Healthy baked meatballs are packed full of flavor and nutrition! These are both kid and adult approved, a win-win! Enjoy these on top of a bed of spaghetti pasta and your favorite sauce.
We love a good meatball. Seriously, it transforms the plainest old spaghetti into something extraordinary. A good spice element is important, yet these aren’t spicy enough for the kids to complain. Speaking of the kids, we like to make them as healthy as possible for them. These meatballs don’t use any traditional bread crumbs. Instead they are full of wheat germ, wheat bran, and ground flax. Ta-da! And they are totally delicious! We like to bake them a bit longer than called for so they get all burnt and crispy on the outside. After forming the meatballs they can be frozen until ready to bake. Just pop them in the freezer on a baking sheet and once they are hard, store them in a ziplock freezer bag.
Cooking Lesson: When you purchase ground beef it’ll have a percentage written on it. This percentage will tell you the fat content. The range of percentage will be anywhere from 70% to 97%. That number refers to what percent of the product is meat. The rest of the percentage is fat. So when you buy 70/30 beef, 70% is meat while 30% is fat. While fattier packages of ground beef are usually cheaper, more of the product will melt off during cooking since it is fat. However, as the fat melts off the meat will have a constant basting of liquid and flavor which prevents your meat from drying out. On the other hand, lean ground beef is obviously healthier. If you use a lean ground beef then you should be mindful of the fact that it will dry out easier.
How lean of ground beef should I use?
We recommend a lean ground beef in healthy baked meatballs, 80% lean or higher is preferred. However, if you only have a fattier ground beef available, it will still work.
Dairy Free substitutions for healthy baked meatballs:
This is a fairly easy recipe to make dairy free. Substitute the milk for your favorite non-flavored milk alternative. To substitute the cheese, you will want to stick with a plant based brand you know and love to replace with a dairy free parmesan cheese substitute.
Storage and Reheating Instructions:
Store any leftover meatballs in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat individual meatballs wrapped in a paper towel in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until heated through.
If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other delicious ground beef recipes:
- Classic Bolognese Sauce
- Best Baked Ziti Ever
- Jalapeno Cheddar Stuffed Meatloaf
- Old Fashioned Shepherd’s Pie
Healthy Baked Meatballs
- 1 pound ground beef lean
- 1/2 white onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated
- 1/4 cup wheat germ
- 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
- 1/4 cup wheat bran
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a 9 x 13 pan or baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
- Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly until ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Shape into 1 to 1.5 inch balls. Whatever size you choose, they should all be roughly the same size for even cooking.
- Bake for 25 -30 minutes. For extra crispy add another 15 minutes.