Going back to the basics here on LLK this week with my Easy Broiled Italian Meatballs. I love this recipe because the meatballs turn out so light, moist, and flavorful with very minimal effort. The meatballs are cooked start to finish in the same dish so cleanup is easy. Over the years, I’ve found there are a couple of secrets that make meatballs extra delicious. Let me tell you how I make them.
I start with lean ground beef and add in salt and seasonings. I like using Panko style bread crumbs because they make the meatballs lighter and less dense in texture as compared to traditional bread crumbs. I also like adding some sour cream. This helps bind the bread crumbs and locks in the moisture rather than allowing the juices to bubble out while they bake. It also helps tenderize the meat and adds just a bit of tang. I got this idea from Katya and her Sheet Pan Chicken Parmesan Meatballs which are amazing!
In order to help the meatballs develop a nice golden crust on the outside without standing over a skillet turning them constantly, I like to coat them with a bit of avocado oil just after I shape and place them in the baking dish. Not only does this keep them from sticking, but encourages browning which adds a nice flavor and locks in the juices. You can use your favorite oil, as long as the flavor is neutral and it can take the high heat of the broiler.
Once the meatballs have a golden brown crust on both sides, I pour a jar of good quality marinara sauce over the top, and then turn the oven down to 375 degrees so that the sauce can heat up and the meatballs can finish cooking. Rao’s makes a great, full-flavored, somewhat chunky marinara sauce that I love. I buy it at Costco, of course.
You can serve these meatballs over pasta with fresh Parmesan and basil, or on a roll to make a meatball sandwich. So delicious!
These Easy Broiled Italian Meatballs are a very forgiving and versatile recipe. You can use any combination of Italian seasonings you love and have on hand. You could use (1 tablespoon) fresh garlic and (1/4 cup) fresh onion rather than dried, or you could use ground chicken or turkey in place of the ground beef. Sometimes classic recipes are just the comfort food we are craving, and I hope this method is helpful to you.
Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #lovelylittlekitchen
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- 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup panko style bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 2 heaping tablespoons sour cream
- 1–2 tablespoons oil
- 28 ounce jar pasta sauce
- Spray a 9 by 13 inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- Add ground beef, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, dried basil, Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, milk, egg, and sour cream to a large bowl and mix together gently until completely combined.
- Scoop the meat mixture into 18 balls, and place in a 9 by 13 inch baking dish. Drizzle oil over the meatballs, and then turn to coat all sides of the meatballs with the oil.
- Place the dish into the oven and turn to full broil. Broil for about 8 minutes, and when the meatballs are golden brown, remove the pan from the oven briefly to turn the meatballs over. Return the pan to the oven and broil another 8 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Pour the sauce over the meatballs, and then turn the oven down to 375 degrees. Cook until the sauce is just starting to bubble and the meatballs are cooked through, about 15 minutes.
- Serve with pasta and Parmesan cheese, or with rolls for meatball sandwiches.
- Serving Size: 1 Serving
- Calories: 474
- Sugar: 8.9g
- Sodium: 1457mg
- Fat: 23g
- Saturated Fat: 7.1g
- Unsaturated Fat: 12.2g
- Trans Fat: 0.5g
- Carbohydrates: 26g
- Fiber: 3.7g
- Protein: 39g
- Cholesterol: 139mg