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Meatballs and Gravy

Tender meatballs are smothered in brown gravy with onions and served over creamy mashed potatoes. This is the ultimate comfort food that’s freezer-friendly and can be made ahead of time!

Be sure to serve this with my homemade Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Green Beans!

A white plate with a pile of mashed potatoes topped with meatballs and gravy with fresh rosemary on the side.

Meatballs and Gravy

Meatballs and gravy is definitely the ultimate comfort food, nothing hits the spot like meat and potatoes. Right!?

I’m always on the hunt for ground beef recipes that I know my family will love, and this one does the trick every time. I love that I can make the meatballs ahead of time, and that they’re also make-ahead and  freezer-friendly!

How to Make It

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

Set olive oil aside. Mix remaining meatball ingredients and roll into 1 +1/2 inch balls. Brown in batches in a skillet with olive oil. 

Melt butter in the skillet and add the onions. Cook until softened and slightly caramelized.

Add the chicken broth, beef broth, onion powder, garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce to the skillet.

Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and whisk in the cornstarch/water mixture. Reduce to a simmer. It will continue to thicken.

Add the meatballs back to the skillet and spoon with gravy heat for about 10 more minutes to allow the meatballs to cook through.

Top with fresh parsley and serve with mashed potatoes and roasted carrots.

Pro Tips For This Recipe

  • Don’t overwork the meat when you mix it, it will make the meatballs tough instead of nice and tender.
  • Refrigerate the meatballs for 15 minutes after rolling them to help them stay together during cooking.
  • Searing the meatballs creates a nice color and texture around the outside of the meatball, which is ideal for this recipe.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan when  you brown the meatballs, browning in batches makes it easy to rotate them so that they can brown on all sides.
  • A nonstick skillet will help keep the meatballs from sticking to the pan and makes it easier to keep them intact when you flip them.

Make Ahead Method

  • The meatballs can be mixed up and rolled 1 day ahead of time. Store them in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.
  • You can also freeze the raw meatballs and let them thaw in the fridge overnight before you want to cook them. For this reason, I like to make a double batch of meatballs and freeze them for another day.

Storage

Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

A skillet with meatballs and gravy topped with fresh parsley.

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Meatballs and Gravy over mashed potatoes.

Meatballs and Gravy

4.99 from 84 ratings
Tender meatballs are smothered in brown gravy with onions and served over creamy mashed potatoes. This is the ultimate comfort food that's make-ahead and freezer friendly!

Ingredients

Meatball Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 ½ lbs. Ground Beef, 85% lean
  • ½ Yellow Onion, finely diced
  • ¼ cup Breadcrumbs, Plain or Italian
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1 Tablespoon Ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Yellow Mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Fresh Parsley, roughly chopped

Gravy

  • 1 medium Yellow Onion, sliced into ½ inch strings
  • 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup Beef Broth
  • 1 Beef Bouillon Cube, or 1 tsp Better than Bouillon
  • 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2-3 drops Kitchen Bouquet browning and seasoning sauce, optional
  • 1/4 cup cold water + 3 tablespoons Corn Starch

Instructions

  • Pro Tip: Refrigerate the meatballs for 15 minutes after rolling them to help them stay together during cooking.

Brown the Meatballs

  • Set olive oil aside and gently mix remaining meatball ingredients in a large bowl until just combined, don’t overmix or the meat will become tough. Roll into 1+1/2 inch meatballs.
  • Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Brown 5-6 meatballs at a time for about 2 minutes on each side. (Leave extra room around each so that you can easily roll them over to cook on the reverse side.) Remove and set aside on a plate. Repeat for all meatballs.
  • Reduce heat to medium. Add any oil/drippings from the meatball plate back to the pan and melt a Tablespoon of butter. Add the sliced onions and let them soften and even caramelize a bit, about 15 minutes. Stir often.

Prepare the Gravy

  • Add the chicken broth, beef broth, beef bouillon, onion powder, garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce to the skillet. Stir to combine.
  • Use a silicone spatula to work any brown bits on the bottom of the pan into the sauce. If a darker color is desired, add 2-3 drops of Kitchen Bouquet browning and seasoning sauce.
  • Combine the cold water and corn starch in a small Tupperware with a lid. Shake to combine.
  • Bring gravy to a boil. Slowly whisk in cornstarch mixture until desired thickness is obtained. Decrease to medium low. Continue to whisk to ensure that it blends in smoothly.

Add the Meatballs

  • Add the meatballs back to the skillet and heat for about 10 minutes to allow the meatballs to finish cooking through. Garnish with parsley and serve over mashed potatoes.

Notes

This recipe  makes about 24-27 meatballs and 6 servings. Nutrition information is per serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 307kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 27g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 103mg, Sodium: 664mg, Potassium: 546mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 118IU, Vitamin C: 6mg, Calcium: 42mg, Iron: 4mg
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238 comments on “Meatballs and Gravy”

  1. OK my second time making these and now they are PERFECT!
    Here is what I did: follow the ingredients except use 2 Tbsp olive oil, I used 3/4 lb. Ground sirloin (90%) and 3/4 lb. Ground chuck (80 %) for the meat, I put 1/2 of the yellow onion in a mini food processor and squeezed out the excess juice, used Italian breadcrumbs and 1 heaping tsp of dried crushed parsley.
    Per instructions I refrigerated the 24 meatballs for 20 minutes then fried them for 5 to 7 minutes and removed them back to the

    cookie sheet and baked at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. PERFECT!
    They didn’t fall apart, were moist and tender and reheated well in the microwave. They also freeze well.
    ted well in the microwave and freeze well.

    • Sounds like you nailed it Katherine, nice work! I agree, they really do freeze so well. I make this a lot for my husband and his friends when they watch football. Thanks so much for the great comments!💕

  2. I used a mini food processor to mince the onion for the meatballs.
    For the meat I used 3/4 lb ground sirloin and 3/4 lb ground chuck.
    Used Italian breadcrumbs and dried parsley all the rest was the same for the meatballs! I let them rest in the fridge for 20 minutes then seared in a non stick skillet, then set aside.

    I doubled the gravy ingredients but omitted the onions in the gravy. I used the same pan to thicken the gravy in then put in a 4qt crockpot.
    Added the sauteed meatballs to the gravy and cooked on low for 5 hours!

    The only problem I had was keeping out of the gravy IT IS THE BEST AND THE MEATBALLS COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MORE TENDER! Make this now!
    There isn’t a better recipe on the internet than this one!
    Katherine

  3. I would like more depth to the gravy. Do you think some red wine might creat that? I also recommend using a nonstick skillet. Love learned my new recipes! Thank you!

    • The bouillon creates the depth of flavor in this recipe but you can deglaze with wine after browning the meatballs if you like! Nonstick is fine, but won’t create the same browning effect.

  4. Hello! What can I sub for the mustard? I don’t like mustard at all. 

  5. I loved the recipe.  It was easy, but the flavor was great.  I loved the caramelized onions in the gravy.  It was great comfort food for the rainy day that we were having.  Thank you for sharing!

    • You’re very welcome, I’m so happy you enjoyed the caramelized onions, they really enhance the flavor! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave such a great review!💗

  6. This was so good, we both loved it. I made serving for 6 so we have extra for a second meal and some for my dad.

  7. This is so savory and delicious! It is a must keep in my recipe collection. Thank you and continue doing what you do:)

  8. Can you use minced onions?

  9. I love this kind of recipe, so will be making it very soon. My severe allergy to onions (and all alliums) means I’ll have to leave them out, but since they’re only for me, that’s all right.

  10. Excellent! This is a keeper!

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