Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Oven-Baked Meatballs I always come back to...

A couple of years back, a now defunct (but very cool) local kid’s store lured the gals from Kitchen Cabinet up to Fairfield County. I forget the topic they were speaking on…I think it was “healthy kids meals” or something timely like that. I’d closed my personal chef business, and was keeping busy cooking for my family and friends so I went, excited to learn from these foodie parents and entrepreneurs. I remember leaving the presentation with some localvore knowledge, and some paranoia about dairy (or was it meat, or was it produce…I can’t remember). Anyway, in my mind, the most helpful thing that came out of that meeting was their recipe for Oven-Baked Meatballs. Meatballs are easy to make. I make meatballs several times a year because I can make them in a big batch and freeze them. And depending upon what I have on hand, I’ll add grated veggies or some soaked whole grains which makes them even more moist and healthy. But I always come back to this recipe. There’s something about the addition of lemon and cinnamon that makes them special…

Oven-Baked Meatballs from Kitchen Cabinet
Makes about 20 Meatballs

Olive oil
1 lb ground beef
1 or 2 garlic cloves, pressed
½ cup bread crumbs*
1 egg
1/3 cup whole milk
Zest of 1 lemon
¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
½ cup shredded Parmesan
Dash of salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375. Pour a drizzle of olive oil on rimmed baking sheets. Set aside.

Put the rest of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and combine with your hands until blended. Form into ping pong-size balls, and then place them on the cookie sheet.

Bake the meatballs for 25 minutes, flipping them halfway through the cook time. The meatballs with be nicely browned when done…but light and fluffy, with the slightest crispy edge, when eaten! These meatballs freeze beautifully, so go on and make a double batch. These are perfect to have on hand for busy nights, eaten as is or served with spaghetti.

* I usually use whole wheat breadcrumbs in recipes, but today I was yakking away with my dear friend, Leslie, when I realized I didn’t have any in the house. The kids were playing quietly (truth be told: one was watching a National Geograhpic show about the moon and the other was napping for the first time this week), so a trip to the market was the last thing I wanted to do at 4pm. “Just throw some crackers in the Cuisinart” Leslie suggested. And so, I ground up equal amounts of Saltines and Ak-Mak. Perfect substitution!


  1. People don't usually think of baking meatballs but we used to do it in the hotels all the time. It is alot better than trying to fry them and get all splattered. Good job on these they look yummie.

  2. loved this post---and looking forward to baking my next batch of meatballs! Any chance to make ahead and freeze is a good thing;)

  3. That ingredient list looks promising. Thanks for the recipe.

  4. These are so easy, and delicious. Hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

  5. OMG - YUM! Made them last night and they were easy and absolutely delicious. So much easier to bake in the oven rather than on the stovetop.

  6. AnonymousJuly 17, 2012

    Thanks for the recipe! I made them for dinner tonight and they came out fantastic. Next time I think I'll add some chopped onion too. ^-^

  7. so glad you liked them! they are one of our favorites!! i agree that onion would be a great addition, if you have one on hand.


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