These kid-friendly, Italian-inspired, mini meatballs are baked, not fried. Serve alongside spaghetti, in soup, or with a big salad for an easy weeknight dinner the whole family will adore!
Hello, mini meatballs! These don't last very long in my house because everyone- especially my toddler- adores them. They are ready in a jiffy...just mix together all the ingredients, shape into little meatballs and bake. 12 minutes is the perfect amount of time for a crispy outside and a tender inside.
These meatballs would taste fantastic with marinara sauce, or Swedish-style meatballs sauce, but they're also quite good solo. The reason being: they are loaded with flavor thanks to parm (inside!), garlic powder, and grated onion.
Because they aren't fried, they're not greasy, not oily, and leave you feeling light as a feather. Also, there is no oil-splattered stove to deal with after the fact. Win, win!
Oh, and the other big secret here is baking the meatballs on a cooling rack (on top of a baking sheet) as opposed to directly on the baking sheet. Booya! This means circulation over and under the meat, even-cooking, and allows all the extra fat to drip off! It's a really genius tip that I learned after baking chicken wings, and have applied here too.
Let me show you how I make them.
MINI MEATBALLS INGREDIENTS:
- Ground Beef: I really like using grass-fed and grass-finished beef with a 20% fat ratio. High quality meat really does make all the difference and is worth the extra cost. Read more about grass-finished meat here.
- Egg: To hold it all together.
- Onion: Whether it's meatballs or matzo balls, grated onion is the secret ingredient for flavor and moisture. I like to use a sweet vidalia onion, but any white onion will do.
- Breadcrumbs or Panko: To bind the mixture together! I prefer panko personally, but use what you have.
- Parmesan: Adding parmesan cheese directly into the meat adds a really lovely flavor all throughout. Umami! If you are kosher and don't mix milk and meat, you can swap parmesan with nutritional yeast.
- Extra-virgin Olive Oil: I like to add 1-2 tbsp directly into the meat mixture because olive oil adds both a robust flavor and keeps the meat extra moist. Sorry for anyone who hates that word.
- Garlic Powder: Or two cloves, minced.
- Salt: Kosher please! I don't add black pepper to these meatballs b/c my daughter doesn't love the flavor, but feel free to add some pep in too!
- Oil Spray: Keeps things nice and nonstick. You can also use a pastry brush to coat the cooling rack and meatballs before baking.
HOW TO MAKE THESE MINI MEATBALLS
- Preheat: Your oven to 400ºF
- Combine your meatball mixture: Add all of your ingredients (except the oil spray) to a big bowl and gently mix. Make sure you don't overdo it as that makes meatballs dense. A light touch is critical here!
- Scoop: Use a tablespoon measuring spoon to scoop even meatballs.
- Shape: Wet your hands with some water and roll the meatballs so they are nice and round.
- Prep your baking rack: Line a baking sheet with a cooling rack and spray with oil spray. Then top with your meatballs- space them as far apart as possible- and spray them again.
- Bake: Set your timer and bake for 12 minutes! That's it!
I hope you enjoy these meatballs as much as I do! See full details below and feel free to comment with any feedback, questions, or raving reviews 😉Print
These Italian-style mini meatballs are baked, not fried! They are tender and pack a real punch thanks to parmesan cheese right inside. Serve on top of spaghetti, as a simple appetizer, or enjoy alongside salad for a healthy, filling dinner
1 lb. ground beef (85/15 or 80/20)
1/4 cup panko or breadcrumbs
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup grated onion (about 1/4 large onion)
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp garlic powder
Oil spray of some sort
- Preheat your oven to 400ºF
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then top with a cooling rack. Spray the rack with oil.
- Mix all of the ingredients everything together gently except the oil spray. Be careful not to over-mix as that will make your meatballs tough.
- Use a tablespoon measure to scoop out as many meatballs as you can make.
- Roll meat into little balls, wetting your hands in between if they begin to stick. Spread evenly on the baking pan, then spray again with oil.
- Bake for 12 minutes.
- Remove and enjoy!
- Category: Meat, Appetizers
- Method: Oven Baked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: meatballs, mini meatballs, baked meatballs