Meatball Bake

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Meatball Bake Recipe

Meatball Bake

This recipe proves that cooking perfectly juicy, tender meatballs in one pan is possible. This Meatball Bake starts with an easy and flavourful tomato and garlic sauce, and then it’s as simple as submerging the meatballs and allowing them to cook. A golden cheese crust finishes this dish, and it’s delicious, served with fresh bread to mop up the sauce or a bowl of pasta.

  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 6 1x


Units Scale


  • 500g regular beef mince (see note 1)
  • 250g pork mince (see note 1 for substitutes)
  • 1 onion, grated (see note 2)
  • 2/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp parmesan cheese, freshly grated (optional)
  • 1 tbsp parsley, freshly chopped (optional)



  1. Preheat the oven to a 200°C fan.
  2. Place the meatball ingredients in a large bowl, and mix until combined. Measure out a tbsp of mixture (using an ice cream scoop is helpful) and roll out the meatballs.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large, ovenproof skillet on medium heat to make the sauce. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute.
  4. Add the passata, chicken stock, sugar, salt and pepper. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Gently submerge the meatballs into the sauce, so they are evenly distributed in the pan.
  6. Using a spoon, ladle some of the sauce on top of each meatball (they may not be completely submerged under the sauce, which is fine, the sauce will stop them from drying out).
  7. Sprinkle the top generously with cheese. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden and the meatballs are cooked through.
  8. Serve with your favourite sides (see note 3).


Note 1 – Regular, 20% fat beef mince is required for this recipe (not lean beef, as it will produce dry and tough meatballs). You can omit the pork mince completely and substitute it with more beef mince.

Note 2 – Grating the onions will ensure the meatballs are extra juicy and flavour packed. Cut your onion in half and grate it on the cut side using a box grater. This ensures you are left with a fine onion “pulp” versus chunks of onions. 

Note 3 – Serve with fresh sourdough bread or garlic bread and a green salad. The sauce consistency is thin and perfect for dipping.

MAKE AHEAD – Once the meatballs are formed, place them on a tray, freeze and then transfer them to a reusable sandwich bag once frozen (to stop them from sticking). They are best thawed completely overnight in the fridge before use. The frozen meatballs can also be added to the sauce as per the recipe. You will need to add 15 minutes to the recipe cooking time. 

LEFTOVERS – Refrigerate for up to 3 days. Freeze for up to 3 months (in individual portions). Thaw completely overnight in the fridge and reheat in the microwave or oven. 

  • Author: Nicole
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins

Keywords: Meatball bake, the best meatball recipe, easy meatball recipe

10 Responses

  1. Hey Nic! I’m wanting to make this one but can’t use breadcrumbs. Could I use ground flaxseed instead? Or what would you recommend? Thanks so much! Your meals are our fave right now! X

    1. Hello Lovely! Thank you so much, that is just so lovely to read. ❤️ Although I haven’t tried it, I think the ground flaxseed would be perfect and would keep the meatballs deliciously tender throughout the bake! I would use half a cup instead of 2/3 cup as the recipe suggests… Just enough to bind the meatballs and stop them falling apart. I don’t know if it’s an option, but another person messaged to say they subbed with 1/4 cup almond meal and 1/4 cup of psyllium husk and they were perfect. Thank you again for messaging, so keen to hear how they go! 😍 x

  2. Wowzers!
    Made meatballs a trillion times over the years but this has just flogged all of them.
    Clearing out the manual recipe folder tomorrow and filing with this beauty.
    Loved the intermission whilst dish is in the oven to quickly clean up the prep / stovetop mess.
    The addition of some chilli on top took it to the next level!

    1. Ahhh this is fantastic. I am so glad you loved it as much as we do. Absolutely agree, I get so much satisfaction knowing there is little to no clean up once dinner is ready. Thank you so much for taking the time to write x

  3. I have tried many meatball recipes, all of which my kids have never liked, until this one! This recipe was absolutely delicious!! There was even enough for me to bring leftovers for lunch! Thank you for a beautiful recipe!!

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