When it comes to desperation dinners in this house, meatballs are always high on the list.
As many of you no doubt understand, the meatball is a wonderfully malleable foodstuff. Pick your ground protein (even a plant-based one!), herbs, seasonings, and cheese—because around here, cheese is a non-negotiable—and go to town.
And the other thing makes a meatball pretty damn close to perfection is how simple it is to oven-bake a big batch.
No matter what the meatball is made of, I always bake up a whole sheet pan’s worth. Eat some now, eat some tomorrow, freeze some for next month.
So why not take it a step further, since I’m firing up the oven for meatballs already, and make a whole sheet pan meal out of it?
That’s how we end up with sheet pan meatball parm.
It’s got all the components of your favorite Italian-American sandwich: juicy meatballs, garlicky tomato sauce, mozzarella, and crusty bread.
It’s just served in a bowl instead of as a sandwich. Call it knife-and-fork meatball parm if you want, or less-messy meatball parm.
Technically, sheet pan meatball parm involves two sheet pans: one for baking the meatballs as you normally would, and one for the rest of the meal components.
Roasted cherry tomatoes become the sauce of the dish, slumping into a juicy mess as they cook. Adding a few garlic cloves to the pan is another no-stress way to get intense flavor without having to mince a thing.
And of course you can switch out the ground beef for the protein of your choice, but this is my classic meatball recipe that is the base for any riffs and tweaks I might want to do.
Use it as a template to make your favorite sheet pan meatball parm dinner—or any other sheet pan meatball dinner that strikes your fancy.
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano, divided
- 1/4 + 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 5-6 medium garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 large egg
- 2 ounces panko
- 1 ounce freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 small loaf ciabatta (about 3/4 pound), cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 (8-ounce) container fresh mozzarella pearls, drained
- fresh basil leaves (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone liner for easier cleanup, if desired.
- In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil, rosemary, 1 teaspoon oregano, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt.
- Spread in an even layer on the sheet pan. Add the garlic cloves, nestling them into the tomatoes.
- Cook for 15 minutes while you make the meatballs.
- Line a separate rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper for easier cleanup, if desired.
- In a large bowl, mix the beef, egg, panko, Parmesan, garlic powder, parsley, pepper, and the remaining 1 teaspoon kosher salt together with your hands until blended.
- Roll into approximately 2 dozen 1 1/2-inch meatballs and place on the sheet pan.
- In a separate large bowl, toss the ciabatta cubes with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to coat.
- Stir the tomatoes and garlic, and move them to one side of the sheet pan. Spread the ciabatta on the other side of the sheet pan.
- Add the meatballs to the oven.
- Cook everything for 10-15 minutes more, until the meatballs are sizzling and cooked through, and the ciabatta cubes are lightly toasted.
- Remove from the oven. Gently squeeze the garlic cloves to remove the softened garlic from the skin.
- Toss the garlic with the tomatoes and ciabatta.
- Divide the ingredients between 4 bowls. Sprinkle each bowl with a handful of mozzarella pearls and a few basil leaves, if desired.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 579Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 158mgSodium: 966mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 40g