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Baked Meatballs in Tomato Cream Sauce

These oven baked meatballs are phenomenal - they are the best meatballs I've ever eaten. They are full of flavor, perfectly tender and simmer in a tomato cream sauce that's to die for. This baked meatball recipe is sure to be a family favorite! 

Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 5 -6
Author Janssen Bradshaw



  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 yellow onion finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 14- oz cans Italian-style diced tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream or half-and-half


  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/4 pounds lean ground meat turkey, chicken, or beef all work fine


  • 1/2 cup shredded fresh mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil optional


  1. In a large oven-safe skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook about 3 minutes, until it starts to soften. Add the tomato paste, garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, about 30 seconds.
  2. Stir in the canned tomatoes and then salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to a simmer and let it cook while you prep the meatballs.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with foil and set aside.
  4. In a food processor, pulse the onion until it is finely diced. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until well-combined. Roll the mix into meatballs about the size of golf balls (I used a cookie scoop) and place on the baking sheet. Cook for 15 minutes - it's okay if they aren't cooked quite all the way through.
  5. Take the sauce off the heat and stir in the cream or half and half. Add the meatballs to the pan of sauce, sprinkle the two cheeses over the top and put in the oven to bake until the cheese on top is bubbling and the meatballs are cooked through, 10-15 minutes.
  6. Garnish with the fresh basil, if you're using it. Serve warm over pasta or with french or garlic bread.

Recipe Notes

(adapted from Valerie's Kitchen)