Meatballs (and Mashed Potatoes) with Gravy are simple oven baked meatballs in savory brown gravy. It is comfort food that is filling and delicious! Served over smooth and creamy mashed potatoes it makes this the best dinner ever!
Meatballs (and Mashed Potatoes) with Gravy brings me straight back to my childhood! It was my FAVORITE dinner. I love comfort food and this dish is just that!
Warm, filling and pure comfort! Every time I bite into a soft meaty meatball I am taken back to when I was a kid and all seems right in the world! (Man, life was easier when I was a kid!)
This is the meatball recipe my mom made for us growing up and now I make it. It is perfect in every way! There is no Italian seasoning in it, so it is a versatile recipe that can be used for a lot.
Think pasta dishes, Swedish Meatballs, meatball subs, meatball appetizers… and the recipe can even be used for meatloaf!
To make the meatballs you will need ground beef, saltine crackers (crushed), milk, eggs, and some seasonings. Just mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. Easy Peasy!
Next, you will roll the meatballs into about a rounded tablespoon size meatball.
SIDE NOTE: If you know anything about me by now, you know I cook and bake most things on parchment paper. I do not do that for these meatballs. Putting them straight on a greased baking sheet helps crisp up the bottoms. I have tried them on parchment paper and felt like the bottom of the meatball just was too soft. So don’t worry about parchment paper- just grease your baking sheet!
Line up the meatballs on the greased baking sheet. You do not need to worry about placing the meatballs 2 inches apart like you need to with cookies. They will not spread while baking so cram them close together with a little space around each other so they can crisp up a little bit.
Into the oven they go at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Mine cook exactly 20 minutes. To make sure they are done, you can cut one in half to make sure the center is no longer pink, or use a meat thermometer and make sure the internal temperature reads 165 degrees. Cook them longer if needed.
Freezing the Meatballs (if desired)
YOU CAN FREEZE THE MEATBALLS! After the meatballs have baked, let them cool, and place the pan in the freezer for an hour. I do this because the meatballs are so soft and tender (dare I say that awful word-moist!). If you plop them in a zip top bag to freeze them out right of of the oven, they will mush together.
So place the meatballs in the freezer on the pan, or on a plate in a single layer. This will make it so they don’t stick and lump together. After an hour, they should be partially frozen and perfect for putting in a zip top bag, or in a freezer container to freeze.
When you are wanting to use your frozen meatballs, just thaw them and reheat them in the oven, stove top or however you wish! You can place them frozen in a slow cooker with sauce and let them thaw as they cook!
The Mashed Potatoes
OK, really I am sure you all know how to make Mashed Potatoes, so I will make this short and sweet!
I use Russet Potatoes. I peel them, cut them into smaller chunks and boil them until they are soft and tender. Not everyone in my family will eat the mashed potatoes (I know– they are CRAZY), so you be the judge on how many potatoes you need to cook.
After they are done cooking, I drain them and mash them. I add a little butter, milk and salt to taste.
The Gravy For Meatballs (and Mashed Potatoes) – COMFORT FOOD
Meatballs (and Mashed Potatoes) with Gravy needs the right savory brown gravy. I wish I could say I make a homemade brown gravy from scratch for this recipe- I don’t! Never have, never will! We had packet gravy growing up and that is what I LOVE! So why mess with a good thing!
While I love making gravies from drippings, there is never enough drippings from the meatballs to make gravy.
If you are really wanting a homemade gravy you can make a brown gravy with a basic roux (butter and flour) and beef broth and seasoning. You can also make my Easy Homemade White Country Gravy and that would be AMAZING in place of brown gravy!
The brown gravy I love (and is a must) for these meatballs is McCormick Brown Gravy.
I make 4 cups of gravy, following the instructions on the packet. I use a large skillet to make the gravy, because the meatballs go into the gravy after baking, and I need lots of room!
The gravy is simple, but the flavor is so yummy and perfect for the meatballs and mashed potatoes! And like I said, this recipe takes me back to my childhood and this is the gravy we used and I can’t imagine it any other way!
The Meatballs (and Mashed Potatoes) and Gravy
After my potatoes are mashed and the meatballs are baked, I put the meatballs in the warm brown gravy and gently stir them! The meatballs are so tender and juicy, gently stir them in the gravy!
TIME TO EAT!!! Top your mashed potatoes with the meatballs and gravy (my favorite way to eat them), serve only the meatballs or serve the meatballs to side of the mashed potatoes (if you are one of those that hates your food mixing and touching).
Meatballs (and Mashed Potatoes) with Gravy is comfort food that is filling and delicious! The perfect, soft and juicy ground beef meatballs in a savory brown gravy, served over/with smooth and creamy mashed potatoes.
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Meatballs (and Mashed Potatoes) with Gravy
- 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
- 20 saltine crackers, crushed *about 1 cup
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 4 cups Brown Gravy *see notes
- Mashed Potatoes, for serving *see notes
- Preheat your oven to 400° Grease a baking sheet.
- In a bowl, mix together the ground beef, eggs, milk, crushed crackers and seasonings. Mix well. It will be sticky, this is what you want so the meatballs aren't dry.
- Roll the meatballs about a heaping tablespoon, rolling them and placing them on the baking sheet. They can be placed closer together, just leave a little room around each meatball. I get about 35 meatballs out of the recipe.
- Bake at 400 ° for 20 minutes. Check the meatballs and make sure they are done. You can cut one in half and make sure it is no longer pink, or use a meat thermometer and check the center of a meatball and make sure it reads 165 °
- While your meatballs are baking make your mashed potatoes and make the brown gravy. I make my brown gravy in large skillet so I can add the meatballs to it after they are done baking.
- After the meatballs have baked, add them to the gravy and gently stir them into the gravy so they are covered in gravy.
- Serve your meatballs and gravy over your mashed potatoes.