Baked Italian Meatballs could be the greatest food ever. These baked Polpettes as they call them in Italy are moist, flavorful, and easy to make.
What can I say about baked Italian meatballs? Only that they're quite possibly my favorite food of all time. This polpette recipe keeps these meatballs moist without sacrificing any flavor. Plus we bake them, so we keep them a bit on the healthier side.
What's the secret weapon? Keep reading to find out!
How do you make baked Italian meatballs from scratch?
There's a number of different ways that you can prepare your Italian meatballs. Most of you know, that I'm a pretty simple guy...especially during the week. So I don't like to overcomplicate things, including my meatballs.
We start with a mixture of ground beef, ground veal, and ground pork. You can use ground sausage too but I like to grab the package of meatloaf mixture at the store and get to work.
First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Now, throw the meat in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Next, add your egg, breadcrumbs, garlic powder, onion powder, Parmigiano-Reggiano (or Parmesan) cheese, and the family recipe secret weapon...Ricotta cheese!
If I'm making meatballs on the weekends, I'll typically add minced garlic and onion, but the powders do just fine during the week.
Then, mix all the ingredients together with clean hands until the meat binds together...not too wet, not too dry. You may have to add more breadcrumbs as you mix to get the desired texture you need.
Finally, grease a baking sheet with a little olive oil and begin making your Italian meatballs.
Grab a small piece of the meat mixture, and using your hands start to form a ball with it. Then, in a circular motion, start rolling the meatball in your hands so it becomes nice and smooth. The meatballs should be about the size of golf ball. You don't want them too big because they will take longer to cook.
Throw them in the oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes.
How do you keep meatballs moist?
The simple answer is moisture. The more specific answer is Ricotta cheese! This has been our family secret for years and it's the only way we'll make them!
For a pound of meatballs, I'll add half of a 15 oz container of Ricotta cheese. It's just enough to get some moisture in there and ensure that my baked Italian meatballs stay nice and soft.
I absolutely love Ricotta cheese...do you? If so, you gotta try my Baked Ziti. It's delizioso!
Tools I used in this recipe:
- Nordic Ware Baking Sheets
- Misen Chef's Knife
- KP Kitchen Measuring Cups/Spoons
- OXO Handheld Cheese Grater
Baked Italian Meatballs with Ricotta Cheese
- 1 lb meatloaf mixture ground beef, pork and veal
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 1 egg
- 1 cup breadcrumb can use more or less depending on your mixture
- 7.5 oz ricotta cheese whole milk
- ¼ cup parmigiano-reggiano (or parmesan) grated
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley minced
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add meat mixture to a large bowl and season with a little salt and pepper.
- Add the egg, breadcrumbs, ricotta cheese, Parmigiano cheese, garlic powder, and onion powder to the meat.
- Using clean hands, mixture the ingredients all together. You may have to use more breadcrumbs as you go along to get the right consistency. You don't want it too wet but you also don't want it too dry.
- Grease a baking sheet with a little olive oil and begin making your Italian meatballs. Grab a small piece of the meat mixture, and using your hands start to form a ball with it. Then, in a circular motion, start rolling the meatball in your hands so it becomes nice and smooth. The meatballs should be about the size of golf ball. Bake in the oven, uncovered for about 25-30 minutes.
I make mine the same way with the meatloaf mix meat , I even add the Ricotta too!! I can’t believe you do it too the same way except I fry my meatballs or sometime I just throw them in my sauce to cook
That's awesome! It's such a good idea, right? I do like frying and cooking in sauce too...when I'm feeling really lazy, I'll bake them lol! Thanks for the review!
When you add the fresh garlic and onion, how much do you use....as per your 1 pound meatloaf mix? I'd rather not use the powders if I have the time to use fresh stuff
The Skinny Guinea
Hey Traci - definitely gotta use the fresh stuff when you have it. Use a 1/4 cup of finely choppped/minced onion and 2 tsp of minced garlic. That should do it!
Just made them Saturday.
I always baked them so moist and delicious.
The Skinny Guinea
I love meatballs! Baking them is a great option. Glad you enjoyed!
Oh i will try these with the ricotta cheese, But Tom I don’t usually use the three meats. Just the ground beef would be okay, right? That’s how I usually make them.
The Skinny Guinea
Yep, just the ground beef is totally fine! Hope you enjoy!