This is me.

I put empty milk containers back in the fridge.

I throw gum wrappers behind the couch.

I resist laundry until it smells.

I don’t roll the toothpaste tube from the bottom.

I eat all of the rice chex out of the Chex Mix.

And I use tomato sauce from a jar.


Mini meatballs. Bite sized meatballs. Meatballs that can be eaten in one chew. Meatballs that are cute. Meatballs that are easy. Meatballs that are simple. Meatballs that taste delicious with pasta. Meatballs that taste even better snuggled in fluffy wheat buns, toasted to perfection then blanketed with a layer of melty provolone broiled until golden brown. Do it.

Bite Size Baked Meatballs

makes 30-40 mini meatballs

1 1/4 pounds lean ground beef

1 egg

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/3 cup romano cheese

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried parsley

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

3 cups of your favorite pasta sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, add ground beef, egg, oil, cheese, breadcrumbs, garlic, salt, pepper, basil and parsley. Mix to combine, gently tossing a few times with your hands. Don’t overmix – it will result in tough meatballs! Spray a large baking dish with non-stick spray and add 2 cups of pasta sauce. Roll beef into mini meatballs (about a tablespoon of beef) and set in sauce. Once all meatballs have been added, sprinkle additional cheese and breadcrumbs over top. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through. Serve with additional sauce if desired.

I also need to add to the above list that I don’t clean. But I believe that goes without saying around here.

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114 Responses to “Bite Sized Baked Meatballs.”

  1. #
    Sues — May 6, 2011 @ 2:17 pm

    Yummm these are the perfect Friday night dinner!! They’re so adorable and delicious-looking :)


  2. #
    marla — May 6, 2011 @ 4:26 pm

    “Snuggled in white buns!” or in this case spaghetti nests. OMG I knew I loved you, but now even more so. That is one of our favorite TJ sauces :) xo


  3. #
    Naomi — May 6, 2011 @ 5:15 pm

    hehe I used to pick out all of the dark chips from the chex mix…the dark brown ones that are covered in salt…they put like 3 in a bag and I always would go through a few bags and pick them out :)

    MINI’S!!! I love!


  4. #
    Molly — May 6, 2011 @ 5:45 pm

    I need petit meatballs like these! I enjoy food in a small form-tastes better?


  5. #
    Christine — May 6, 2011 @ 7:23 pm

    This is a great idea! I really, really hate making meatballs and I always feel like they turn out at “meatcubes” or “meatmash.” I can handle this.


  6. #
    Jolene ( — May 6, 2011 @ 7:30 pm

    Hehe, I love that you throw gum wrappers behind the couch. I would probably do that, but my hubby would have a brain aneurism.


  7. #
    Rachel @ Rachel's Recipe Reviews — May 6, 2011 @ 11:33 pm

    Nothing like a good meatball! Thanks!


  8. #
    Blond Duck — May 7, 2011 @ 6:59 am

    I LOVEEEEEEEEE meatballs.


  9. #
    Sherrie — May 7, 2011 @ 9:12 am

    You do all the cooking, why should you have to clean too! We’re going to have cute little meatball subs for dinner, the perfect snack food before we go see the new movie, Something Borrowed. Thanks for another great idea. :)


  10. #
    Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food — May 7, 2011 @ 9:58 am

    mmm mmm! Our meatball recipe is very similar except we don’t use lean meat (I’m just sayin… ) ;)

    Have a great weekend!


  11. #
    Morgan @ moments of mmm — May 7, 2011 @ 6:04 pm

    There is nothing wrong with jarred tomato sauce! Especially when you are making amazing homemade meatballs like these!!!


  12. #
    doniree — May 7, 2011 @ 8:54 pm

    I want to know how you made the pasta in a cute little nest like that!


  13. #
    Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger) — May 7, 2011 @ 10:42 pm

    Confession: I use the jarred stuff too. These look just like my kind of meatball. No fuss, but pretty darn tasty! Thanks for sharing.


  14. #
    Lucy @ Lucy eats — May 9, 2011 @ 1:42 am

    Yum! I love bite sized things and I’m also a self confesed messy person. I should probably do my washing to..


  15. #
    Ella Sherman — May 9, 2011 @ 2:11 am

    Ah! Such a great idea. My husband and son are meat eaters and I lean towards vegetarian. A perfect way to marry the two. Marinara sauce with meatballs. YES!


  16. #
    Stuart — May 9, 2011 @ 2:19 am

    I’m sure the kids will enjoy this too.
    Not too bland – thanks!


  17. #
    Katie — May 9, 2011 @ 10:43 am

    I made these last night – they were fantastic! We had enough meatballs to make subs for lunch today and I froze the rest for one of those nights when I don’t want to cook.


  18. #
    gabby — May 9, 2011 @ 3:24 pm

    OH how i love meatball recipes that don’t require the awful “browning” step. so excited!! :) xo.


  19. #
    Blessed Girl — May 9, 2011 @ 6:51 pm

    Making these yummy smelling meatballs as I type. Well, actually not as I type because the keyboard would be getting mighty greasy! By the smell of them, it’s going to be hard to wait until they are done to eat ‘em up!


  20. #
    Kathryn — May 10, 2011 @ 10:55 am

    Hey- there is nothing wrong with using spaghetti sauce from a jar! (or resisting laundry until it smells, for that matter!) These look like perfect party appetizers- yum!


  21. #
    Biz — May 10, 2011 @ 2:24 pm

    I love meatballs, can you believe my Italian husband doesn’t?!!

    And I don’t like to clean either – I don’t know what I’ll do when my Type A clean freak daughter moves out!

    Thanks for the recipe Jessica :D


  22. #
    Tiff @ Love, Sweat, and Beers — May 10, 2011 @ 2:49 pm

    That looks great! I saw the pic on TasteSpotting and just haaaad to follow it. :)


  23. #
    Cassie @ Coffee & Chopsticks — May 10, 2011 @ 8:49 pm

    These look so good! We don’t have Trader Joes in Florida but any spaghetti sauce should be okay. I can’t wait to try them!


  24. #
    Elle — May 17, 2011 @ 11:31 am

    I cannot resist a plate of spaghetti and meatballs. And like you said, meatballs in a toasted bun? YES! And it HAS to be provolone.


  25. #
    Bob Timmerberg — June 11, 2011 @ 5:46 pm

    Thank you for posting. This is the best meat ball recipe I’ve tried and made them again today. Love em!


  26. #
    Kate — June 19, 2011 @ 10:36 pm

    Made these tonight, so tasty!

    I did use turkey instead of beef.


  27. #
    kat — July 20, 2011 @ 10:27 pm

    Can I just say that I love your recipes! I made these yummy meatballs for my very first blog recipe post! They were incredibly easy! I have a feeling I’m going to be using more and more of your recipes and posting them on my blog. I already made the crispy chicken skewers today, and those were soooo good and moist! :) I’m new to the blogging community, and if you have advice please do share! Thank you :)


  28. #
    Tabitha — January 13, 2012 @ 10:45 am

    Def trying this!!


  29. #
    Mary Garnham — January 16, 2012 @ 4:27 am

    I have made these meatballs several times and they are truly delicious. I almost panicked when I could not find the recipe in my “Favourites”, but of course it was there. I shall have to print it off! Looking forward to them again this eve.


  30. #
    heather — March 19, 2012 @ 7:37 pm

    In the oven right now!


  31. #
    Gen — April 9, 2012 @ 6:15 pm

    Just took these out of the oven, and Jess, I owe you a debt of gratitude for omitting that pesky browning step! I made these using ground turkey, and since I was out of basil, I substituted pesto instead. SO GOOOD!! :)


  32. #
    Alexandra — April 19, 2012 @ 7:26 pm

    These are in my oven right now. My apartment smells soooo good!



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