An easy meatball recipe with a homemade marinara sauce. The classic Italian meatballs are ready in no time and may be served in so many different ways.

Homemade meatballs on top of cooked pasta topped with marinara sauce, parmesan cheese and basil.

For a complete Italian-inspired dinner, we serve the meatballs with spaghetti, a caesar salad, and homemade breadsticks.


Whenever we want to serve a homemade dinner that is comfort food and kid-friendly, meatballs are our go-to recipe. The meatballs are so crispy when cooked but retain all the juices and flavors. Though the meatballs themselves are delicious, I love the extra flavor from the marinara sauce making it an amazing recipe.

Homemade easy meatballs drenched in marinara sauce topped with fresh basil in a casserole.


Meatballs are so easy to make and can be prepared in no time. They are the perfect dinner recipe for busy evenings.

  1. Season meat: Add ground meat to a bowl, create a well. Add the onion, garlic, bread crumbs, whisked eggs, mayo, cheese, seasonings, and herbs.
  2. Shape meatballs: Mix everything until well combined. Roll the mixture into round meatballs, be sure to pack the meatballs tightly.
  3. Cook meatballs: Fry meatballs in a frying pan until all sides are browned.
  4. Prepare marinara: Prepare the homemade marinara sauce. Pour over meatballs in a baking dish.
  5. Bake: Cover the dish and bake.


The meatballs may be baked or sauteed in a skillet.

  • BAKE: To bake meatballs in the oven: Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Space meatballs on the baking sheet, the meatballs shouldn’t be touching each other. Bake meatballs at 400°F for 15-20 minutes.
  • SKILLET: Cover the bottom of a frying pan or Dutch oven with oil. Cook the meatballs until browned on all sides, no need to cook all the way through.
Step by step collage of how to make homemade meatballs.


Though you can just use your favorite store-bought marinara for this meatball recipe, we love this homemade version.

  1. Saute the onion with oil and butter.
  2. Add the diced tomatoes, water and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Simmer on for five minutes.
  4. Puree the marinara until desired consistency.
  5. Return to the skillet. Add the basil, oregano and parsley.
  6. Cook 1-2 minutes.
A white casserole loaded with juicy meatballs loaded with marinara sauce topped with fresh chopped basil.

frequenlty asked questions-

What kind of meat do I use?

You want to use beef with about 90% lean-10% fat content. You can use all beef in this recipe or mix the meat with other meat. One pound of ground beef may be combined with one pound of ground pork, chicken, or turkey with great results.

How do I serve meatballs?

The meatballs may be served over pasta of choice, over mashed potatoes, in sliders for parties, or as a sub sandwich with your favorite toppings.

Freezing uncooked meatballs?

Prepare and shape meatballs. Arrange on a baking sheet and freeze meatballs. Once solid, transfer meatballs to a freezer container. To cook, thaw meatballs completely.

Can I reheat the meatballs?

The meatballs are easily reheated. Cover the dish with foil and foil and reheat in the oven.

A white plate topped with juicy meatballs over a bed of cooked pasta.

I hope you love this recipe for classic homemade meatballs. Don’t forget to tag us on social media if you try this recipe, we enjoy seeing your creations. #ValentinasCorner

Try these other dinner recipes:

Easy Meatball Recipe

5 from 5 votes
An easy meatball recipe with a homemade marinara sauce. The classic Italian meatballs are ready in no time and may be served in so many different ways.
Author: Valentina
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


homemade meatballs-

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1/2 large onion, finely grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 3 Tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 3 Tbsp whole milk
  • tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • oil for sautéing


  • 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp dried parsley


prepare meatballs-

  • Grate onion on the small protruding holes’ side of the grater.
  • In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for meatballs.
  • Form 1 – 1 ½ inch round meatballs, packing meatballs tightly. Yields about 30 meatballs.
  • Coat the bottom of a large skillet with oil. Once hot, add the meatballs. Cook meatballs until all sides are browned, flipping as needed. 
  • Remove and place the meatballs in a casserole dish

prepare sauce-

  • In a skillet, sauté the finely chopped onion with oil and butter.
  • Once onions are cooked, add diced tomatoes, water, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Simmer on low for about 5 minutes. 
  • Puree the marinara with a hand mixer or blender until desired consistency. 
  • Once tomato sauce is smooth, add back to the skillet. Add the fresh basil, oregano, and parsley. Allow to cook another 1-2 minutes.
  • Pour the sauce over the meatballs. Cover with foil.
  • Bake at 375°F covered 45 minutes. Remove foil, bake for another 5 minutes.
  • Enjoy with your favorite side. 
  • Serve with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil, if desired. 


Calories: 562kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 30gFat: 45gSaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 170mgSodium: 1416mgPotassium: 481mgSugar: 1gVitamin A: 250IUVitamin C: 2.8mgCalcium: 87mgIron: 3.5mg
(The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)