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This baked Meatball Parmesan recipe features traditional meatballs smothered in a delicious marinara sauce and topped with Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. A classic and simple dish that is beautiful yet delicious.
Easy Meatball Parmesan Recipe
Meatballs are a staple at our house. I make them often and I make them many different ways. I decided to make these meatballs with ground pork, if you’ve never played around with pork meatballs I highly recommend them! As far as the recipe for this baked Meatball Parmesan, it’s pretty much my generic meatballs recipe I use all the time, a couple eggs, some breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, an onion and some herbs. So simple but packed full of so much flavor!
You can bake these meatballs as I’ve done many times before, but lately I’m obsessed with my air fryer and I air fried these. I find it much easier, quicker and so much easier to clean up.
Why You’ll Love Meatball Parmesan
- Healthy And Easy! This is a super easy weeknight meal. These homemade meatballs are made using basic pantry ingredients that you can find in any market and baked or air fried making them a bit healthier too.
- Classic Italian Taste! With a pork base, lots of herbs, and topped with both mozzarella and Parmesan this recipe is incredibly tasty and full of classic Italian flavors.
- Versatile Dish! Meatball Parmesan is fantastic served with a plate of homemade pasta or with some roasted potatoes. But you can also put them between a fresh roll to make a meatball sub or serve them as an appetizer.
- Pork – We’re using ground pork today but you can use ground beef or even a mixture of both ground pork and beef.
- Onion – One medium sized onion chopped up, look for something that cooks down well like a white or yellow onion. It’s easier if you use a box grater, rather than chopping it up with a knife.
- Eggs – The binder to our Meatball Parmesan!
- Breadcrumbs – Breadcrumbs soak up some of the liquid in our meatballs so that they stay more moist, it prevents a tough finished dish. I love using Panko breadcrumbs but Italian breadcrumbs will also be great.
- Herbs and Seasoning – Oregano, basil, salt and pepper is all we’re going to be using today. I’ve made these with both fresh herbs and dried herbs, but use whatever you have on hand.
- Cheese – Mozzarella and Parmesan are what we’re using today for sharp flavor and ooey gooey cheese stretch, hence why it’s called Meatball Parmesan!
- Marinara sauce – Store bought works perfectly fine and is what I used today but if you’d like to make your own, try this recipe from my other blog.
Making homemade meatballs are really easy to make! You can bake them, or air fry them! And once they are cooked, this recipe only requires one extra step to turn ordinary meatballs into a delicious meatball Parmesan.
If baking, you’ll need to preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) to get it ready for baking. Then spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray to keep the meatballs from sticking. You can also grease the pan with vegetable oil if you prefer.
Make The Meatballs
The best meatball making tool is your hands! To begin, add the ground pork, onion, eggs, breadcrumbs, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper to a large bowl. Then use your hands to incorporate all the ingredients together until they are well combined.
Now, use the meat mixture to form 24 meatballs that are all about the same size and place them on the prepared baking sheet, if baking them, otherwise place them in the basket of your air fryer. Note, it’s important that all the meatballs be close to the same size so that they cook evenly. You can do this by using a small cookie scoop.
Cook The Meatballs
Now that the meatballs are formed, it’s time to cook them. If baking them transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake them for 30 minutes or until cooked through. When they are done they will be firm to the touch and the juice will run clear when you poke them with a knife. But if you really want to be sure they are done to your liking you can just cut one in half.
If you’re air frying them, then simply cook them for about 15 minutes at 380°F (193°C), shaking the basket halfway through to ensure they brown all around.
Cover With Sauce, Cheese And Bake
To marry the meatballs and sauce together, pour half of the marinara sauce into the bottom of an ovenproof skillet. Then place the meatballs in the skillet in a single layer and top each one with some of the remaining marinara sauce.
Next, sprinkle each meatball with some of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Then place the skillet into the oven for about 5 to 10 minutes for the cheese to melt and until it’s nice and bubbly. Finally, garnish with some fresh basil if you like and serve.
What Other Types of Meat Can I Use?
I love using pork in my meatballs because they always turn out so juicy from the higher fat content. However, you can use any type of ground meat that you like! Keep in mind that meat with a lower fat content like turkey, chicken, or lean ground beef will yield dryer meatballs. You can mix a lean type of meat with something fattier like lamb, regular ground beef, or pork.
How To Serve Meatball Parmesan
This Meatball Parmesan can be served in a variety of ways on a variety of dishes, feel free to get creative with them!
- Over pasta.
- Spooned over fluffy mashed potatoes.
- It pairs perfectly with my creamy polenta.
- Stuffed into sandwiches, think meatball sub but better than you ever imagined it could be.
- Transform these bad boys into little sliders, yum!
- Meatballs are great baked or air fryed, because most of the fat from the meat is left in the pan and you end up with somewhat lean meatballs. You need to make sure you introduce a sauce at the end however to prevent them getting dry.
- Make sure you grate your cheese fresh, it makes a big difference. Also grate your onion instead of chopping it, so much easier!
- Fresh breadcrumbs over store bought will make a world of difference flavor and moisture wise!
- If you find your meatballs are a little tough, try subbing the breadcrumbs for cubed meat soaked in a little milk, it’s a traditionally Italian way to retain some moisture.
How To Store Leftover Meatballs
This Meatball Parmesan recipe will last 3 – 4 days in the fridge if stored in an airtight container. To freeze just place the cooked meatballs on a baking sheet and freeze separately to begin with. Transfer them to a freezer bag or otherwise airtight container and place back in the cold and they’ll keep for up to 3 months.
Craving More Meatballs? Try These Delicious Recipes
- Porcupine Meatballs
- Salisbury Steak Meatballs
- Swedish Meatballs
- Philly Cheese Steak Meatballs
- Sweet Potato Turkey Meatballs
- Cranberry Meatballs
- Greek Meatballs
- 1½ pounds ground pork
- 1 medium onion (chopped or shredded with a box grater)
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- ½ teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 1½ cups mozzarella cheese (shredded)
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
- In a large bowl add the ground pork, onion, eggs, breadcrumbs, oregano, basil and season with salt and pepper. Mix everything together and form into 24 equal size meatballs. Place meatballs in your air fryer basket and air fry at 380°F for 15 minutes or until cooked through.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Pour half of the marinara sauce onto the bottom of a skillet. Arrange the meatballs in the skillet, they and top each meatball with some of the remaining marinara sauce.
- Sprinkle meatballs with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and place in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes or until the cheese melts and is bubbly. Garnish with some extra basil if preferred.
- This recipe yields 24 meatballs, nutritional information is for 4 meatballs.
- Can I use any other type of meat: Any ground meat would work. Ground beef would work great as well. You can also combine meats like ground pork and ground beef together.
- Can I fry these: Yes! Heat about a tbsp of oil in a skillet then add the meatballs and fry until golden all around, should take about 7 to 10 minutes.
- Leftovers: This Meatball Parmesan recipe will last 3 – 4 days in the fridge if stored in an airtight container. To freeze just place the cooked meatballs on a baking sheet and freeze separately to begin with. Transfer them to a freezer bag or otherwise airtight container and place back in the cold and they’ll keep for up to 3 months.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.