Baked Italian Meatballs {Freezer Meal}

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Look no further for a delicious baked meatball recipe. Our Baked Italian Meatballs are a 30 minute meal staple in our house! The ingredients are simple but they are still packed with flavor. They make a great freezer meal because you can easily double the batch to freeze meatballs for later!

Baked meatballs on a white plate with marinara sauce

Easiest Baked Meatballs… EVER

Everybody loves a good meatball, right? Well, at least everyone in my crew does. And, as my mom friends out there know, it’s no small feat to prepare a meal that everyone eats and enjoys. These delicious, moist, Baked Italian Meatballs may get eaten before they ever make it atop whole wheat spaghetti with homemade marinara sauce or a Meatball Sandwich.

The ingredients in our baked meatballs are simple:

You likely have all of the ingredients for these easy baked meatballs in your pantry!

Baked italian meatball

Perhaps the best part: Skip the stove top mess and bake these away in the oven for only 20 minutes. They come out perfect every time. And, like so many of our recipes, you can make these meatballs ahead of time and freeze them for a quick, healthy meal later. Check out the freezer meal instructions in the recipe.

Here is a short video of how Baked Italian Meatballs come together

How to Freeze Baked Meatballs

One of the best parts about this meatball recipe is that it is freezer friendly. Meatballs work beautifully to assemble and then freeze before baking for a meal down the road. I’d suggest rolling them up and placing them on a parchment lined baking sheet to freeze.

How to freeze baked italian meatballs

After they are frozen enough to hold together, place them in an airtight container or freezer storage bag.

The beauty of freezing meatballs is that you can now pop out as many as you need for future meals. No need to bake them all at once. These can be a great freezer meal for 1-2 people.

Ways to Use Baked Meatballs

Baked meatballs are incredibly versatile. Here are some ideas on ways to use them!

  • Serve them over whole wheat spaghetti with marinara sauce
  • Bake them and then assemble them as Meatball Sandwiches
  • Eat them plain! They can be a great appetizer.
  • Lighten up but don’t miss out on flavor by serving them over zoodles.
Baked italian meatball on a fork

What to serve with Baked Italian Meatballs

Here are some ideas that baked meatballs would go well with:


Baked Italian Meatballs {Freezer Meal}

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 46 (about 24 1-1/2 inch meatballs) 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian


Everybody loves a good meatball! These delicious, moist ones may get eaten before they ever make it atop spaghetti or a sub sandwich. You’ll want to make this baked version of meatballs again and again.


  • 1 ½ lb ground beef (This is where we get our favorite grass-fed ground beef.*)
  • 1 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

*affiliate link


Make It Now:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil.
  2. Using clean hands, gently combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.
  3. Use a medium dough scooper or a spoon to scoop and then roll about 1 1/2 inch meatballs. Line up meatballs on the sheet pan, leaving room between each.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes or until no longer pink inside (160 degrees internal temperature).
  5. Optional: Serve with marinara sauce over pasta or on a sub sandwich.

Freeze For Later: Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil. Then, complete Steps 2 and 3. At this point, flash freeze uncooked meatballs by placing on a rimmed sheet pan or baking dish in the freezer for about an hour or so. Once frozen, dump meatballs in a gallon-sized freezer bag, seal, and place in freezer. Prepare From Frozen: Thaw meatballs using one of these safe thawing methods. Cook according to instructions, beginning with Step 4.

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12 replies
  1. Erin says:

    LOVE!!! These are the best meatballs I’ve ever had at home. They did take longer than 20 to cook for us. I think they may have been in there for an hour.

  2. Ellen says:

    I make and freeze these a lot! I’m gluten intolerant so I can’t eat these out in any form. BUT we love meatball subs. I make a sheet pan full of these, let them cool and freeze them in food sealer bags. They don’t normally last more than a few weeks before they’re gone.
    Making these in a large batch really takes no longer than making them a meal at a time! Great recipe!

  3. Krystle says:

    LOVED these meatballs. The only change I made was I used almond milk instead of regular because I can’t have dairy and they were delish and easy to makeahead and freeze. I actually want to make these as one of the trays for my sons 1st birthday. I was wondering how long can they be frozen without compromising quality of meat and flavor?

    • Rachel says:

      Hey, that’s great to hear. I would say they will be fine in the freezer for at least 3 months. The key is to package them in an air-tight freezer bag and get as much air out as possible so do well in the freezer.

      • Deborah J. Cerezo says:

        I’m excited to learn more about your recipes. I’m planning a garden wedding for June and as I’m making all the hordevoirs and buffet dinner myself, and have guests coming from out of town, I need to make as much as possible ahead of time. I’ll be interested to find out when I can start and best freezer time durations.

        • Rachel says:

          Wow, that’s impressive, Deborah. Make ahead freezer recipes will be a great help to you, and I think this meatballs would work nicely as an appetizer. Our cookbooks have some great recipes that might help, too. Best of luck!

  4. Lisa says:

    Simple recipe, very tasty. I was missing the parsley but they were still nice without it. I also liked baking them over frying, much easier.

  5. Leon says:

    Can I bake first them and then freeze them? I’m thinking then I can throw some frozen cooked meatballs into a crock pot with some sauce and let them cook throughout the day.

    • Rachel says:

      I have definitely cooked these ahead and frozen them in sauce before. I bet if you threw the frozen sauce and meatballs in a crock on low all day it would work out. Please let us know if you try it and how it goes, since I haven’t tested it that way.