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.

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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. 4 stars
    Turned out really good! Tweaked it to my taste of course, but it’s a super easy recipe that everybody ate up!

  2. 5 stars
    I was searching for a good recipe for meatballs in mushroom sauce that didn’t have dairy (I used vegan margarine instead as my fiancé is allergic to dairy). This recipe did not disappoint! It was truly delicious, and I have added this to my favourite meal rotation.  I made extra meatballs and froze them as well for the perfect easy dinner on busy days.  Thanks so much for this awesome recipe! 

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious and easy to make! Our family loved it. I added a grated carrot to the meat ball mixture for a more balanced meal

  4. 5 stars
    I made this recipe for a pot luck!  It was fantastic!  I added a little onion to the meatballs, and since I didn’t have panko I used equal weight of bread crumbs.  I used a scoop to make the meatballs (great idea!) and cooked them on foil lined baking sheets, 400 F x 15-20 minutes, until browned.  I made the gravy separately, and warmed everything up in a crock pot for the pot luck.  Served over mashed potatoes and it was a hit with everyone!  I would suggest cooking the meatballs and freezing them cooked.   Make the gravy when you need it!

    1. Thank you so much, Leslie, for your feedback and sharing your changes. I recently started cooking the meatballs before freezing too, and I agree it saves a lot of time.

    1. Hi, Trudy. I’ve never tried it that way, but I don’t see why you couldn’t. Let me know if you try that way. Thanks!

  5. 5 stars
    I made the meatballs and froze them. I am alone so didn`t want huge meatballs cooked. Cooked about 8 at a time and used them in Italian Wedding Soup and the Instant Spaghetti Recipe with Penne. Marvelous. WIll do it again many times in future. Great idea and lovely meatballs. I left out the Worcesteshire sauce but will try when not using for Italian recipes in future maybe half and half. Thanks.

    1. Yay, so happy you loved these meatballs. I love having some frozen ones in the freezer for a quick meal too. Thank you for your feedback, Leah!

  6. 5 stars
    I made this when my wife was at work at Hallmark.  She doesn’t eat red meat, so I used ground turkey. I didn’t have Panko, so I used regular, and eliminated most of the salt.  Made my own Italian seasoning.  Your meatballs were out of this world!!  New at cooking, Pinterest healthy recipes are inspiring me, and already becoming an addiction!

    1. Hey, Karl. So glad to hear your healthy eating habits. And I’m so glad this recipe works well with ground turkey and regular breadcrumbs. Thank you so much for your feedback and sharing your tweaks!

  7. 5 stars
    I just finished making and eating my first Meatball with mushrooms and gravy. Since first discovering Pinterest I have thrown away dozens of meals. I wrongly thought if someone wrote out a recipe that so many people would be trying it had to be good. WRONG! When I came across your recipe it ¨looked¨ wonderful. I was still skeptical. I read and re-read the recipe over and over. Some of the most prolific contributors have sent in some real losers. I have learned to read carefully and be careful whose recipes that I chose.This time I got a blue ribbon winner! (with a freezer full to follow) Your directions were clear and precise and your recipe was terrific. This was a real pleasure for me. Young lady, you delivered exactly what you promised. Take pride in what you do! You do it well! I have learned that some on Pinterest are better cooks than others. You are one of those better cooks. I signed up for future recipes and will be looking forward to more recipes from you. Thank you tor the recipe and great meal. I expect to be hearing more good things from you. You put the gourmet back in every day cooking. That is matter of pride women have shared for years. You do it well. Thank you. B Karr.

    1. Hi, Barbara! I’m so glad you tried and loved these meatballs. It’s our family’s favorite for sure. Thank you so much for your feedback! Your comment made my day. Thanks again!