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Wondering how long to bake meatballs at 350? We’ve all been there. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a beginner in the kitchen, getting those meatballs just right can be a challenge. If you’re baking meatballs in the oven fresh or frozen, or baking meatballs in an air fryer, we have you covered!

Overhead shot of baked meatballs on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

In this article, you’ll be taken on a delectable journey from understanding why this recipe is a must-try to the nitty-gritty of making those mouth-watering meatballs. Plus, pro-tips on storing leftovers and pairing options that will elevate your meatball game. Let’s dive in!

In a nutshell: The ideal time to bake meatballs at 350°F (177°C) is between 20 to 30 minutes. This ensures they’re cooked through for a deliciously moist center, yet still boast a slightly crisp exterior.

❤️ Why you will love this recipe

Meatballs have always been a favorite comfort food for many, but when you bake them just right, they transcend into a culinary delight. Here’s why this recipe is bound to become your go-to:

Easy to Prepare

There’s no need for pan frying or constant monitoring. Just mix, roll, and let your oven do all the heavy lifting. Say goodbye to oil splatters and hello to a cleaner, stress-free cooking experience.

Versatility at its Best

Whether you’re in the mood for some homemade spaghetti sauce, craving an Italian sub, or just want to snack on them solo, these baked meatballs are the perfect fit. They’re like the little black dress of the culinary world – suitable for any occasion.

Healthier Choice

Baking meatballs, as opposed to frying, cuts down on unnecessary fats. This method ensures you get all the delicious flavors of juicy meatballs without the added guilt.

Cater to Various Dietary Needs

With the recipe options provided, you can easily tweak to fit different dietary requirements. Whether you’re going for a paleo meal or trying to cut down on sugar, there’s an alternative for you.

Perfectly Baked Every Time

The uncertainty of “how long to bake meatballs at 350” will be a thing of the past. By following this guide, you’re ensured perfectly baked meatballs with an evenly cooked center and a slightly crispy exterior, every single time.

🗝️ Key Ingredients & Substitutions

Every ingredient in this recipe plays a pivotal role, not just in taste but also in texture. However, if you’re looking to substitute due to dietary restrictions or personal preference, we’ve got you covered:

Ground Beef and Ground Pork: These meats are the heroes of our recipe, offering a rich flavor. You can use ground chicken or ground turkey for a leaner version.

Flaxseed Meal (or breadcrumbs): These bind the meat mixture, ensuring your meatballs don’t end up as crumbly meatballs. I use ground flaxseeds for a gluten-free version, but bread crumbs work perfectly too!

Egg: Acts as a binder, keeping the meatball mixture cohesive.

Ketchup: Adds a tangy sweetness. You can use regular, sugar-free, or even tomato paste.

Dijon Mustard: Introduces a sharp tanginess. Yellow mustard works too, especially if you’re going for a paleo or Whole30 version.

Worcestershire Sauce: Enhances the meaty flavor. Coconut aminos serve as a gluten-free alternative.

Garlic Powder, Salt, and Black Pepper: The essential seasonings to elevate the flavors. Always remember, season to your preference!

🥣 How to Make and Cook Meatballs at 350

When you’re craving the ultimate comfort food, knowing how to make the best baked meatballs is essential. Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting those meatballs just right every time:

Preparing Your Workspace

Before diving in, make sure your oven is preheated to 177°C/ 350°F. This guarantees that once your meatballs are ready to bake, your oven is at the right temperature, leading to evenly cooked deliciousness. Also, line a baking tray or cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. This helps in easy cleanup and prevents the meatballs from sticking.

Mixing the Ingredients

In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients. Using your hands might seem old school, but it’s the best way to get all the components to blend seamlessly. Remember, mixing till everything is just combined ensures tender meatballs. Overmixing can lead to a dense texture.

Mixing meatballs mixture in a large mixing bowl with hands.

Rolling the Meatballs

Grabbing small amounts of the meat mixture, shape them into 1 – 2-inch balls. This size is ideal as it cooks through perfectly while retaining juiciness. As you roll, place them on the prepared tray. Make sure they’re spaced apart so that they don’t touch; this allows them to cook evenly.

Raw meatballs on a parchment paper lined tray.

How long to cook meatballs at 350

Slide your tray into the preheated oven and set your timer. You’ll bake these for about 25-30 minutes, turning them halfway through. When turning the meatballs, approach them with care, as they can be delicate when hot. By flipping them, you ensure a uniform golden brown color and an evenly cooked center.

Turning a meatball over with turquoise tongs.

Once done, remove them from the oven and let them cool slightly before serving. This cooling time lets the juices redistribute, ensuring each bite is moist and flavorful.

Meatball sliced open on a baking sheet with other meatballs.

🫙 Storage Instructions

Made a big batch? No worries! Here’s how to store those leftover meatballs to enjoy another day:

Cooling Before Storing

Before you store any leftover meatballs, make sure they’ve cooled down to room temperature. This prevents condensation, which can lead to a soggy mess.

Refrigerating

Place the meatballs in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator. They’ll stay good for up to 3-4 days.

Freezing for Later

For a longer storage solution, consider freezing your meatballs. Place them on a tray, ensuring they don’t touch, and freeze for an hour. Once they’re semi-frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag. This method prevents them from sticking together, allowing you to take out as many as you need at a time. When stored properly, they can last up to 3 months.

🔥 Cooking Meatballs in an Air Fryer at 350

Air fryers have become a popular kitchen appliance due to their convenience and the healthier cooking options they provide. If you’ve been wondering how to get those perfectly crispy yet juicy meatballs without using an oven, the air fryer might just be your answer.

The Benefits of Using an Air Fryer

Air frying meatballs gives them a wonderful, crispy exterior while ensuring the insides remain succulent. This method uses hot circulating air to cook the meatballs, resulting in a faster cooking time than traditional ovens. Plus, air fryers often require less oil, making your meatballs a healthier option without sacrificing flavor.

Step-by-Step Guide to Air Fry Meatballs:

Preparation: Just like with baking, you’ll start by preparing your meatball mixture. Combine ground beef, ground pork, flaxseed meal (or breadcrumbs), egg, ketchup, dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.

Rolling the Meatballs: Using your hands or a cookie scoop, shape the mixture into 1-2 inch balls. This ensures they’re the right size for the air fryer basket and will cook evenly.

Preheat the Air Fryer: Even though many air fryer models don’t require preheating, it’s a good idea to do so for about 3-5 minutes at 350°F to achieve consistent results.

Placement: Place the meatballs in a single layer in the air fryer basket, ensuring they’re not touching. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you might need to cook the meatballs in batches.

Cooking Time: Air fry the meatballs at 350°F for about 10-15 minutes. It’s essential to shake the basket or flip the meatballs halfway through the cooking time to ensure they’re cooked evenly.

Check for Doneness: Ensure the meatballs have reached an internal temperature of 160°F for ground pork or beef using a meat thermometer. If you’re using ground poultry, aim for an internal temperature of 165°F.

Tips for Air Fryer Meatballs:

  • No Overcrowding: Ensure the meatballs don’t touch, allowing the hot air to circulate around each meatball for even cooking.
  • Oil for Extra Crispiness: A light spray of olive oil can help the meatballs achieve an extra crispy exterior.
  • Different Meat Options: Just like oven-baked meatballs, you can experiment with ground chicken, ground turkey, or even a vegetarian alternative. Adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Using an air fryer is a quick and efficient way to achieve delicious meatballs with a crispy texture. It’s a game-changer for those who love the crunch without the added calories from deep frying.

Close-up of a baked meatball on a baking sheet with other meatballs.

❄️ How to Cook Frozen Meatballs at 350

We’ve all been there — a sudden craving for meatballs, but only frozen ones in the freezer. Fear not! Cooking frozen meatballs is not only doable, but they can turn out just as delicious as freshly made ones. Whether you’ve stocked up on store-bought frozen meatballs or saved some of your homemade meatballs for later, you can easily cook them straight from the freezer.

For all of my tips on freezing meatballs, check out my Homemade Frozen Meatball recipe!

Frozen meatballs in a ziplock freezer bag.

Advantages of Using Frozen Meatballs:

  • Convenience: No need to thaw! Go straight from freezer to oven or cooking device.
  • Time-Saving: Skip the preparation and dive straight into the cooking, perfect for those busy weeknights.
  • Portion Control: Use the exact number you need and save the rest for later.

Steps to Cooking Frozen Meatballs in the Oven:

Preheat Your Oven: Before anything else, preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C). Ensure that the oven temperature is consistent to achieve evenly cooked meatballs.

Preparation: While not always necessary, you can line your baking tray or cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil for easy cleanup. This also helps if you want to catch any juices or sauce from the meatballs.

Placement: Arrange the frozen meatballs on the tray, ensuring they have space between them. This ensures the hot air circulates freely, helping the meatballs cook evenly.

Cooking Time: Place the tray in the preheated oven and bake for about 30-35 minutes. Turn the meatballs halfway through the cooking time for even browning.

Safety First: Once cooked, check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. It should register at least 160°F (71°C) for pork or beef meatballs, and 165°F (74°C) for chicken meatballs or turkey meatballs.

In the culinary world, frozen doesn’t mean compromising on taste. With the right approach, your frozen meatballs can be just as appetizing, ensuring you’re ready to tackle those unexpected meatball cravings any day of the week!

🪄 Recipe Notes & Tips

As simple as the process seems, a few tips can elevate your meatball-making game:

Quality Over Quantity

Invest in good quality meat. Whether it’s beef, pork, or even chicken, fresh, high-quality ground meat can make all the difference in flavor and texture.

Consistency is Key

While rolling, aim to keep all the meatballs roughly the same size. This makes sure they all cook at the same rate. No one wants a tray of mixed undercooked and overcooked meatballs.

Spices and Seasonings

Don’t be afraid to adjust the seasonings. The garlic powder, salt, and pepper measurements provided are guidelines. If you’re a fan of spicier food, consider adding red pepper flakes or even a touch of onion powder.

Keep an Eye on Them

Every oven is slightly different, so while the recommended baking time is a good guideline, keep a watchful eye on your meatballs. When they’re golden brown and sizzling, they’re usually good to go.

What are other meat options for meatballs?

While this recipe uses ground beef and pork, there are several other choices out there. Ground chicken or ground turkey are leaner options that can be just as delicious. For vegetarians, vegetarian meatballs made with beans, lentils, or mushrooms are gaining in popularity.

Can I add cheese to my meatballs?

Absolutely! Parmesan cheese or mozzarella cheese can be mixed into the meatball mixture for an added layer of flavor and gooeyness. Just ensure the cheese is finely grated for the best texture.

What if I don’t have breadcrumbs or flaxseed meal?

No worries! Moistened bread crumbs made from day-old bread or even oatmeal can serve as a substitute. They help bind the meatballs and give them structure. Just pop a slice or ½ cup into a food processor and blend until it is a fine powder.

Overhead shot of baked meatballs on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

🍽️ What can I serve with meatballs?

Now that you’ve mastered the art of making the best baked meatballs, you might wonder what to pair them with for the ultimate meal experience. Here are some suggestions:

Classic Spaghetti

The timeless classic – spaghetti with meatballs. Cook some spaghetti al dente (regular or gluten-free), toss it in your favorite marinara sauce, and top it off with your freshly baked meatballs. Finish with a sprinkle of pecorino romano or mozzarella cheese for that added touch of richness.

Groovy Gravy

Meatballs and gravy is comfort food at its finest! Try my Meatballs and Gravy recipe, served over creamy mashed potatoes. 

Meatballs and gravy over mashed potatoes.

Garlic Bread

There’s nothing like the aroma of freshly baked garlic bread. Slice up some baguette (regular or gluten-free), spread with a mix of butter, minced garlic, and fresh parsley, then toast until golden. This is the perfect sidekick to mop up any leftover sauce on your plate. Sprinkle some mozzarella over it if you’re feeling a bit cheeky!

Light Salad

To balance out the hearty meatballs, consider a light and refreshing salad. Toss some greens with cherry tomatoes, cucumber, olives, and a light vinaigrette. It provides a nice contrast and makes for a well-rounded meal.

💡 Final Thoughts: What You Need to Know About Cooking Meatballs

Internal Temperature is Crucial

When baking meatballs or any meat dish, making sure they’ve reached a safe internal temperature is critical. Using a meat thermometer, check your meatballs. They should hit at least 160°F for beef or pork and 165°F for poultry.

Pan Frying vs. Baking

While this guide focuses on oven-baked meatballs, pan frying is another popular method. It gives a crispy outer layer. However, baking is a healthier option and allows for more even cooking, especially for larger batches.

The Role of Fillers

Ingredients like breadcrumbs or flaxseed meal aren’t just fillers. They play a vital role in keeping your meatballs tender and juicy. They absorb the juices and prevent your meatballs from becoming dry or crumbly.

Oven Preheated vs. Not

The importance of a preheated oven can’t be stressed enough, especially when it comes to dishes like meatballs where even cooking is paramount. Starting with an oven that’s already at the desired temperature ensures that your cooking time is accurate and that your meatballs are cooked evenly throughout. Without preheating, the outer layer of the meatballs might overcook by the time the center is done.

Using Olive Oil for Extra Flavor

A little drizzle of olive oil over your meatballs before baking can elevate the flavor profile. It adds a hint of richness and ensures the exterior of the meatball gets a nice golden crust. Plus, it’s a heart-healthy fat that complements the flavors of the meat and spices.

The Size of the Meatball Matters

It’s not just about how long to bake meatballs at 350. The size of your meatball plays a significant role in the cooking time. Smaller meatballs will cook faster than larger ones. Consistency is key! Use a cookie scoop or your hands to ensure that all your meatballs are roughly the same size for evenly cooked results.

Overhead shot of baked meatballs on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet with one meatball sliced open.

❓ Frequently Asked Questions

How can I make my meatballs more flavorful?

There are several herbs and spices you can incorporate. Italian seasoning blend, red pepper flakes, and onion powder are just a few options. You can also consider using fresh garlic instead of garlic powder for a more robust flavor.

Can I freeze my meatballs?

Yes, you can! Once baked and cooled, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet to freeze individually. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag. They can last for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, you can bake frozen meatballs directly from the freezer, just add a few extra minutes to the cooking time.

Do I need to cover meatballs when baking?

No, you don’t have to. But if you notice they’re browning too quickly, you can loosely cover them with aluminum foil to prevent them from burning.

Remember, mastering the art of the meatball isn’t just about knowing how long to bake meatballs at 350. It’s about understanding the nuances of ingredients, the science of cooking, and the love you pour into each dish. Enjoy your delicious, perfectly baked meatballs!

Close-up of baked meatballs on a baking sheet.

😋 More ground beef recipes you will love

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📖 Recipe

Overhead shot of baked meatballs on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

How Long to Cook Meatballs at 350

Bethany Galloway
Wondering how long to bake meatballs at 350? We've all been there. Whether you're a seasoned chef or a beginner in the kitchen, getting those meatballs just right can be a challenge. If you're baking meatballs in the oven fresh or frozen we have you covered!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Oven-Baked
Cuisine Italian
Servings 40 meatballs
Calories 295 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 375 g ground beef 13oz
  • 375 g ground pork 13oz
  • 38 g flaxseed meal or bread crumbs 1/4 cup
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp sugar-free ketchup or tomato paste for paleo/Whole30
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard or yellow mustard for paleo/Whole30
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce or coconut aminos for paleo/Whole30
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 177°C/350°F.
  • Prepare a baking tray or cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  • Mix all of the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. You may want to use your hands to squeeze and mush everything together.
    Mixing meatballs mixture in a large mixing bowl with hands.
  • Roll the mixture into 1 – 2 inch balls and place them on the prepared tray, ensuring they don't touch.
    Raw meatballs on a parchment paper lined tray.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning them halfway through. When turning the meatballs, flip them over gently as they can be a little delicate when they're still hot.
    Turning a meatball over with turquoise tongs.
  • Check that the meatballs are cooked properly by inserting a meat thermometer into the middle of one meatball. When it reaches 71°C/160°F it is ready.
  • Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool down before serving.

Notes

  1. Consistency is Key: While rolling, aim to keep all the meatballs roughly the same size. This makes sure they all cook at the same rate. No one wants a tray of mixed undercooked and overcooked meatballs.
  2. Spices and Seasonings: Don't be afraid to adjust the seasonings. The garlic powder, salt, and pepper measurements provided are guidelines. If you're a fan of spicier food, consider adding red pepper flakes or even a touch of onion powder.
  3. Keep an Eye on Them: Every oven is slightly different, so while the recommended baking time is a good guideline, keep a watchful eye on your meatballs. When they're golden brown and sizzling, they're usually good to go.
  4. What are other meat options for meatballs? While this recipe uses ground beef and pork, there are several other choices out there. Ground chicken or ground turkey are leaner options that can be just as delicious. For vegetarians, vegetarian meatballs made with beans, lentils, or mushrooms are gaining in popularity.
  5. Can I add cheese to my meatballs? Absolutely! Parmesan cheese or mozzarella cheese can be mixed into the meatball mixture for an added layer of flavor and gooeyness. Just ensure the cheese is finely grated for the best texture.
  6. What if I don't have breadcrumbs or flaxseed meal? No worries! Moistened bread crumbs made from day-old bread or even oatmeal can serve as a substitute. They help bind the meatballs and give them structure. Just pop a slice or ½ cup into a food processor and blend until it is a fine powder.
  7. Storage instructions: Once cooled, place the meatballs in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator. They'll stay good for up to 3-4 days.
  8. Freezing: This is a great recipe for meal prep! Check out How to Freeze Meatballs for all of my tips and tricks.
  9. Air fryer or from frozen: Check the full post for details on air frying meatballs or cooking them from frozen.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 295kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 26gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 108mgSodium: 484mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1g
Keyword appetizer, dinner, easy, healthy, meal prep, oven baked, snack, spaghetti, sub sandwich
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