Even if you are not the most confident, experienced cook you’ve probably made a batch or two of meatballs. We’ve all grown up with them, they are easy to pull together, serve a crowd and the ultimate comfort dinner!
But there are a few ways to make this meal even easier and totally fuss-free!
Regardless of the recipe, most call for browning the meatballs after shaping. This is important for two reasons: 1) browning drains off a lot of the fat (which you don’t want in your sauce), and 2) browning yields that delicious, caramelized crust.
But browning is messy (so much splattering!) and makes for more clean-up.
The answer? Bake your meatballs instead!
This technique works perfectly, with no oil and zero splatter! Simply place the shaped meatballs on a wire rack set over a foil-lined baking sheet. By raising the meatballs on the rack all of the fat drips off onto the sheet, and allows for even browning all around.
Finish cooking the meatballs in your choice of sauce, boil up your pasta and dinner is served!
One more tip: slightly damp hands while shaping the meatballs means less sticking!
Easy, Mess-Free Meatballs (can be doubled or tripled):
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup flavored breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan (plus extra, for serving)
- 1 tablespoon garlic salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 4 – 5 cups marinara sauce (store bought or homemade)
- 12 ounces spaghetti
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and top with a wire rack that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large bowl combine the ground beef, eggs, breadcrumbs, parmesan, garlic salt, pepper and parsley. Mix well and shape into balls (slightly damp hands will prevent sticking). Place slightly apart on your prepared rack and bake for 25 minutes.
Transfer the meatballs to a large pot and add the marinara sauce – stir gently to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
While the meatballs are cooking bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and coat with a little of the sauce to prevent sticking.
Serve pasta on individual plates, topped with the meatballs, sauce, and extra grated parmesan.