Tasty baked meatballs are ready fast. Made without breadcrumbs, they are low carb, gluten-free, and one of my go-to weeknight dinners because everyone loves them.
Whenever I’m short on time, or not sure what to make for dinner, I take a package of vacuum-sealed ground beef out of the fridge – I always have a few since they keep for so long – and make these tasty and easy meatballs.
I’m a big fan of baking. It’s a hands-off cooking method that requires far less attention and vigilance than frying. I quite detest frying and try to do it as seldom as possible.
Can you bake meatballs in the oven?
Absolutely! These are my go-to weeknight dinner. They are so easy to make. And they are ready fast, which is perfect on a weeknight.
This is an easy, basic recipe. A nice variation is these cheese-stuffed meatballs which are fabulous, but not as easy to make.
The ingredients you’ll need
You’ll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty recipe (the exact measurements are included in the recipe card below):
For the baked meatballs:
Lean ground beef: I use a mixture of 85% lean meat and 15% fat. Leaner than that is too dry, in my opinion.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you might want to reduce the amount you use. A teaspoon of kosher salt weighs less than a teaspoon of regular salt.
Spices: Garlic powder and onion powder. Make sure they are fresh! A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
Grated Parmesan cheese: Make sure you use finely grated parmesan and not coarsely shredded.
For the sauce:
Unsweetened ketchup: Product link included in the recipe card below. I get it either at Whole Foods or on Amazon.
Maple syrup: Or use a sugar-free alternative if you prefer.
Soy sauce: I use reduced-sodium soy sauce in most of my recipes. I find that traditional soy sauce is too salty. Obviously, you can also use a gluten-free alternative.
Spices: Garlic powder and cayenne pepper.
How to bake meatballs
It’s a truly easy recipe. Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Mix together the meatball ingredients and form into meatballs.
Bake them for 15 minutes at 400°F. For juicy meatballs, make sure you don’t overbake them.
Gently heat the sauce ingredients in a saucepan. Add the meatballs to the sauce and toss to coat. That’s it!
Do you need a sauce or a glaze?
The meatballs are very good served plain, without any sauce or glaze. They are tasty and well-seasoned. But the glaze is so quick and easy, that I usually do make it. It does add a nice flavor to the dish.
What to serve with them?
Anything, really. These baked meatballs are so versatile. I like to serve them on top of cauliflower rice, to absorb the yummy sauce. And then I like to add a green veggie, such as any of the following:
Can I double this recipe?
Absolutely! If you need to feed a crowd, this recipe scales beautifully. I often double it to ensure I have tasty leftovers for several days.
What about leftovers?
Leftovers of this recipe are great, gently reheated in the microwave on 50% power, or even cold. You can keep them in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days.
I actually enjoy them cold. One of my favorite lunches is a plate of cold leftover meatballs, hard-boiled eggs, Dijon mustard, fresh-cut veggies, and quick pickles.
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- 1 lb. 85% lean ground beef
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (can omit if paleo)
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened ketchup
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup or a low carb alternative
- 1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce (or use a gluten-free alternative and add salt as needed)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, use your hands to mix together the meatball ingredients.
- Form the mixture into 20 meatballs. I find it easiest to shape the mixture into a log, slice it into five slices, then divide each slice into four.
- Place the shaped meatballs on the prepared baking sheet, not touching each other. Bake 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, whisk together the sauce ingredients. 5 minutes before meatballs should be done, heat the sauce gently over medium-low heat. If the sauce seems too thick, add a tablespoon or two of water.
- When meatballs are done, use tongs to transfer them to the sauce. Gently toss to coat. Serve immediately.
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Calories 274; fat 18g; saturated fat 8g; carbs 2g; sugars 0g; sodium 627mg; fiber 0g; protein 23g.