Looking for a tender and juicy homemade meatballs recipe without eggs? Learn how to make delicious egg-free meatballs that are packed with flavor. This easy-to-follow recipe will show you the secrets to creating mouthwatering meatballs without sacrificing texture or taste.

This homemade meatball recipe is a great way to stretch your grocery budget and make meal prep easy. 

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Eggless meatballs in a pan

If you need more meatball recipes, be sure to visit my Buffalo Air Fryer Turkey Meatballs, Eggplant and Beef Meatballs, and 35+ Easy Appetizer Meatballs Ideas For A Party

Can I make good meatballs without eggs?

When preparing meatballs, eggs are commonly added to bind the ingredients and achieve a soft consistency. Nonetheless, individuals with an egg allergy or dietary limitations may need an alternative.

Fortunately, there are alternatives and techniques that can be used to make delicious and tender meatballs without eggs. You can still achieve flavorful meatballs your whole family will enjoy by choosing the right ingredients and following a few simple steps. 

In this guide, I will show you how to make perfect eggless meatballs and provide you with a flexible recipe that can be adjusted to your liking.

Ingredients For The Best Eggless Meatballs

For traditional meatballs, you only need a few simple ingredients. 

parmesan cheese, bread crumbs onions, salt, pepper, oregano, galic, and basil and whipping cream
  • Ground beef: For the perfect meatballs, it is recommended to use a blend of lean and fatty ground beef with a ratio of 80% lean and 20% fat, commonly known as “80/20” ground beef. The fat content adds moisture and flavor, while the lean meat provides structure resulting in tender and juicy meatballs.
  • Bread crumbs:  Small dried bread crumbs serve as a binder, helping to hold the ingredients together and prevent the meatballs from falling apart during cooking. Breadcrumbs also contribute to the overall texture of the meatballs, making them more tender and moist.
  • Parmesan cheese: Fresh parmesan cheeses adds a rich and savory flavor to the meat mixture and acts as a binding agent, helping to hold the meatball ingredients together and maintain their shape during cooking. Use freshly grated parmesan cheese instead of the variety found in a green can. 
  • Garlic: For the best flavor, mince fresh garlic.
  • Onion: A mild flavored onion, such as a Vidallia or other sweet yellow or white onion, is best. Be sure to dice the onion into small, even pieces. 
  • Heavy Whipping Cream: In the absence of eggs, heavy whipping cream acts as a substitute that helps bind the ingredients together and prevents the meatballs from becoming dry or tough. It provides a creamy texture and helps the meatballs hold their shape.

To view a complete list of ingredients and measurements, please refer to the recipe card.

Why should I add baking soda to ground beef before cooking?

Adding baking soda to ground beef before cooking is a technique known as “velveting.” It can help improve the texture and tenderness of the meat. It will also help you avoid making tough meatballs. 

baking soda being sprinkled over ground meat
  1. Tenderizing: Baking soda helps break down the meat’s proteins, making it more tender and less chewy. It accomplishes this by increasing the pH level of the meat, which leads to improved moisture retention and a softer texture.
  2. Flavor enhancement: Baking soda can also enhance the natural flavors of ground beef. Tenderizing the meat allows for better absorption of marinades or seasonings, resulting in a more flavorful end product.

Prepare Ground Beef 

You can use a simple baking soda solution to tenderize and moisten the ground beef when preparing meatballs. This step is optional but it will yield more tender meatballs.

  1. In a large bowl, combine 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of salt.
  2. Add 1 cup of water to the mixture and stir until the baking soda and salt dissolve.
  3. Pour the baking soda solution over the ground beef and thoroughly mix it with your hands. 
  4. Let the treated ground beef sit for approximately 15 minutes. This allows the baking soda solution to work its tenderizing magic.
  5. After 15 minutes, drain any excess water from the meat mixture.
  6. Proceed with making your meatballs using the treated ground beef, following your recipe instructions.

How To Make Eggless Meatballs Step-By-Step

​1. Begin by lining a large sheet pan with parchment paper. This will make cleanup easier. Set a wire cooking rack on the cookie sheet pan to allow any excess grease to drip off the meatballs during cooking.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the meatball ingredients. It’s recommended to wear kitchen latex gloves to keep your hands clean. Thoroughly mix the meat mixture using your hands to ensure an even distribution of ingredients.

4. Using a two-inch cookie scoop, scoop out portions of the meat mixture to form uniform-sized meatballs. Roll each portion between your hands to shape it into a firm ball.

meatballs on baking tray and a bowl of meat with cookie scoop

5. Place the meatballs on the prepared wire cooking rack, leaving space between each meatball for even cooking.

6. Bake the meatballs in a preheated oven for 5 minutes. Then, carefully flip the meatballs using tongs or a spatula, and bake for an additional 5 minutes to ensure even browning.

Tip: It’s important to check the internal temperature of the meatballs to ensure they are cooked thoroughly. Ground meat should reach a minimum internal temperature of 160°F (71°C) for safe consumption.

Tips For Rolling Meatballs

Rolling meatballs can be made easier with a few helpful tips:

  1. Latex gloves with olive oil: Wearing latex gloves while rolling meatballs can prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands and make the process less messy. To further facilitate rolling, lightly coat the latex gloves with olive oil. Creating a smooth surface will make shaping the meat mixture into balls easier.
  2. Chilling the meat mixture: Before rolling the meatballs, consider chilling the meat mixture in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. This helps firm up the mixture, making it easier to handle and shape into uniform balls. It also helps the meatballs retain their shape during cooking.
  3. Use a cookie scoop or ice cream scoop: Using a cookie scoop or ice cream scoop with a release mechanism can ensure that each meatball is of consistent size. This helps with even cooking, saves time, and makes the rolling process more efficient.
  4. Wet hands: If you prefer not to use gloves, wetting your hands with water can prevent the meat mixture from sticking excessively. Simply dampen your hands with water before rolling each meatball. Re-wet your hands as needed during the process.
  5. Keep a bowl of water nearby: Keep a small bowl of water nearby to dip your hands or scoop into occasionally. This can help prevent sticking and make the rolling process smoother.

Tip For Perfectly Minced Garlic

I always dreaded mincing garlic. I like even small pieces which were difficult to achieve. Most garlic presses made mushy pieces of garlic. While in Home Goods, I discovered the perfect Garlic Dicer with Stainless Steel Blades. It’s so easy to use and clean. All I do is peel, slice garlic in half, and press in the chopper to fill the little bowl.

small garlic mincer, best way to cut your garlic, hands down!

Basic Meatball Seasoning Variations

There are several optional seasonings and herbs that you can add to the basic meatball mixture to change up the flavor a bit for your recipe. Try different ways to create the perfect meatball for your family’s favorite recipes. 

  • Fresh herbs: Chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, basil, oregano, or cilantro can add freshness and aromatic flavors to your meatballs.
  • Italian seasoning: A pre-mixed blend of herbs like oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary can give your meatballs an Italian-inspired flavor profile.
  • Spicy heat:  For a touch of heat, add red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to the meat mixture. My favorite way to add heat to meatballs is by adding a few teaspoons of Tony Catchatories Creal Seasoning Mix. Adjust the amount according to your desired level of spiciness.

How To Make Gluten-Free Meatballs

To make this original recipe gluten-free, replace regular breadcrumbs with gluten-free breadcrumbs or gluten-free panko crumbs. These can be found in a local grocery store or made at home by processing gluten-free bread in a food processor and drying it in the oven.

​What other meat besides ground beef can be used to make meatballs? 

This is a flexible recipe to make simple meatballs using a variety of meats. Be sure to choose good quality meat. This will help make your meatballs tender and less greasy. 

  • Ground Pork: Ground pork is a popular choice for meatballs, especially in Asian and Italian cuisines. It has a slightly fattier texture, which can result in moist and flavorful meatballs.
  • Ground Chicken: Ground chicken is a leaner option for making meatballs.
  • Ground Turkey: Similar to ground chicken, ground turkey is a lean alternative to beef. It produces moist meatballs and can be enhanced with various herbs and spices for added flavor.
  • Ground Lamb: Ground lamb can add a distinct and rich flavor to your meatballs. It pairs well with Mediterranean flavors and herbs like mint, oregano, and rosemary.
  • Ground Veal: Ground veal has a delicate and tender texture, resulting in delicate meatballs. It is often used in traditional Italian recipes.
  • Mixed Meats: Combining different types of ground meat can create unique flavor profiles and textures. For example, a combination of ground beef and pork is a classic choice that balances flavor and moisture.

How To Freeze Meatballs For Meal Prep

Freezing meatballs for meal prep is a convenient way to have ready-to-cook or ready-to-eat meatballs on hand. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to freeze meatballs:

  1. Cool the Meatballs: Allow the cooked meatballs to cool completely at room temperature or in the refrigerator before freezing. This helps prevent moisture buildup and ice crystals during the freezing process.
  2. Arrange on a Baking Sheet: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Place the cooled meatballs on the baking sheet, ensuring they are not touching each other. This prevents them from sticking together during freezing.
  3. Flash Freeze: Place the baking sheet with the meatballs in the freezer and let them freeze for about 1 to 2 hours or until they are firm to the touch. This process, known as flash freezing, helps individualize the meatballs and prevents clumping.
  4. Transfer to Freezer Bags or Airtight Containers: Transfer the meatballs into freezer-safe bags or airtight containers once the meatballs are flash-frozen. Remove any excess air from the bags or containers to minimize freezer burn.
  5. Label and Date: Label the freezer bags or containers with the contents and date of freezing. This helps you keep track of their freshness and easily identify them later.
  6. Store in the Freezer: Place the labeled bags or containers in the freezer, ensuring they are stored flat to maximize space and prevent them from getting squished.
  7. Thawing and Reheating: When ready to use the frozen meatballs, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight. Once thawed, you can reheat them in the microwave, stovetop, or oven according to your preference and recipe instructions.

How To Make A Double Batch Of Meatballs

Need a big batch to feed a crowd? You can easily change the number of servings in the recipe card below by tapping 2x or 3x. The ingredient measurements will automatically double or triple. You can then tap print and there you have it, a recipe for a crowd.

eggless meatballs in a pan
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How To Make Soft Meatballs Recipe Without Eggs

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 15 meatballs
Learn how to make delicious egg-free meatballs that are packed with flavor. This easy-to-follow recipe will show you the secrets to creating mouthwatering meatballs without sacrificing texture or taste. This homemade meatball recipe is a great way to stretch your grocery budget and make meal prep easy.

Note: Be sure to read through the recipe’s post for tips and details about this recipe.

Ingredients
 

Prepare Ground Beef

  • 1 lb ground beef 80/20
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Prepare Meatballs

Instructions
 

Prepare Ground Beef

  • In a large bowl, combine 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of salt.
    1 lb ground beef 80/20, 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Add 1 cup of water to the mixture and stir until the baking soda and salt dissolve.
  • Pour the baking soda solution over the ground beef and thoroughly mix it with your hands.
  • Let the treated ground beef sit for approximately 15 minutes. This allows the baking soda solution to work its tenderizing magic.
  • After 15 minutes, drain any excess water from the meat mixture.

Mixing The Meatballs

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine meat and all of the other ingredients. It's recommended to wear kitchen latex gloves to keep your hands clean. Thoroughly mix the meat mixture using your hands to ensure an even distribution of ingredients.
    1 cup breadcrumbs, 1 cup parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1/2 cup onion, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon basil, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 2 tablespoons whipping cream
  • Using a two-inch cookie scoop, scoop out portions of the meat mixture to form uniform-sized meatballs. Roll each portion between your hands to shape it into a firm ball.
  • Place the meatballs on the prepared wire cooking rack, leaving space between each meatball for even cooking.
  • Bake the meatballs in a preheated oven for 5 minutes. Then, carefully flip the meatballs using tongs or a spatula, and bake for an additional 5 minutes to ensure even browning.
  • Note: It's important to check the internal temperature of the meatballs to ensure they are cooked thoroughly. Ground meat should reach a minimum internal temperature of 160°F (71°C) for safe consumption.

Equipment

Notes

Tips For Rolling Meatballs
  1. Latex gloves with olive oil: Wearing latex gloves while rolling meatballs can prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands and make the process less messy. To further facilitate rolling, lightly coat the latex gloves with olive oil. Creating a smooth surface will make shaping the meat mixture into balls easier.
  2. Chilling the meat mixture: Before rolling the meatballs, consider chilling the meat mixture in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. This helps firm up the mixture, making it easier to handle and shape into uniform balls. It also helps the meatballs retain their shape during cooking.
  3. Use a cookie scoop or ice cream scoop: Using a cookie scoop or ice cream scoop with a release mechanism can ensure that each meatball is of consistent size. This helps with even cooking, saves time, and makes the rolling process more efficient.
  4. Wet hands: If you prefer not to use gloves, wetting your hands with water can prevent the meat mixture from sticking excessively. Simply dampen your hands with water before rolling each meatball. Re-wet your hands as needed during the process.
  5. Keep a bowl of water nearby: Keep a small bowl of water nearby to dip your hands or scoop into occasionally. This can help prevent sticking and make the rolling process smoother.
Serving: 1meatball, Calories: 141kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.4g, Cholesterol: 28mg, Sodium: 313mg, Potassium: 115mg, Fiber: 0.5g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 85IU, Vitamin C: 0.5mg, Calcium: 103mg, Iron: 1mg
Cuisine: American
Course: Appetizer
Author: Gina Dickson

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