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Indulge in the rich and traditional flavors of Italian cuisine with our Italian Meatball for One recipe. This dish offers a single, generously sized meatball, expertly seasoned and bursting with classic hearty flavors, making it the perfect choice for those times when you desire a taste of Italy without preparing a large batch.

With just one pound of ground meat, you can create this recipe and three other delicious meals, as demonstrated in our guide “4 Single Serving Meals from One Pound of Ground Meat“.

For a delightful meal, pair this Italian meatball with buttered noodles, enjoy it with a slice of warm, freshly-baked French bread, or complement it with a crisp and refreshing Caesar Salad.

Why You’ll Love This Meatball Recipe

  • Flavorful: Every bite is a symphony of Italian seasonings and rich beef.
  • Satisfying: One meatball is hearty enough to satiate your meatball cravings.
  • Quick: Few ingredients and simple steps make this a speedy meal solution.
  • Versatile: Dress it up with your choice of sauce or sides.
  • Perfect for Those Cooking for One: Designed to be the ideal single serving.

RELATED: Easy Dinner Ideas For One

Ingredients for making a meatball on a wooden cutting board- chopped onions, chopped parsley, grated parmesan cheese, and ground beef on a scale.

Ingredient Notes And Substitutions

If you have any ingredients leftover from this simple meatball recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder.

  • Ground Beef: The primary protein, providing a rich taste. Ground turkey or chicken can be alternatives for a leaner option. If you have leftover ground beef, consider using it in Spaghetti Sauce, a Mini Meatloaf, or Mini Lasagna.
  • Onions: Onions add a layer of depth and flavor to the meatball mixture. Use shallots or green onions for a milder flavor, or 1/8 teaspoon of onion powder if fresh onions aren’t available. Use leftover onions in Hashbrown Casserole or Creamy Tomato Soup.
  • Breadcrumbs: Gives texture and holds the meatball together. Gluten-free breadcrumbs are a great alternative. Use homemade breadcrumbs or store-bought.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Adds a sharp flavor kick. Try pecorino romano for a bolder flavor.
  • Tomato Sauce: A traditional topping – you might like to consider using our small batch tomato sauce recipe. For a twist, you can use a creamy Alfredo Sauce or pesto.
  • Egg yolk: The yolk helps bind the meatball mixture and adds moisture. Hold on the the egg white and use it in one of our egg white recipes like Coconut Macaroons or a small White Cake.
  • Garlic powder: Adds a punch of flavor to the meat mixture. Use minced fresh garlic, or granulated garlic if you’re in a pinch.
  • Italian seasoning: A blend of herbs that provides the classic Italian flavor. A homemade mix of dried basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme will work well too.
  • Chopped parsley: Offers a fresh element and vibrant color. If parsley is not available to you, use chopped fresh basil or cilantro, depending on your taste preference.

This is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why I used them. For the full recipe please scroll down to the recipe box at the bottom of the post.

Recipe Variations

  • Spicy Meatball: Add crushed red pepper flakes to the mix.
  • Cheese-Stuffed Meatball: Insert a cube of mozzarella into the center before baking.
  • Herb-Infused Meatball: Incorporate fresh basil or oregano for an extra aromatic experience.
  • Vegan Meatball: Use plant-based meat alternatives and vegan parmesan.

How To Make A Meatball

These photos and instructions help you visualize how to make one giant Italian meatball. See the recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  1. Mix the ingredients together and form the meatball into a large round ball. Place it in a 5×5 inch baking dish or a dish of similar size.
A meatball in a small baking dish on a wooden trivet.
  1. Cover the meatball with tomato sauce and bake in the oven.
A meatball topped with tomato sauce in a small baking dish on a wooden trivet.
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Expert Tips

  • When mixing the ingredients, avoid overworking the meat to ensure a tender meatball.
  • For optimal cooking, ensure the oven is preheated fully before baking.
  • Letting the meatball rest for a few minutes after baking allows the juices to redistribute.
A fork and knife cutting into a meatball topped with tomato sauce and melted parmesan cheese.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I make a low carb meatball?

To make a keto-friendly, low-carb meatball, simply omit the breadcrumbs. Instead, incorporate an extra 2 tablespoons of shredded Parmesan. Alternatively, opt for almond meal as a breadcrumb substitute. Note that while almond meal offers a coarser texture, almond flour is a suitable backup choice if needed.

How can I store leftover meatballs?

Stored in an airtight container, it’ll last for up to 3 days.

Can I freeze meatballs?

Absolutely! Meatballs are perfect for freezing. If you wish, you can easily double or triple this recipe to prepare multiple meatballs for later use.

After combining the ingredients and shaping your meatball, you can choose to freeze it either before or after cooking.

For uncooked meatballs, ensure they’re thawed overnight in the refrigerator prior to baking.

As for cooked meatballs, they can be conveniently thawed and reheated in simmering sauce for about 10 minutes or given a quick zap in the microwave.

When stored in an airtight freezer container, meatballs will keep well for up to 3 months.

RELATED: Comfort Food Recipes For One

A forkful of meatball topped with tomato sauce and melted parmesan cheese.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

RELATED: Cooking For One: Tips To Eat Healthy and Save Money

If you’ve made this easy Italian meatball recipe, I’d love to hear how it turned out for you. Please rate the recipe and share your thoughts in the comments below.

Snapped a photo? Tag us on Instagram; we’d be thrilled to see your creation!


Your Cooking For One Source
Because you’re worth it

Italian Meatball For One

5 from 6 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Resting Time: 10 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Easy to make giant Italian meatball topped with tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese. This homemade, oven baked meatball is juicy & filled with flavor!

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese , plus 1 tablespoon for topping
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • teaspoon garlic powder
  • teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon bread crumbs
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
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Instructions 

  • Heat oven to 400° F (200° C).
  • Whisk the egg yolk in a medium-sized bowl until lightly mixed. Add the Parmesan cheese, parsley, Italian seasoning, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper, and whisk to combine.
  • Add the ground beef to the egg mixture. Use your hands or a large spoon to thoroughly mix the egg mixture into the ground beef.
  • Add the onions and breadcrumbs. Mix them into the meat using your fingers or the spoon.
  • Pour the oil into a small baking dish, swirl to coat the bottom of the dish. Form the ground beef mixture into a large ball and place in the center of the baking dish. Top the meatball with tomato sauce.
  • Place the baking dish in the oven and cook for 20 minutes. (The meatball is done when cooked through, and when it reaches an internal temperature of 165° F on an instant-read thermometer.)
  • Remove from the oven and top with 1 Tablespoon of Parmesan cheese. Cover baking dish with a sheet of aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Enjoy hot.

Notes

Expert Tips
  • When mixing the ingredients, avoid overworking the meat to ensure a tender meatball.
  • For optimal cooking, ensure the oven is preheated fully before baking.
  • Letting the meatball rest for a few minutes after baking allows the juices to redistribute.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 344kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 32g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 259mg, Sodium: 1459mg, Potassium: 798mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 1113IU, Vitamin C: 14mg, Calcium: 138mg, Iron: 6mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Recipe Rating




12 Comments

  1. Wendy Bruening says:

    Good, solid meal for one with some pasta and a salad. I used onion powder due to laziness. Didn’t ruin it at all.

  2. BC says:

    Oh, no! Never onions in an Italian meatball.

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      Absolutely, I understand your perspective on traditional Italian meatballs. My recipe is inspired by my Sicilian great-grandmother’s version, which does include onions. It’s fascinating how recipes vary from family to family, and I love that this adds a unique touch to each dish. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  3. Renée says:

    Great recipe.Thank you!
    I put a cup of baby spinach to wilt in the sauce when I take it out of the oven.

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      That sounds so incredibly delicious!

  4. Doris D. says:

    This meatball is absolutely delicious! I usually make two at a time, one to eat now and one for tomorrow. I eat it with some bowtie pasta and a salad. Thank you, Joanie, for another excellent recipe.

  5. MAustin says:

    Perfect. I followed recipe as written. My now requests this. Thank you for another winner.

  6. Harmony Williams says:

    It’s not difficult to scale down recipes, just takes time and a few math skills. Your Website was like a gift! Thank you so much for putting it up 💖 I’ve bookmarked it and will visit a lot, I’m sure 😊
    By the way, your Meatball recipe is a home run it was delicious!

    1. Harmony Williams says:

      PS, I forgot to mention your of the Macros, nice touch and a big help

  7. R M Fernley says:

    Hi Joanie,
    If I double (or triple) to make more than one, shall I also add additional egg yolks, or one whole egg for a double recipe? Thanks!

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      You can use 1 whole egg when doubling this meatball recipe.

  8. Christine Wahl says:

    Absolutely delish. Will make again and again using top grade ground meat.

    Gonna make three tomorrow to freeze