6 ratings

Cheez-It Meatballs

Staff Writer
Patricia Stagich

The reason for including breadcrumbs in a meatball recipe is for binding, but we decided to add a little flavor with them as well, using Cheez-Its. While they are a little more dense than fresh breadcrumbs, soaking the crushed crackers in milk adjusts their texture and lets them add the perfect amount of tangy, Cheddar cheese flavor to this classic recipe. 

Click here to see 6 Easy Cheez-It Recipes



Special thanks to Patricia Stagich of Comfy Cuisine for helping us test this recipe. 


  • 1 1/2 Cup processed Cheez-Its
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 1/2 Cup cooked onions
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 3/4 Cups Pecorino cheese, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 Cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped, plus whole leaves for garnish
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 Tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 1/2 Pounds ground beef
  • 1 Cup tomato sauce


In a medium-sized bowl, combine the Cheez-Its and the milk and let them soak for at least 20 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, onions, garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper. Add the ground beef and the milk-soaked Cheez-Its and mix by hand until just combined. Scoop approximately 2 ounces of the meat mixture to form each meatball and arrange in a baking dish. Chill in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

Bake for 12 minutes. Meanwhile, bring the tomato sauce to a simmer in a medium-sized pot. After 12 minutes, remove the meatballs from the oven, drain off any fat and liquids, and add the tomato sauce. Return to the oven and bake until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball reads 160 degrees. Serve meatballs with tomato sauce and garnish with cheese and parsley. 

Meatball Shopping Tip

Most cattle are fed a diet of grass until they are sent to a feedlot – where they are finished on corn. When possible, choose beef from cattle that are “100% grass fed” - it will be more expensive, but better for your health.

Meatball Cooking Tip

The method used to cook beef is dependent on the cut. Cuts that are more tender, like filet mignon, should be cooked for a relatively short amount of time over high heat by grilling or sautéing. While less tender cuts, like brisket and short ribs, should be cooked for a longer time with lower heat by braising or stewing.