How Long To Bake Meatballs At 400 (Full Guide)

How Long To Bake Meatballs At 400

Lindsey, do you know how long to bake meatballs at 400°F? This is one of the questions our readers ask a lot. Well, we´ve got you covered.

Meatballs are tasty, nutritious, and very easy to make. To make meatballs, you’ll need to mix and combine ground beef, and vegetables, and add in spices and seasonings.

A question you might have is how long should meatballs be baked at 400 degrees Fahrenheit? Meatballs must be baked for 20 to 25 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also bake them at other temperatures such as 350 and 400 degrees. You’ll have to adjust your baking time according to the temperature you choose.

Read on to find out more about how long you should bake meatballs and the temperature you should choose. Happy reading!

How long does it take to bake meatballs at 400 degrees?

If you’re baking meatballs at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, you might be wondering how long you should bake them. For 400 degrees, the ideal baking time is between 20 and 25 minutes in the oven. Any longer than that and your meatballs will be dry and crumbly.

If you bake them for under 20 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, they won’t be perfectly cooked and will need to be baked further.

You’ll find many recipes that instruct you to bake meatballs at temperatures other than 400 degrees. While that is fine, you’ll need to adjust your cooking time accordingly.

The higher the temperature, the less time your meatballs will need to be nicely baked.

The important thing that you need to remember is that meatballs are cooked perfectly when they reach an internal temperature between 160 and 165 degrees. More on this later.

How long does it take to bake vegetarian meatballs at 400 degrees?

If you’re making vegetarian meatballs, you’ll need to bake them in the oven for a shorter period.

While the recommended temperature and duration for baking vegetarian meatballs are 350 to 375 degrees and 15 to 20 minutes respectively, baking them at 400 degrees will require a cooking time of 12 to 15 minutes.

Since vegetarian meatballs are quite different than meat meatballs when it comes to cooking method and ingredients, their cooking time is also different from that of meat meatballs.

If you’re making vegetarian meatballs, make sure you’re baking them for the recommended duration according to the recipe.

Read also >> How Long To Bake Meatballs At 375℉ (Full Guide)

Read also >> How Long to Bake Lasagna at 400℉? (Full Guide)

How long does it take to cook homemade meatballs?

If you’re making meatballs at home from meat that has thawed or is at room temperature, you’ll need to bake them in a conventional oven for less time than if you were baking frozen meatballs.

This is because frozen meatballs take considerably more time to reach an internal temperature of 160 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit, so they need to be baked for a longer period.

So, how long is the cooking time if you’re baking meatballs that aren’t frozen? Well, the answer might surprise you.

If your meatballs are at room temperature, they might require up to 50% less cooking time than frozen meatballs!

What factors affect the baking time of meatballs?

Now that we’ve looked at the ideal cooking time for baking meatballs at various temperatures, we’ll explore the different factors that can affect the baking time of meatballs. Here are some of them.

  • Size of the meatballs. This one is simple – the larger the meatballs, the more time they’ll need to bake.
  • Meat vs vegetarian. As we mentioned before, vegetarian meatballs require less cooking time than meat ones.
  • Frozen vs thawed. Frozen meatballs will take considerably longer to bake than those that have thawed to room temperature.

What is the ideal baking temperature for baking meatballs?

The ideal temperature for baking meatballs in an oven can vary slightly depending on the recipe you’re following, the type of oven you’re using, and the size of the meatballs themselves.

Ideally, the oven should be preheated to 375 degrees and the meatballs must be baked for 20 to 25 minutes at this temperature.

The temperature can vary but should be between 350 and 400 degrees for best results. Up next, we’ve jotted down the ideal baking duration for meatballs at various temperatures. 

  • At 350 degrees, it will take the meatballs about 30 minutes to get cooked
  • At 375 degrees, it will take the meatballs about 25 minutes to get cooked
  • At 400 degrees, it will take the meatballs about 20 minutes to get cooked

If you’re making vegetarian meatballs, the ideal temperature for baking them is 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 25 minutes.

The ingredients needed for making meatballs

If you don’t know exactly which ingredients are needed to make meatballs, here we list down some basic ingredients to help you get started.

  • A pound of ground beef
  • 1 to 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons of milk
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup crushed crackers

Some additional ingredients you can use are breadcrumbs, mozzarella cheese, and green vegetables. 

This list of ingredients can be found at Northern Yum along with the complete recipe. We’ll discuss the complete meatballs recipe and other related details later. Keep reading!

Meatballs nutrition facts

According to Nutritionix, 4 medium-sized meatballs (about 113 grams) have these nutrients present in them.

  • Calories: 324
  • Total Fat: 25 grams
    • Saturated Fat: 8.6grams
    • Trans Fat: 0.7ggrams
    • Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.8 grams
    • Monounsaturated Fat: 10 grams
  • Cholesterol: 75 milligrams
  • Sodium: 755 milligrams
  • Potassium: 336 milligrams
  • Total Carbohydrates: 9.1 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: 2.6 grams
  • Sugars: 3.9 grams
  • Protein: 16 grams
  • Vitamin A: 1.7%
  • Vitamin C: 0%
  • Calcium: 7%
  • Iron: 11%

Making meatballs: the recipe

Here’s an excellent meatball recipe on Northern Yum that might just be what you’re looking for.

We’ve mentioned the required ingredients previously in this guide.

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Add the ingredients to a mixing bowl and stir the bowl thoroughly. After mixing them with a spoon, you can also knead the mixture using your hands.
  3. Use a meatball maker to scoop out the meatballs and place them on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Washing the meatball maker with hot water is a good idea to prevent the meatballs from sticking to the meatball maker.
  4. Use your hands to roll the meatballs into round balls.
  5. Put the baking sheet in the oven and bake the meatballs at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.

What are some signs that meatballs are done?

Whether you’re making meatballs for the first time, or just need some advice about baking them, we’ll discuss how you can know if meatballs are done.

There are two ways to know this. First, if you can see that the exterior of the meatballs is nice and brown, you can take them out.

While this method is easy to implement if you’re using a pan to fry the meatballs, checking for doneness in an oven can be difficult. For an oven, using a digital meat thermometer is a good idea.

A digital thermometer is a great tool for keeping track of the internal temperature of meat-based dishes when cooking or baking them and is a good investment.

Next, we’ll list down some of the best digital meat thermometers available.

Best thermometer for checking meatballs’ temperature

A digital meat thermometer is a great and useful tool that helps you track the internal temperature of the meat when it is being cooked or baked.

Using it when baking meatballs is a good idea since it will tell you exactly when meatballs are done. This usually happens when the meatballs reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

In the list below, we’ve picked some of the very best digital meat thermometers you can buy. We’ve also mentioned the prices you can buy them at, but please note they’re those at the time of writing.

  1. Taylor 1470FS Digital Cooking Thermometer ($ 13.49 at Webstaurant Store)
  2. ChefAlarm® Thermometer ($ 65.00 at ThermoWorks)
  3. ThermoPro TP21 Digital Wireless Thermometer (Amazon)
  4. DOT® Simple Alarm Thermometer ($ 45.00 at ThermoWorks)
Our Pick
Food Thermometer for Grill and Cooking

How should you serve meatballs (and what sides to serve)

Meatballs should be served with side dishes to make your meal more flavorful and exciting. Serving meatballs is quite easy as they require little preparation and go nicely with a plethora of side dishes.

Here, we mention some of the side dishes you can easily serve with meatballs.

  • Mash potatoes (how can we forget them?)
  • Steamed rice
  • Spaghetti or noodles
  • Bread (to make meatball subs)
  • Corn on the cob
  • Green beans, broccoli, asparagus
  • Vegetable salad

Read also >> How Long to Cook a Baked Potato at 400 (Full Guide)

Read also >> How Long To Bake Chicken Tenders At 375 (Full Guide)

How to store meatballs for later

If you have meatballs left over from a meal, you can easily store them for later. It is a good idea to store meatballs as soon as possible after they’ve been cooked – after about 2 or 3 hours.

Meatballs can be stored in two ways: either in the refrigerator or in the freezer. Before that, you need to pack them in airtight containers or wrap them securely in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

If you’re storing them in your refrigerator, your meatballs will be good for up to 3 to 4 days if stored properly. If you opt for freezer storage, your meatballs can be safely stored for up to a couple of months – or even beyond that.

An important thing to remember is to never leave meatballs outside at room temperature to thaw for longer than 2 hours. If they’re left outside for more than 2 hours, bacteria can grow in the meat and make it unsafe to eat.

Some tips and guidelines for cooking meatballs

Although making meatballs isn’t difficult, making great meatballs every time requires some effort and technique on your part.

Here are a few suggestions to help you make perfect meatballs without putting in extra effort and money. These tips are easy to implement and give great results.

  • Use homemade breadcrumbs for the meatballs to make them tastier. Store-bought breadcrumbs are usually not as fresh and flavorful as the ones you can make at home.
  • Consider using other ingredients to add unique flavors. These can be different cheeses, vegetables, etc.
  • Use good quality meat to get the best results. Meatballs made with better quality meat are much more flavorful.
  • Use a variety of seasonings such as cheese, herbs, garlic, and salt.
  • Consider cooking the meatballs in a sauce near the end of the cooking duration for even better results.

Meatballs FAQs

Is using a digital meat thermometer necessary? Can I bake meatballs properly without using it?

A digital meat thermometer makes it quite easy for you to keep track of the internal temperature of the meatballs. It is especially helpful if you’re new to cooking or are making meatballs for the first time.

But if you have experience making meatballs and have a good idea of when meatballs would be done in an oven, it won’t be necessary. 

Instead of baking meatballs in an oven, can I cook them in an air fryer or a pan?

Yes, absolutely. But we think baking meatballs in an oven at a temperature between 350 and 400 degrees yields the best results. 

Can I bake meatballs at temperatures higher than 400 degrees?

The ideal temperature range for baking meatballs in a conventional oven is from 350 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you bake them at a temperature higher than 400 degrees, the baking duration will be less than 20 minutes.

If you’re baking at a higher temperature, we recommend using a digital meat thermometer to keep track of the internal temperature of the meatballs. As soon as it reads 160 degrees you can take them out.

Final thoughts

Preparing and cooking meatballs isn’t difficult, but it does require some effort if you want the best results.

Meatballs are made by combining ground beef with vegetables and a variety of spices and seasonings.

They need to be baked at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. To be cooked perfectly, they should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

We’ve included all the necessary information about baking meatballs in this guide to help you make these delicious treats. We hope it helps you!



Lindsey graduated with an MBA in 2009. Since then, Lindsey has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Lindsey is also the head writer and Co-founder of Lindsey is based in Morgantown, West Virginia.

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