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Italian Baked Meatballs

These delicious Baked Meatballs are tender and juicy, baked in a simple spiced tomato sauce. Makes the perfect Dinner Recipe. Serve over your favourite Pasta.

baked meatballs in a black skillet


Meatballs are a popular Dinner Dish and these Meatballs in Red Pepper Tomato Sauce are one of our favourites!

I have loved meatballs every since I first tasted my Mom’s Best Meatballs. And naturally I got my family hooked on them too. Adjusting to Italian life was interesting especially when I discovered that Italians do not eat Spaghetti and Meatballs together!

Pasta is considered a first plate and the Meatballs (or any meat or fish dish) is considered a second plate. Just be sure to serve them with some fresh Italian Crusty bread, what you need to wipe up all that delicious Sauce.

How to Make Baked Meatballs

baked meatballs how to make sauce and formed meatballs, in the pan ready to bake
  1. In a large bowl combine the ground beef and pork, spices, egg and bread crumbs and gently combine, then form into 7-8 meatballs.
  2. In a medium bowl add the peeled Roma or San Marzano tomatoes and chop, then add the olive oil, spices and a little water and mix.
  3. In a large skillet drizzle the bottom of the pan with a little oil, add the sauce and top with meatballs, sprinkle with shredded Parmesan Cheese. Bake for approximately 20 – 25 minutes, the meatballs can be turned halfway through the cooking process, but it isn’t necessary.
  4. Serve topped with grated Parmesan Cheese.

Can Meatballs be frozen?

Meatballs can either be frozen cooked or uncooked. Place meatballs (if cooked let them cool slightly) on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and freeze until firm, then transfer to an airtight container or freezer bag. They can remain for up to 2-3 months in the freezer.

Let the Meatballs defrost overnight in the fridge, then cook as per the recipe.

baked meatballs in a pan with one on a spoon


  • Be sure to use freshly grated Parmesan Cheese and not the cheese sold in plastic packages, cans or jars.
  • Ground beef with 15-20 % fat. A little fat content helps the meatballs stay juicy.
  • I like to use a little ground pork also or even an Italian sausage with the casing removed.
  • For the Tomato sauce be sure to use canned peeled Roma or San Marzano tomatoes, just the tomatoes with nothing added.
  • Use fresh parsley and thyme.

More Delicious Meatball Recipes:

I hope you give these Baked Meatballs a try and let me know how you like them. Buon Appetito!

upclose baked meatball
baked meatballs in a pan with one on a spoon

Italian Baked Meatballs

Rosemary Molloy
These delicious Baked Meatballs are tender and juicy, baked in a simple spiced tomato sauce. Makes the perfect Dinner Recipe, serve over your favourite Pasta.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 417 kcal



  • 1 1/2 slices bread (60 grams)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • .66 pound ground beef (15-20% fat) (300 grams)
  • 1 large Italian sausage (casing removed and chopped) (100 grams)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (50 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 dashes black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)


  • 14 ounces Peeled Tomatoes (Roma / San Marzano-1 can) (400 grams)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 dashes hot pepper flakes if desired
  • 1 tablespoon water


  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1-2 sprigs fresh thyme


  • Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C). Drizzle 1 tablespoon of oil on a oven save skillet or pan (10 inches / 25 cm).


  • In a small bowl add the milk and bread (crust removed) let soak, then squeeze out excess moisture and crumble.
  • In a large bowl add the ground beef, sausage, crumbled bread, parmesan, parsley, egg, salt, pepper and garlic, gently combine. (do not over mix). Form into 7-8 meatballs.


  • In a medium bowl add the tomatoes (chop coarsely) then add the garlic, oregano, basil, olive oil, salt, hot pepper flakes and water, combine with a fork.
  • Pour the sauce on the bottom of the pan, place meatballs on top. Sprinkle with half the parmesan cheese and fresh thyme. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese and serve immediately 


Calories: 417kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 956mg | Potassium: 559mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 475IU | Vitamin C: 13.3mg | Calcium: 230mg | Iron: 3.7mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a comment below or pin it to your Pinterest account!


  1. 5 stars
    I made these meatballs last night. They were fantastic! I will be making them again for sure. I love cooking Italian 😀

  2. 5 stars
    My grandmother’s meatball recipe is similar, except Italian bread is soaked in water ( crusts removed) the meatballs were always fried for the nice crust before they went in the sauce. I changed it to bake the meatballs instead, but fresh parm always. I will try yours. Love your biscotti recipes.

    1. Hi Elaine, yes my Mom used water although most Italians use milk and I like that idea also. Thanks so much, glad you enjoy the biscotti recipes. Take care and Happy New Year.

  3. 5 stars
    Hi Rosemary and fellow-Torontonian!
    For a change, I tried your baked meatball recipe and let me tell you that it was a huge hit with the family!! It was delicious, the meatballs were so tender and flavorful, your recipe is definitely a keeper!
    Grazie mille!

  4. 5 stars
    Delicious and easy! So nice to not have to tend to meatballs cooking on the stove. Will definitely be having this again, soon.

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