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Italian Meatballs: Scrumptious, Savory and Oh So Easy

I know you’re going to love these beefy, delicious homemade Italian meatballs with a mild spicy kick! They are bite-sized flavor bombs that work in all your family favorites.

scrumptious savory meatballs
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They’re extraordinary in spaghetti, tossed in my 30-minute Homemade Marinara Sauce, for snacking, in appetizer recipes and in creamy brown gravy. You’re going to love all the ways I show you to use them, like my hearty Meatball Stew.

While they certainly ARE scrumptious Italian meatballs, this post should almost be called “Meatballs, the Easy Way.”

At first glance, the ingredient list seems long, but with the exception of one, they’re common pantry ingredients (many of them seasonings) that come together in minutes!

Meatball Stew in an ivory stonware bowl. There's a spoon in the bowl and it's all sitting on a barn board table.

Homemade Italian meatballs taste better and are simple to make with this delicious, easy meatball recipe. Frozen Meatballs will always be on hand; now for your favorite recipes, too.

Theses scrumptious Italian meatballs are also baked, not pan-fried. So, there’s no standing over the stove rotating them in and out of the skillet.

They’re as simple to make as my Easy Meatloaf Recipe. And, the recipe makes a HUGE batch, so you have plenty to freeze for future meals. Saving meal-time prep in the future? You bet; I’m okay with that!

easy meatloaf served and sliced on a white platter with parsley garnish

Where’d This Italian Meatballs Recipe Come From?

My recipe was developed around ten years ago when our youngest requested spaghetti for her birthday supper. She didn’t want just regular spaghetti sauce with ground beef in it, though. She wanted meatballs.

So, I created this Italian meatball recipe, which has become one of her and my husband’s favorites.

As these meatballs come out of the oven, David is usually hovering somewhere in the background, waiting for an opportunity to grab a few when I’m distracted with some other cooking. lol

He will eat them straight off the sheet pan, without sauce or anything. They are incredibly flavorful and stand on their own as a delicious meal. (Or, in some cases, a snack.) lol

So, be forewarned. When these come out of the oven, you’ll need a chair and a whip to keep back the milling throng gathering in your kitchen. These savory Italian meatballs are addictively delicious, and once your family members pop one hot, delectable little sphere into their mouth, they’re gonna want them all! 

savory meatball ingredients

The Ingredients

  • 93% lean ground beef
  • eggs
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • milk
  • red onion, minced
  • garlic, minced
  • Italian bread crumbs (My preference is Panko, because I like the texture, but I still have good results using regular Italian bread crumbs.)
  • red pepper flakes
  • Spike Seasoning (aha! The secret ingredient.)
  • dried parsley
  • dried basil
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt
  • black pepper

What is Spike Seasoning?

I discovered Spike Seasoning more than a decade ago. It’s a blend of seasonings, herbs and dehydrated vegetables (I think I counted 44), I’ve never made an attempt to re-create it from scratch. It is also crazy delicious. In savory dishes, it can be the difference between good and “Oh, my goodness!”

spike seasoning

Spike is great on meat, scrambled eggs, sauces and casseroles. I can’t imagine a savory preparation that wouldn’t be enhanced by it.

It’s an everyday ingredient in my kitchen, but I’m unable to find it at our local stores anymore. I buy it in bulk on Amazon and have it shipped right to my front porch. I buy this 14 oz box of Spike when I order.

I’m guessing you could substitute your own favorite herb blend in the meatballs, but I can’t guarantee the flavor will be as mouth-wateringly delicious.

How to Make Scrumptious Savory Meatballs

Add all the ingredients for the Italian meatballs into a very large mixing bowl. I toss everything in together.

Mixing this is so much easier if you just dig in and mix it with your hands, just like you were making meatloaf or sausage.

If you’re squeamish about touching meat, you can try doing it with a wooden spoon, but the most even distribution and thorough mixing will come from using your hands.

Maybe you could try some of those plastic food handlers’ gloves if that would help.

meatball mixture

Once mixed, you’ll be able to see all the flavor-popping herbs, crumbs, cheese and onions.

Seeing them is good. Just be sure they are evenly distributed throughout the meatball mixture.


The next step is to shape the meatballs. For me, the easiest way to keep them fairly uniform (so they cook evenly) is to use a cookie dough scoop. If you don’t have one, it’s totally fine. It just makes my job easier.

This scoop is considered the small size, which holds about 2 teaspoons and measures 1.5 inches in diameter. It takes a little more than an ounce of Italian meatball mixture to fill it. Four meatballs usually end up weighing about 4.5 ounces.

Scoop the mixture into your hand, roll it into a ball and then arrange it on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

meatballs rolled and placed on parchment lined baking sheets

Bake and serve. Or freeze. Or add to a favorite dish. You are set, my friend! I usually get 126 meatballs out of this recipe. Even counting for petty larceny when my back is turned, that’s about 5 meals worth of Italian meatballs for a family of 6!

How to Freeze Savory Meatballs

Once the meatballs come out of the oven, I usually use a few of them to create a yummy meal like this Meatballs in Brown Gravy over Mashed Potatoes or Sweet and Sour Meatballs over Cauliflower Rice, while letting the extras completely cool.

We enjoy a tasty dinner while the cooling happens, then I’m ready to freeze the bounty for quick and easy future meals.

Once the Italian meatballs are completely cool, I remove the parchment paper from the sheet tray and spread the meatballs out on the tray, again making sure none are touching.

I pop the tray into the freezer for about an hour (just long enough for the meatballs to be completely frozen).

baked meatballs  on parchment lined baking sheets

Once frozen, I pop them off the tray and into a zip-top freezer bag. Since they have been individually flash frozen, I can pull out 1 or 4 or 24, as needed.

These frozen meatballs don’t stick together and they’re stored safely for whenever I need them.

(Incidentally, we call 4 meatballs a serving since that’s about a quarter of a pound. Some unnamed favorite people enjoy something more like TWO servings, though. lol So, I just plan accordingly.)

homemade meatballs frozen in a zip top bag whick is sitting on a marble countertop

How to Use Homemade Meatballs

Add pasta to these meatballs and my gloriously easy and delicious Marinara Sauce and you and your family will be eating like kings!

homemade marinara in pan with wooden spoon

If you’re looking for all Pork Meatballs, try this yummy recipe for self-saucing meatballs over on Whole Food Bellies.

And then, check out these delish dishes made with my Spicy Meatballs!

Eliminate the meat in the sauce for my delicious Baked Spaghetti and add a layer of these scrumptious meatballs, instead. You’ll positively swoon!

baked spaghetti on a white plate - pasta recipes

Sweet and Sour Meatballs : an Easy Thirty-Minute Dinner

Sweet and Sour Meatballs are delicious spicy meatballs, chunks of pineapple and crisp, fresh veggies coated in a simple, homemade sweet and sour sauce. A 30-Minute simple recipe your family will love!

Meatballs in Brown Gravy

Okay, guys, now that you have this recipe, the possibilities for deliciousness are ENDLESS! I’ve got more “what to do with homemade meatballs” recipes coming in the next day or two.

And, having these in your freezer means dinner on weeknights will be a breezy, fast-and-easy experience. Are you starting to see how cooking once to eat many times can reap you big rewards? I hope so!

Big hugs, my friend! Have a blessing-filled weekend and share a family dinner with the people you love most!

The Recipe

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scrumptious savory meatballs

Italian Meatballs: Scrumptious Savory Meatballs

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5 from 14 reviews

  • Author: Glenda Embree
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 126 meatballs 1x


My Italian Meatballs recipe is a quick and easy way to create delicious savory meatballs for use in your favorite recipes.  Always having savory meatballs on hand ready-made in the freezer means dinner can be on the table in minutes, and I know that everyone is going to love it.  Keep this recipe at the front of your recipe files because you’ll be asked for it often.


Units Scale
  • 4 1/4 lbs 93% lean ground beef
  • 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups Italian bread crumbs (I like Panko, but regular work great, too)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 medium red onion, minced
  • 1/3 cup dried parsley
  • 1/3 cup dried basil
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Spike Seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon black pepper


  1. Add all ingredients to an extra large mixing bowl.
  2. For best results, use your hands to mix and combine all the ingredients, distributing everything evenly throughout the meat mixture.
  3. Scoop the mixture into balls, using a small cookie dough scoop.
  4. Arrange the Italian meatballs on two parchment-lined sheet pans, leaving a little space between each one.
  5. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove the trays and cool on cooling racks.


The Italian meatballs are ready to use in your favorite recipes as soon as they come out of the oven.

To freeze the leftovers:

  1. Let the Italian meatballs cool completely.
  2. Remove the parchment paper from the baking sheets and arrange meatballs, again, making sure they don’t touch. 
  3. Put trays in freezer for about an hour or until meatballs are frozen solid.
  4. Put frozen meatballs into zip-top bags and store in freezer until ready to use.
  5. Add to any recipe like you would any frozen meatball.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Beef, Main Dish
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

glenda embree

About Glenda

I believe cooking from scratch doesn’t have to be complicated and that YOU can do it. My simple recipes, tutorials, and cooking tips will help you get weeknight dinners on the table with less stress. Forget takeout or the drive-thru. Let me show you how to make homemade easy. Read more...

29 thoughts on “Italian Meatballs: Scrumptious, Savory and Oh So Easy”

  1. I love everything about this recipe. The Worcestershire gave them the most amazing flavor and using panko breadcrumbs made for a perfect texture. Another winner for sure!

  2. Amazing recipe, thanks so much for sharing, my boys gobbled them up! Also, I like how I can mostly prep dinner earlier in the day and then just stick in oven at the busy 5pm “rush hour”

  3. I saw the amount of cheese in these and had to make them ASAP! I’m so glad I did because now I have a whole stash of these delicious meatballs in the freezer for busy nights. Everyone devoured them!

    • Felicia, I would try mashed potatoes, ricotta cheese or plain yogurt. I’ve never used any of these, but it’s where I’d start if I was trying to substitute. Otherwise, you could look for a vegan egg substitute, too. I hope they turn out well for you. Please stop back and let me know what you used and how it went. Have a great week!

    • It’s a great time-saver isn’t it? There’s something comforting about knowing you have wholesome food in the freezer that can be made quickly, when you aren’t prepared for dinner. Thanks, Camille!

  4. Hi, Glenda.
    I want to make these meatballs but I don’t know what Spike Seasoning is. Can you help me?
    Melba Larson

    • Melba, I sure can. It’s a blend of over 40 herbs and dried vegetables, so it’s one seasoning blend that I don’t make myself. I buy it. I have trouble finding it in my small town stores. But, I can always find it if I am in Lincoln. Not sure about where you are. Look for it in the aisle with spices and seasonings. It can come in a red box (7 oz) or a glass jar (3 oz). But what I usually do is just order a box and keep it on hand. You can order it from Walmart and they will ship it to you. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Spike-All-Purpose-Seasoning-Original-7-Oz/31008620 or from Amazon and they will also ship it to you. https://amzn.to/35s1PkF I have accounts with both so get free shipping. Not sure what the shipping costs would be without. I hope that helps!


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