor. Update: May 23, 2016 I still use this recipe when I make meatballs. I use parsley and panko instead of Italian seasoned bread crumbs because I like really basic meatballs so I can use them in whatever I get a taste for. They really freeze well and I love them with teriyaki sauce but that doesn't mix well with Italian flavor. Still one of my favorite recipes for quick and easy meals. Thanks again. :)
  2. I did add some minced garlic and Italian seasoning and a little extra Worcestershire sauce...mmmmm.....fantastic...
  3. I think the perfect way to describe these is, "Plain, but NOT bland." I wanted meatballs that were well-seasoned and (of course!) tasty but "neutral" enough to go with different kinds of flavors. My objective was to make a giant batch to keep in the freezer. This recipe is just perfect! I made them using four pounds of beef and one of pork; panko instead of regular crumbs; heavy cream instead of the milk; and otherwise just proportionately-more of the other ingredients. I'd never before done meatballs in the oven and will never do them any other way! I ended up with 100, but only about 70 made it into the freezer that night! They thaw beautifully and are delicious plain; with Italian sauces; with beef or mushroom gravy; and with mayo or Russian dressing. I think they'd be great with Indian or Thai curry, turned into Swedish meatballs, or just dunked into ketchup!
  4. Great recipe! I used a few shakes of montreal steak seasoning and garlic powder instead of plain salt & pepper. I also cooked these in the skillet on the stovetop instead of baking, to me it seemed faster. This made ~ 20 meatballs for me. Will use again. Thanks!
  5. These were great! I was out of milk - hard to believe that happened in a house with two toddlers - so I used buttermilk instead. Next time I'll use milk and see which I like better. They were flavorful and tender, not too onion-y tasting and not over spiced, as some meatballs tend to be. This is a definite keeper!


<p><br /> <br />My most used and favorite cookbook is the 1946 edition of Fannie Farmer's Boston Cooking School handed down to me from my Mother. <br /> <br />My most favorite kitchen utensils are a set of Johnson &amp; Wales knives given to me by my mother, a professional chef. <br /> <br />I enjoy traveling to exotic places, trying new foods and bringing home rare ingredients to expirement with. <br /> <br />I work fulltime as a lab technician for a local diagnostic center. In addition to that, during my free time I'm either at the gym, listening to music, tending to my herb garden and/or trying out new recipes &amp; ideas in the kitchen. <br /> <br />I am a classically trained singer and musician, passionate about music. <br /> <br />My favourite thing to do is sit outside in my garden with my husband, a glass of wine, good food, music &amp; a few good friends. <br /> <br /><img src= alt= /> <img src= border=0 alt=Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting /></p>
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