Cooking for a Crowd,  Dinner,  Italian,  Meat,  Pasta,  Recipes

Roasted Meatballs

I have never been one for frying meatballs (too messy!), so I am constantly tinkering around with baking meatballs instead. This recipe was inspired by Ina Garten’s new cookbook. I have always baked my meatballs, but usually at a low temperature. I still make meatballs that way from time to time, but I really appreciate the speed with which these meatballs come together. The additional breadcrumbs and higher heat help the meatballs keep their shape and cooks them all the way through…then all you need is a quick simmer in the sauce and dinner is ready!

Have a few extra minutes? Make my delicious marinara sauce!

Marinara Sauce

Roasted Meatballs
Author: Kate Wagner
Serves: about 50 meatballs
If your family is anything like mine, everyone has certain foods they like better than others. I thought it would be fun to show you my kid’s plates – so take a look and see if your family resembles mine! By the way, this recipe makes a lot of meatballs…which freeze beautifully, so go ahead and put some meatballs in the dinner bank (i.e. freezer). Happy cooking!
  • 4 Eggs, large, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup Yogurt, whole milk Greek
  • 1 1/2 cups Red wine, dry
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 4 tsp Minced garlic
  • 2 tsp Oregano, dried
  • 2 cups Grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving
  • 4 cups Breadcrumbs, fresh or Panko
  • 2 1/2 – 2 3/4 lbs Meat mixture (a blend of sirloin, veal and pork) (see note)
  • 2 (32 oz) jars of Marinara sauce (good quality, homemade is even better)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Make sure oven racks are in the upper and lower positions. Line two sheet pans with aluminum foil.
  2. Place eggs, yogurt and red wine in a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
  3. Add Kosher salt, minced garlic, oregano, Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Mix throughly (the reason you want to mix completely before adding the meatloaf mixture is because you never want to overmix the meat – it will toughen the meatballs).
  4. Add the meat mixture to the bowl and gently mix with your hands until all ingredients are combined.
  5. Measure out enough meat mixture to form a 2 inch ball (an ice cream scoop is really helpful here) and place each ball 1 inch apart on the sheet pans.
  6. Transfer sheet pans to the oven, starting one pan on the upper rack and one pan on the lower rack. Your total cooking time with be between 20 – 30 minutes, you will want the meatballs to be lightly browned, After 10 – 12 minutes, switch the positions of your sheet pans so that the meatballs can cook evenly.
  7. Meanwhile, in large pot add the marinara sauce and simmer until heated through.
  8. Add browned meatballs and simmer until flavors are melded, 10 – 15 minutes.
  9. Serve on top of spaghetti or polenta or even on its own. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Meatball / meatloaf mixture comes in a package that is generally in packages of 1 1/4 or 1 1/3 lbs. So, that’s why I called for a specific pound range, I am figuring on you buying two packages of the meat mix. If you are making meatloaf in the spring or summer, you won’t find the mix in the store. In that situation, I buy ground beef and ground pork (it’s hard to find ground veal so I just skip it). The meatloaf is still fantastic!


D’s plate: he loves the meatballs and noodles, but he’s not a fan of sauce
T’s plate: he LOVES my meatballs (he starts eating them right off the pan) but he’s not a noodle guy
R’s plate: this one’s the most balanced, but she really just wants to get to the noodles

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