Spicy Oven Baked Meatballs

Every time I make this recipe, I am startled by how good these are. My husband too. They come out perfectly every time. And, surprisingly, they are so damn easy.

I think of meatballs as some weird, flavorless, brick-like objects. Maybe this is because that’s how I had them growing up. This TOTALLY broke the paradigm for me. I often make double batched of these as they kick ass in spaghetti and meatballs the night I make them (with spicy red sauce and homemade pasta) and are equally good as leftovers in meatball sandwiches (on homemade rolls!) and scrambled into eggs.

All you’ll need for this recipe is a large mixing bowl, a baking sheet, and (if you hate mess) some aluminum foil.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 20-30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 slices bread
    • Note: Slightly stale bread works best, as this will be used for larger bread crumbs.
    • Sub Note: You can sub 1/2 cup of bread crumbs, panko, or Italian style bread crumbs, but the larger chunks of actual bread are WAY better.
  • 1/2 cup whole milk 
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil
    • Sub Note: Basically a few tbsps of any leafy green fresh herbs will do. The above two are my favorite, but you can add or sub rosemary, thyme, parsley, etc. if you prefer.
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
    • Note: This is optional, but a must if you like spicy!

Recipe

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Toast the bread if it’s still fresh. You want it to be toasted but not burnt. Tear bread apart over the large mixing bowl. Pieces should be no bigger than 1/4″ in size, but it’s ok if they are still a little moist
  • Add all remaining ingredients to the bowl. Stir to combine and then mix together by hand.
  • Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray or oil. I like to line the cookie sheet first with aluminum foil to keep clean up to a minimum.
  • Form the meat into balls and place on the prepared sheet. For golf ball sized meatballs, cook for 20 minutes. For larger baseball size meatballs, cook for 25-30 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, let rest for 2 minutes, and serve!

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