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Versatile Meatballs

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With the holidays quickly approaching it’s always nice to have a tried-and-true recipe close at hand. This recipe for Versatile Meatballs is one you’ll probably agree is worth keeping. Especially since it can easily be modified to be gluten-free which makes these meatballs a great gluten-free option if you need one.

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Versatile Meatballs 2

Versatile Meatballs are simply that, versatile. For now, let’s focus on yummy BBQ meatballs. It’s easy to make the meatballs smaller for a bite-size appetizer or larger as the main meat dish. They truly are delicious either way. 

APPETIZER: Form the meatballs into 1-inch diameter size balls and bake until thoroughly cooked. Since the size of each meatball is smaller, remember to reduce the baking time. When the meatballs have finished baking place them on a serving platter, slather them with your favorite sauce and add appetizer skewers to each meatball. 

Versatile Meatballs 1

MAIN DISH: Form the meatballs into 2-inch diameter size balls and bake according to the recipe directions. When they have finished baking, use a basting brush and generously slather each meatball with Grandma King’s Homemade BBQ Sauce. This homemade BBQ sauce is my all-time favorite. Since I make it myself, I know exactly what is going into it and therefore I can make it gluten-free, plus it really is delicious!

italian meatballs with spaghetti

Versatile Meatballs also work well in a wide variety of dishes. Instead of coating the meatballs in BBQ sauce smother them instead with Homemade Versatile Tomato Sauce. Serve over cooked organic wild rice and along with a tasty side salad.

italian meatballs with spaghetti

Of course, spaghetti is always a favorite dish, especially with children. Top your favorite pasta with saucy meatballs, a touch of fresh basil and shaved mozzarella cheese. Yum!

Served meatballs and tomato sauce in pastry

Did you know that meatballs make a great pizza topping? Yep! Start by half-baking your favorite pizza crust. Remove it from the oven, cover the crust with pizza or Buffalo sauce and add leftover meatballs (if there ever is such a thing! lol). Continue baking until the crust is done. Remove it from the oven and add a touch of fresh basil and a sprinkle of chopped parsley flakes.  

Two homemade sandwiches with meat balls

Versatile Meatballs also work well for Italian meatball sub sandwiches. Simply slice open a loaf of Italian bread, add several saucy meatballs and perhaps a slice of cheese. Place in the oven or microwave until thoroughly heated. Enjoy!

52943589 - meatball soup on a rustic table

Finally, a steamy bowl of homemade soup is always good with Versatile Meatballs and is a great way to use up some of those leftover vegetables. In a stockpot bring 2 quarts chicken broth to a low boil. Add chopped vegetables such as carrots, celery, onions, potatoes, salt and pepper to taste. Cook until vegetables are tender. Add meatballs and simmer until meatballs are cooked through. Garnish with fresh herbs such as basil or cilantro. Serve piping hot. 


Versatile Meatballs

Yields 10 - 12 regular size meatballs

A delicious versatile meatball recipe that can easily be modified to be gluten-free.

15 minPrep Time

40 minCook Time

55 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 3 pounds ground chuck
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs (GF Option - use gluten-free panko bread crumbs)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup peppers, chopped (I like to use a mixture of red, yellow and orange peppers)
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried tarragon leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Mix ingredients until well combined.
  4. Shape mixture into balls (1-inch diameter for appetizer and 2-inch diameter for regular meatballs).
  5. Use parchment paper to line a 9 x 13 baking sheet with sides.
  6. Place meatballs onto baking sheet.
  7. Bake for approximately 35 - 40 minutes, or until fully cooked through.
  8. Serve hot with your favorite sauce.


FREEZING TIP: Versatile Meatballs freeze well. Place uncooked meatballs onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the freezer until meatballs are frozen solid. Place the desired amount of meatballs into ziplock freezer baggies and keep frozen until needed. When ready for use, thaw and bake according to directions.


FREEZING TIP: Versatile Meatballs freeze well. Place uncooked meatballs onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the freezer until meatballs are frozen solid. Place the desired amount of meatballs into ziplock freezer baggies and keep frozen until needed. When ready for use, thaw and bake according to directions.




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