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Meatball Bake Recipe

Meatball Bake

  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Yield: 6 1x


Units Scale


  • 500 g regular beef mince/ground beef (see note 1)
  • 250 g pork mince/ground pork (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)


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 700 g passata (1 jar)
  • 1.5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp white sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup tasty cheese/cheddar cheese or mozzarella cheese, freshly grated


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°F/400°F (all oven types).
  2. Place the meatball ingredients in a large bowl and mix until combined. Measure out a tablespoon 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, but spooning over 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.


Once the meatballs are formed, place them on a tray, freeze and then transfer them to a reusable sandwich bag once frozen (this process stops them from sticking). They are best thawed completely overnight in the fridge before use, but you can also add the frozen meatballs to the sauce as per the recipe. In that case, you will need to add 15 minutes to the recipe cooking time. 


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: 25 mins
  • Category: beef, meatballs, meatball bake
  • Method: pan, simmer
  • Cuisine: Italian

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