Beef Meatballs in Mushroom Gravy

4.56 from 25 votes

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Pan-fried beef meatballs are caramelized on the outside but juicy and tender on the inside. They’re golden brown, easy to make, and smothered in a hearty mushroom gravy.

Brown gravy pouring over the meatballs and mashed potatoes on a white plate.

Why you’ll love this recipe:

Homemade meatballs in mushroom gravy are quick and simple to make, but far better than store-bought. Say goodbye to bland, dry, and flavorless meatballs, this recipe is hearty & satisfying with no additives or weird ingredients.

  • Pan-fried instead of baked
  • Makes amazing leftovers
  • Easy to customize
  • Served in a savory mushroom gravy

I love to serve meatballs in mushroom sauce with creamy mashed potatoes, buttered noodles, or oven roasted vegetables. This recipe is comfort food at its best, unfussy, cozy, & downright delicious.

Key Ingredient Notes:

Smothered meatballs require simple ingredients that deliver BIG flavors like garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and simple seasonings.

For the beef meatballs:

  • Breadcrumbs – I prefer panko Japanese style breadcrumbs for their light and flaky texture. If you don’t have panko, plain or Italian-style breadcrumbs work great too!
  • Milk – The breadcrumbs soak in milk so they have a chance to absorb it. This mixture, referred to as panade, is then mixed into the beef to create a binder and moisture retainer for the meatballs.
  • Ground beef – Any type of ground beef works, but the more fat content, the more tender the meatballs.
  • Garlic – A garlic press makes thing easy! For a mild garlic flavor, use one or two cloves instead of three.
  • Egg – The egg binds the beef, breadcrumbs, and seasonings together so the meatballs don’t fall apart.
  • Seasoning – Seasoning is vital for a flavorful meatball. Unsalted meat tastes bland and boring. Salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning do the trick!

For the mushroom gravy:

  • Mushrooms – White button mushrooms have an earthy, mild flavor but feel free to use any variety you like. Cremini, shitake, or swiss browns are great options.
  • Garlic – Garlic sweetens and mellows as it cooks. It adds a depth of flavor to soups and sauces.
  • Flour & butter – Flour and butter create a roux, which thickens the sauce for a rich and smooth gravy.
  • Beef stock – Beef stock is the backbone of the mushroom gravy. It creates a rich, dark brown gravy. For best results, purchase a high-quality brand of beef stock or make homemade beef bone broth!
  • Worcestershire sauce – Worcestershire is an easy way to pack in more flavor. It’s a little bit sweet and sour with a distinct umami quality.
  • Seasoning – Taste and season as you go!

How to make meatballs in mushroom gravy:

To make the meatballs:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and milk. Let the mixture soak for a minute.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the soaked breadcrumbs, ground beef, garlic, egg, Worcestershire sauce, & seasoning with your hands until well combined.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a medium cookie scoop to loosely shape the meatballs and place them onto the baking sheet.


Avoid overworking the ground beef mixture. This can cause the meatballs to get tough and chewy.

4 step by step photos of making meatballs in mushroom gravy.

For the mushroom gravy:

  1. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Place the meatballs into the hot skillet in an even layer. Let one side caramelize before turning them over with your tongs. Brown all sides and transfer them to a clean plate. The meatballs don’t need to be cooked through at this point.
  3. Add the remaining olive oil then the mushrooms and garlic. Cook the mushrooms until they’re golden brown and fragrant – about 3 minutes. Transfer them to a clean plate.
  4. Add the butter to the same skillet, then stir in the flour. Cook the mixture for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Don’t skip this step. Cooking the roux prevents the sauce from tasting floury.
  5. Carefully pour in the beef stock and Worcestershire sauce, then bring it to a boil. Whisk frequently to prevent the sauce from burning.
  6. Transfer the meatballs and mushrooms back into the skillet and cook until the meatballs are completely cooked and the sauce is thick – about 8 to 10 minutes.
  7. Season to taste. Top with chopped parsley and serve!


The gravy thickens as it cools. It’s okay if the gravy seems a bit too thin at first.

Tips for Success:

  • It’s important to cook the raw flour taste out of the roux. A couple minutes of whisking does the trick.
  • The gravy thickens quickly as it cools. If the gravy gets too thick, add a little bit more beef stock. If the gravy feels too thin, reduce it for longer over medium heat.
  • Don’t walk away from the stove while the gravy cooks. Keep an eye on it, stirring as necessary, so the gravy doesn’t burn.
  • It’s best to use a higher percentage of fat for meatballs. I recommend ground chuck, which is 80 percent lean.
Beef meatballs in mushroom gravy topped with green herbs.

Make-Ahead Tips:

  • Meatballs with mushroom gravy taste just as good (if not better) on day two! Feel free to make it a day or two ahead of time and reheat.
  • Reheat it on the stovetop in a large skillet over medium heat until warmed throughout. If the gravy looks separated, just give it a good stir.

Storing Tips:

  • Smothered meatballs in brown gravy will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Store in an airtight container in the back of the fridge.
  • Meatball gravy freezes well too! Transfer any leftover meatballs and gravy into a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Thaw the meatballs in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheat on the stovetop in a large skillet over medium heat until hot and bubbly.


Should meatballs be frozen raw or cooked?

Meatballs can be frozen raw or cooked! I like to freeze them cooked so all I have to do is reheat and serve. However, if you want to change up the sauce or cooking style, raw meatballs are perfect for that.

Should you brown meatballs first?

Browning meatballs in a hot skillet caramelizes the outside for more flavor, color, and texture. It’s an easy way to add depth of flavor to a dish.

Can I use a different kind of ground meat?

Yes, meatballs are delicious with all kinds of meat. Ground pork, chicken, turkey, or Italian sausage are commonly used. Keep in mind that the amount of fat varies in different cuts and types of meat. The more fat a meatball contains, the more tender it will be.

More meatball recipes:

There’s no shortage of delicious meatball recipes around here. Try one of these flavor-packed variations on the classic!

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4.56 from 25 votes

Beef Meatballs in Mushroom Gravy

Pan-fried beef meatballs are caramelized on the outside but juicy and tender on the inside. They're golden brown, easy to make, and smothered in a hearty mushroom gravy. This one-pan meal is perfect for a busy weeknight!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
30 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 4 servings


For meatballs:

  • ½ cups (30g) Panko breadcrumbs Note 1
  • ¼ cup (60ml) milk
  • 1 lbs (500g) ground beef Note 2
  • 2-3 garlic cloves pressed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

For mushroom gravy:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 oz (170g) mushrooms sliced, Note 3
  • 2 garlic cloves pressed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups (700ml) beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley if desired
  • Mashed potatoes for serving


To make the meatballs

  • In a small bowl, combine Panko and milk. Set aside to soak for a minute.
  • In a large bowl, mix together soaked Panko, beef, garlic, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. With clean hands, mix the beef mixture until well combined.
  • Using a medium cookie scoop, shape the meatballs and arrange them on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper.

To make the gravy:

  • In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.
  • Arrange the meatballs in one layer and brown on all sides, turning each meatball using a kitchen tong. (Note: Meatballs don’t need to be cooked all the way, we’re just browning for now.) Remove onto a clean plate.
  • Pour the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the same skillet and add mushrooms along with garlic. Cook the mushrooms stirring frequently for about 3 minutes, or until they’re nice and brown. Remove onto a plate.
  • In the same skillet, melt the butter and stir in the flour. Cook the flour mixture for at least 2 minutes, whisking constantly. (That’s how we make roux to thicken the gravy. If you don’t cook the roux long enough, you will taste raw flour in your gravy, so don’t rush this step.)
  • Slowly pour in the stock and Worcestershire sauce and bring it to a boil, whisking frequently.
  • Add browned meatballs and mushrooms and cook for additional 8-10 minutes. If the gravy thickens too much, add a little bit of water, or stock to thin it out.
  • Salt and pepper to taste. If desired, add chopped parsley before serving. Serve over mashed potatoes for a complete meal.

Tips & Notes

Note 1: Plain or Italian style breadcrumbs work too. 
Note 2: I recommend ground chuck. It’s the perfect ratio of fat-to-meat for juicy and tender meatballs.
Note 3: Feel free to use any variety you like. White button, cremini, and swiss browns are great options! 
Storing Tips:
– Smothered meatballs in brown gravy will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Store in an airtight container in the back of the fridge.
– Meatball gravy freezes well too! Transfer any leftover meatballs and gravy into a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months.
– Thaw the meatballs in the refrigerator overnight.
– Reheat on the stovetop in a large skillet over medium heat until hot and bubbly.


Calories: 547kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 28g, Fat: 41g, Saturated Fat: 16g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 18g, Trans Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 146mg, Sodium: 1206mg, Potassium: 940mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 533IU, Vitamin C: 6mg, Calcium: 106mg, Iron: 5mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American

This recipe was originally published on March 8, 2016.

Hi, I’m Shinee!

Welcome! I’m so happy you’re here! I believe anyone can cook restaurant-quality food at home! And my goal is to help you to become a confident cook with my easy-to-follow recipes with lots of tips and step-by-step photos.

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  1. Oh man. If you do try to serve this to guests don’t forget to tell them you put FISH in this! I’m swelling up just looking at the name Worcestershire sauce. I’ve stopped breathing so many times in my life due to this condiment being hidden in dishes you don’t expect to contain fish. Scary stuff! I do recommend if trying to use this recipe with guests or for a potluck or something that you don’t know their allergies, to omit.

    Remember kids, if you want to use Worcestershire sauce as your “secret ingredient” it better be the vegan one. Because it can literally kill people.

    1. Oh, wow, Jasmine, you brought up a great point here! For those of us who doesn’t suffer from any allergies, it’s hard to keep that in mind. When hosting a party, I always try to remember to ask my guests if they have any allergies, especially if I’m cooking for them for the first time. Thanks so much for leaving a comment and bringing an awareness.

  2. This recipe looks awesome! But I was wondering if I could do the same thing going but put it in the slow cooker to help save time when making a larger holiday dinner?
    Thanks a bunch! ☺

    1. Hi, Niki! Unfortunately I’ve never made this in a slow cooker, so can’t advise much about it. Let me know if you try it though.

      1. Hi what would the ingredient amounts for just 1 meal of the meat balls. As your receipe seems to be for all 4 pounds. What would we use just for 1 lb

        1. Hi, Susan. For 1 lb ground beef:
          1lb ground beef
          3/4 cup panko
          1-2 garlic cloves, pressed
          1 egg
          1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
          1teaspoon salt
          1/2 teaspoon black pepper
          1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

          Hope this helps. Let me know how it turns out. Thanks!

    2. I’d seggest adding asparagus as a side. It adds alot of flavor when you mix it all together. Also, this is a wonderful dish Shinee! Keep doing well!

  3. Can you thaw ground beef to make the meatballs and then rmfreeze them? Or should they be cooked since the meat was already frozen?

    1. Yes, you can, Nick. That’s what I do all the time, since we do our own ground beef. Hope you enjoy the meatballs. Let me know your thoughts if you make these.

      1. sorry to say but you should not refreeze raw meat, especially ground meat! It’s against food safety regulations. At least in EU it is. But you can freeze them cooked if you want.

        1. Hi, Crt. Thanks for chiming in. As we process out own ground beef, we prepare lots of it and we always refreeze it in smaller packages. We’ve been doing this for years, and haven’t had any problems. But please note it’s for our personal use only, and nothing is for sale.

  4. I love meatballs! And mushroom gravy…YUM! The best thing? My youngest son and I are the only ones that like mushrooms, so we get them all! 🙂

  5. Meatballs may well be my weakness, and these look particularly amazing! That mushroom gravy – swoon! And I’m all about making some extra to stash away in the freezer for a busy night 🙂

  6. Hi Shinee,
    Just did the beef meatballs today with your mashed potatoes for dinner.  Everyone was quietly focusing on the meal.  The only words they said were “Hmm, Good!”  (Forgot to mention on your Bacon Chicken Meatballs that the food processor is such a good idea to make this kind of food.)  The beef meatballs were full of flavour.  The mushroom gravy made the mashed potatoes just even smoother.  It was a wonderful dinner. Thank you again for the recipe!  Looking forward to your new dish.

    1. Awesome, so glad you tried the recipe and your family enjoyed it! My husband loves that gravy with mashed potatoes! And yeah, food processor is super for making meatballs! 🙂

  7. These look delicious! I make meatballs about once or twice a month for spaghetti, so I will try these soon.