This is an old recipe of mine. I originally started with a Cooking Light recipe (all of my older recipes began with Cooking Light) and modified it over the years. These are baked in the oven to reduce unnecessary calories from frying them in oil and to make the clean-up easier. I began making these when my oldest child was pretty young so she could eat some protein with the pasta (and often peas) that she was deeply into at the time. I don’t make these very often anymore, but I should as my son is currently on a pasta kick and these are much healthier then the frozen Trader Joes meatballs I have been feeding him lately. These are a good source of lean protein and it is a very easy recipe to throw together in a hurry. All of the ingredients except for the ground beef are usually in my kitchen already, so it just takes a quick trip to the store to get the beef. I usually make enough to freeze a bunch so I can warm a few up in the microwave or oven quickly when I need a little protein to quickly put on my son’s plate.


  • Servings: 28 meatballs
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Quick, oven-baked, lean meatball recipe that can be served with pasta or on its own as an appetizer.

Credit: The recipe is based on this Cooking Light recipe


  • 1 pound extra lean ground beef (I use organic grass-fed 10% fat)
  • 1/4 cup sweet or yellow onion, finely diced (about 1/2 of a small onion or 1/4 of a large onion)
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (low sodium if you can find it)
  • 1/4 cup of fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely shredded
  • 1/4 cup of Panko
  • 1/4 cup low sodium tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry thyme
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional-not sure it adds much)
  • 10 – 15 turns of the black pepper grinder (maybe 1/4 teaspoon?)
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt (or less, I don’t measure this and tend to use less)
  • optional: 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (I have never added this because I have made this mostly for my kids when they were young and not into spicy foods).
  • cooking spray


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Combine all ingredients into a bowl except for the cooking spray. Mix well (I use my hands, seems the only way I can get all the ingredients well-distributed into the meat).
  3. Shape mixture into 25-30 meatballs (1 1/2″ approx.). Today I got 28 meatballs out of the recipe. Place meatballs on a pan coated with cooking spray and bake at 400 for 12 minutes or until cooked throughout. Serve as an appetizer with toothpicks or with your favorite pasta. Leftovers freeze and reheat well.

October 2016

All the ingredients in one bowl!
Easiest to mix with your hands
Ready to bake
Ready to eat!



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