BAKED SAUSAGE MEATBALLS
Are you ready to make pasta night even better? This meatball recipe is so easy to make, and they come out incredibly tender, juicy, and full of flavor every time! Whether serving these over your favorite plate of pasta or serving as an appetizer at your next party, they’re always sure to impress!
Everyone in our house looks forward to pasta night. But who doesn’t? Spaghetti and meatballs have been a classic Italian-American dish since as far back as the late 1800s.
It’s safe to say how I serve pasta has evolved over the years. In the early years of my marriage, I always used ground beef, it’s what I grew up on, but I haven’t used ground beef with my pasta in almost 15 years. When I discovered how much more flavor there was when I used pork sausage, I never went back. When I mean more flavor…I mean, WOW FLAVOR!!
One day my oldest said, “why don’t you make meatballs this time?” It was my lightbulb moment! Of course…MEATBALLS!! I was determined to make the most amazing, unforgettable meatball recipe. After tweaking the recipe here and there, I finally had a recipe that my family went crazy for. I had my meatball recipe!
You might think twenty meatballs would be a lot for a family of four, but trust me – when your husband is sneaking 2 or 3 before you even sit down for dinner, and the kids come running the second you pull them out of the oven for a taste…And of course, I have to sample…right? Well, the point is, twenty doesn’t go as far as you might think. So don’t say I didn’t warn you…
Below I will share all my tips and tricks for making the perfect meatballs:
- For starters, I bake my meatballs. Baking them gives the meatballs a little more flavor without additional oil. Be sure to line your baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. If using foil, be sure to lightly spray it with cooking oil. This step is to prevent the meatballs from sticking to your baking sheet.
- Fresh, quality ingredients are a must –
- Sweet pork sausage – When making meatballs, fat is your friend. It will help you have tender, juicy, flavorful meatballs. So you’ll want to avoid using lean ground meat. Instead, I highly recommend using pork sausage (not ground pork), as this will give them an unforgettable depth of flavor due to the seasonings mixed into the sausage.
- Italian style bread crumbs – I prefer to use Italian bread crumbs instead of plain because they have additional seasonings. Italian bread crumbs have oregano, basil, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley flakes, salt, and pepper. All this equals FLAVOR! Also, it’s always better to use dry bread crumbs instead of soaked bread, or you’ll have mushy, fall apart meatballs.
- Milk – Any fat content will work. Milk helps to bind everything together and adds moisture.
- Egg – the egg is the other binder in this recipe, so don’t leave it out!
- Grated parmesan cheese – more flavor!
- Worcestershire sauce, garlic, pepper, and salt – and more flavor!
- Add all the ingredients to a medium bowl and mix with your hands until everything is evenly combined. Trust me on this one; you can combine the ingredients better by hand than with a spoon.
- Using your hands, form the meat into 1 1/2 inch balls. To do this, gentle press the meat in your hands and then roll until you have a perfect ball. Do not compact the meatballs too tightly, or you will have dense meatballs. Instead, press them just enough so that they stay together in a nice ball. It is also important that you make all your meatballs the same size so they bake evenly.
- Bake at 400F degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160F-165F degrees in the middle.
Serve on top of your favorite pasta dish. These also make great party appetizers! Simply stick a toothpick in each meatball, plate, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and fresh finely chopped parsley, and serve. Trust me; these will be a hit!! Enjoy!
BAKED SAUSAGE MEATBALLS
- 1 pound sweet pork sausage
- ½ cup Italian style bread crumbs
- ¼ cup milk
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking pan with foil or parchment paper. If using foil, spray lightly with cooking spray to keep the meatballs from sticking.
- In a medium bowl, add all of the ingredients and mix thoroughly with your hands.
- Shape the meatballs into 18- 20 balls (about 1½ inches in diameter). Press together slightly while rolling them in-between your hands. Make sure the meatballs are the same size.
- Place on prepared pan about ½ inch apart.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F-165°F.
- These also can be made in bulk and frozen. After baking, allow the meatballs to completely cool. Place the cooled meatballs in a freezer bag, press all the air out and seal well. Use within 6 months.
- To THAW meatballs, pull the bag with meatballs out of the freezer and place it in the refrigerator to thaw. This can take a few hours or overnight, depending on the size of the meatballs and how many are in the bag.