These homemade meatballs are tender and delicious. They are perfect for sandwiches, spaghetti and more. You can bake them ahead and freeze them for later too!
Meatballs are a classic meaty main dish that is relatively easy to put together and super delicious. Done right, they are tender, flavorful and perfect on pasta.
They are also great in sub sandwiches. This recipe came from my aunt and is a family favorite!
When I mentioned that I was going to collect family recipes to try, this was one of the recipes my mom suggested I ask for. Apparently Marlene makes the best meatballs!
So, I asked for the recipe and she delivered last night. I decided today was the day to make them, so I got out the paper and set out to make meatballs.
This should be easy I thought. It is a family favorite recipe, so all I have to do is follow it to a T and take a few pictures. So, imagine my surprise when I opened the paper to find the following:
Marlene’s Handwritten Meatball Recipe
- 1 egg
- Italian seasoning
- Parmesan cheese
- 350 F for 20 min
What?! Wait, where are the measurements? So, I sent a text to my mom.
Do you have the measurements? She dug out her version of the meatballs, and Marlene has specifically written that there are no measurements, she just eyeballs it.
Now, I completely understand that. I normally cook in exactly that way. I just add a bit of this and a dash of that until it feels right.
But, I know not everyone cooks that way. So, I guessed and measure and this is what I ended up with.
Tips for making tender meatballs:
- You will get the best flavor if you don’t use super lean ground beef. Somewhere in the middle of the fat to lean ratio will taste better and be more tender.
- Chilling the ingredients before you mix and form the meatballs makes for better meatballs.
- Don’t overwork the meat when mixing.
- Don’t pack the meatballs too tight. You want them to hold together, but you don’t have to squeeze too hard!
- If the mixture is sticking to your hands, try oiling them first. Or use a cookie scoop to get evenly sized meatballs.
They come out of the oven smelling delicious! I made up a recipe of Sunday Gravy just for these beauties.
The smell of both together is intoxicating. I hope I can wait until dinner to try one!
Drop them into a batch of homemade tomato sauce or simply simmer them in a jar of pasta sauce. You can’t go wrong!
For a fun twist on meatballs, try LD’s recipe for breakfast meatballs. They are perfect alongside pancakes, waffles or eggs.
Marlene’s Homemade Meatballs
- 1 lb ground hamburger or venison
- ½ onion diced
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup oatmeal
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano chopped
- ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Mix all ingredients until just combined
- Form into 1 1/2 inch meatballs, being careful not to pack them too hard
- Place meatballs in a rimmed baking sheet or 9×13 pan and bake for 20 minutes