Date: July 20, 2023
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Grandma Eva's Meatballs

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My Grandma Eva's meatballs are the perfect blend of savory and sweet! They are always a crowd-pleaser and perfect for potlucks and game days!

There weren't too many holidays when my grandma didn't make these meatballs for our family. These meatballs are definitely not Italian style. According to my husband, they are more like mini-meatloaves! To me, they are super filling and the perfect blend of savory and sweet.

This recipe makes a bunch of meatballs so for me it is also a great option to freeze part of the batch for a quick dinner, potluck, or a great make-ahead dish for holidays. Everyone always loves these meatballs, I think because they are not what you normally expect when you make meatballs at home.

Most of the time I have all the ingredients on hand which is always nice to not have to run to the store when you want to quickly make something. Mixing the meatballs first you will combine the ground beef, oats, onions, eggs, and spices. Roll the ground beef mixture into golf ball-sized balls, you can do them smaller or larger but will need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Set meatballs aside and mix the sauce with ketchup, onions, liquid smoke, and brown sugar. Pour or spoon the sauce over the top of the meatballs and make sure to top each meatball, then place in the oven! I know that the aluminum foil baking dishes are not the best to use, but they make it so easy to freeze half the batch and sometimes you just have to do what you gotta do!

After you pull the meatballs out of the oven, let them rest for just a few minutes because they are piping hot! We serve over mashed potatoes, a side of veg, but feel free to enjoy how you like!

A plate with meatballs and peas on it.

Grandma Eva's Meatballs

My grandma's meatball recipe is always a crowd pleaser! I love making them for potlucks, days and even making a batch just to put in the freezer for quick dinners. They are savory and a little sweet so perfect over pasta or mashed potatoes!
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Appetizer, Dinner, sauce
Cuisine American
Servings 10 people
Calories 460 kcal


  • 1 Mixing Large Bowl
  • 1 Small Mixing Bowl
  • 2 Baking dishes


  • 13 oz. Evaporated Milk (one small can)
  • 3 lbs Ground Chuck
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 cup Onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 2 cups Ketchup
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 TBLS Liquid Smoke
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 cup Onion (chopped)


  • Preheat your over to 350 degrees.
  • Mix the Evaporated Milk, Ground Beef, Oatmeal, Eggs, 1 cup onion, Garlic Powder, Salt, Pepper, Chili Powder in a large Bowl.
  • Roll meatballs to size, we make them about the size of a golf ball and place in the baking dishes.
  • Then set them to teh side so you can make the sauce.
  • In a second bowl mix the Ketchup, Brown Sugar, Liquid Smoke, Garlic Powder, and remaining 1/2 cup of chopped onion. Once this mixture is mixed spon it over the meatballs making sure to top each meatball.
  • Then place your meatballs into the oven for one hour at 350 degrees.
    Let them sit for a few minutes after you take them out of the oven and enjoy!



Calories: 460kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 24gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 2gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 1010mgPotassium: 537mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 26gVitamin A: 366IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 48mgIron: 3mg
Keyword beef, ground beef, make ahead, meatballs
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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