Simple Spiced Meatballs

Ground beef is my go-to for quick dinners.

It’s versatile, it’s easy to use, and best of all, everyone in my family likes it.

I often reuse my leftovers to create new meals, so when possible, I like to make food that’s flavored to work with a variety of ingredients and cuisines. This lightly spiced meatball recipe is super versatile due to the simple flavors and short ingredient list.

Spiced meatballs on a bed of kale salad and mashed potatoes.

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The key to simple recipes like this is to use high-quality ingredients. The farm down the street has amazing ground beef when it’s available, and now I’m kind of meh on the ground beef my grocery store carries.

I’ve been buying from Butcher Box lately because it’s just as good as my local meat, and I never have to worry about availability. I keep a bunch of one-pound packages in the freezer to supplement my local purchases, so I’m never stuck with subpar meat.

I love that it’s humanely raised, which is really important to me.

Butcher Box ground beef defrosting on the counter.

I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love the scent of cloves, and I think it pairs really nicely with the ground beef in this recipe. It sounds weird, but give it a try!

I opted to use fresh breadcrumbs because I had some French bread I needed to use up, but you could absolutely sub in dry breadcrumbs. Just be sure to reduce the amount to 1/3 cup to account for the volume loss when going from fresh to dried.

Spiced meatballs on a bed of kale salad.

Pairing these with a garlicky kale salad really punches up the flavor. What’s nice is that you can layer the meatballs and kale on top of a creamy bed of mashed potatoes for dinner, then use put the rest of the kale in tupperware and top them with the remaining meatballs for lunch the next day.

That is, of course, assuming you have any leftovers from this delicious meal 😉

Next up, I think I’ll make a batch of my ricotta pasta with ground beef.

Want more easy recipes like this? Check out my full collection of simple family favorites.

Spiced meatballs on a bed of kale salad and mashed potatoes.

Simple Spiced Meatballs

Yield: 19 meatballs
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 17 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes

These lightly spiced meatballs have a simple flavor that goes with a lot of different cuisines.


  • 1 pound of ground beef (I've been loving the ground beef from Butcher Box)
  • 3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp half and half
  • 3/4 tsp ground cloves
  • large pinch of salt
  • 1/4 freshly grated grana padano
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 425F
  2. Mix breadcrumbs with the half and half, cloves, and salt to form a paste
  3. Add ground beef, grana padano, and garlic if using
  4. Mix with hands until well combined, taking care not to overmix
  5. Roll into balls using about a tablespoon of mixture for each
  6. Bake for 17 minutes or until cooked through


Try serving with kale salad and mashed potatoes for a nourishing comfort meal.

Leftover meatballs are great in soups or on sandwiches.

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