These easy, homemade meatballs with buttermilk and panko breadcrumbs are the perfect easy weeknight dinner or comfort food to serve guests. Top them with your favorite sauce and serve as is, in rolls, or with spaghetti.
- Ground pork- I like using 80/20% for extra flavor
- Ground beef- I like using 80/20% as well
- Egg- to help the meatballs stay together
- Panko breadcrumbs- you can substitute for regular or gluten-free breadcrumbs.
- Buttermilk- to keep the meatballs from drying out. I love the flavor and richness of buttermilk, but you can substitute for regular milk, or even oat milk to make them dairy-free.
- Parmesan- I always recommend freshly grated.
- Tomato sauce- Use your favorite homemade or store-bought tomato sauce. You can see my variation of homemade tomato sauce in my Chicken Parmesan recipe. For storebought, I like using Rao's.
- Soak the breadcrumbs for about 5 minutes in buttermilk. This will add moisture back into the breadcrumbs with luxurious buttermilk.
- Mix the rest of the ingredients together-- don't be shy using your hands but be careful not to overwork!
- Sear the meatballs in olive oil for that crispy coating. You can skip this step if you are in a rush, the meatballs just won't get that crispy outside. If you skip this step, they will need to bake a little longer in the oven.
- Finally, pop everything into the oven to finish cooking.
Do not be intimidated if you think the raw mixture seems wet-- it will solidify into the perfect texture when baked.
What meat should I use to make meatballs?
I use 50/50 ground pork and ground beef for extra flavor. I recommend having the lean meat/fat ratio be 80/20 for extra juicy meatballs.
What if I don't have panko breadcrumbs?
Panko breadcrumbs are my favorite because of their extra crispiness. If you can't find them, regular breadcrumbs will still work great. If you can't find regular breadcrumbs, let white or sourdough bread sit on the counter overnight until stale and then process in the food processor.
What do I serve with meatballs?
You can't go wrong with classic spaghetti and meatballs. Cook your favorite dry spaghetti or homemade pasta and toss with tomato sauce and meatballs. Meatball sliders are also a classic. Throw the meatballs and sauce in your favorite rolls and you have a delicious dinner. For a low-cal option, eat them with your favorite sauce poured on top. No matter what, it pairs perfectly with the best Caesar Salad.
If you make these oven-baked easy, homemade meatballs with buttermilk, I'd love to know what you think in the comments below!
Easy, Homemade Meatballs (with buttermilk)
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 cup buttermilk divided
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 egg beaten
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese plus more for topping
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- homemade or your favorite jarred tomato sauce
- spaghetti or rolls for serving optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the panko breadcrumbs and ¾ cup of buttermilk. Let rest for 5 minutes while the panko soaks in the buttermilk. (Now is a good time to grate your parmesan).
- To the panko and buttermilk, add the beef, pork, egg, parmesan, Worcestershire, salt, pepper, and the remaining ¼ cup of buttermilk. Gently combine with your hands (do not overwork, or they will be stiff). Roll mixture into balls (I size them somewhere between golf balls and tennis balls-- they don't need to be perfect).
- Heat olive oil in a cast-iron or other large skillet on medium-high heat. Working in batches to avoid overcrowding, add meatballs into the hot skillet to brown. Rotate to brown all sides-- about 5 minutes per batch. Place browned meatballs on a non-stick baking sheet.
- Bake meatballs on a baking sheet for 15-20 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked all the way through and has reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees Farenheit.
- Meanwhile, heat your favorite tomato sauce in a skillet on medium-low heat. When meatballs are done, toss in the hot sauce.
- Serve meatballs and sauce on top of cooked spaghetti for spaghetti and meatballs, or inside warm rolls for meatball sliders, or as is. Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese, optional.