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Oven-Baked Italian Meatballs

Creating flavorful Italian meatballs on a sheet pan in the oven is a game changer.

Sheet Pan Italian Meatballs Horizontal 1
Image: Jono Elderton for 12 Tomatoes

Creating flavorful Italian meatballs on a sheet pan in the oven is a game changer. You can make delightful, interesting balls of happiness (covered in parmesan cheese) with simplicity, in a ridiculously quick time! There’s no need for browning, frying, slow cooking, or extensive mixing, our Sheet Pan Italian Meatball recipe takes ground beef, a mix of easy herbs and spices, some panko crumbs for binding, and just twenty minutes on the sheet pan to come out golden brown and tasting delicious. And the best thing is, there’s barely anything to clean up!

Sheet Pan Italian Meatballs Vertical 1
Image: Jono Elderton for 12 Tomatoes

Our recipe makes enough to feed a big crowd, or you can try to eat just a few meatballs then pack the rest away for use in make ahead meals or larger pasta recipes. The irresistible combination of ground beef, pork and grated parm takes only half an hour from start to finish, yet is packed with flavor in the meat mixture (in lieu of a traditional tomato sauce). The traditional ingredients provide a delightfully warm and herby flavor further accentuated by the sharpness of parmesan, in the mixture and over the top of the meatballs.

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Image: Jono Elderton for 12 Tomatoes

I found that making slightly larger meatballs meant that I had minimal breakage during baking, as they allowed plenty of room for moisture to escape onto the sheet pan without compromising the tender texture and overall juiciness. The escaped liquid is useful – it’s mostly just jar tomato sauce – and tastes great mixed with parmesan in a sticky sauce type reduction that you can spoon on to the meatballs after they’ve cooked.

Sheet Pan Italian Meatballs Vertical 3
Image: Jono Elderton for 12 Tomatoes

The ease with which this Sheet Pan Italian Meatballs recipe comes together is just as important as the combination of tasty tasty ingredients. You can go from the frustration of deciding what you want to make for dinner on the fly, to sitting down to eat as a family, with friends, or finger food snacking, in just over thirty minutes’ time. The recipe is so simple and effective, you can make meatballs with any variation of meat, herbs and spices, and get delicious results in no time at all!

Sheet Pan Italian Meatballs Vertical 4
Image: Jono Elderton for 12 Tomatoes

Sheet Pan Italian Meatballs is an almost perfect quick recipe: unbelievably tasty yet simple, with little clean up during the process. Once you start cooking these meatballs of mayhem, you’ll find it difficult going back to the old school way!

Sheet Pan Italian Meatballs Vertical 5
Image: Jono Elderton for 12 Tomatoes

Makes 14-16

10m prep time

20m cook time

Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground beef and pork
  • 1 cup bolognese sauce (store bought)
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons ground oregano
  • 1 tablespoons fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup panko crumbs
  • 1/2-1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Preparation
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Using a large spoon, make 14-15 approximately golf ball sized meatballs.
  3. Place meatballs evenly onto a sheet pan covered with parchment paper. Sprinkle each meatball with salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese.
  4. Bake meatballs in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden.
  5. Sprinkle with more parmesan cheese, and then serve immediately with salad, toast, or pasta.

Recipe adapted from The Kitcheneer

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