Recipe updated 4/28/22
Meatballs are pretty easy to make - so quick! But, there’s a way to launch your meatball dinners into hyperdrive by freezing them. It's an easy meal prep option.
I make a batch big enough for 2 dinners. Half makes dinner for now, and the other half become freezer meatballs. All set for making dinner on a busy weeknight.
Of course, you can freeze the whole batch for later if you prefer and have 2 meals prepped. OR - better yet - double this recipe and freeze 4 meals. Winning!
And, here’s another plus: You can please everyone at the dinner table by making these morsels for carnivores and keep a portion of the sauce meatless for those who prefer it.
How to prepare the meatballs
The recipe is pretty straightforward with simple seasonings that complement a variety of sauces.
The proportions are suitable for 2 pounds of ground meat but all can easily be doubled for a larger batch. I like to make these up and use half for the same day's meal and freeze the other half for another day!
I originally published this recipe using only 1 ½ pounds of ground beef but I have since migrated to a 2 pound batch using half pork and half beef. The beef - pork combination makes a more tender meatball, IMO. And 2 pounds is a more practical batch size. I like to use half for a same day meal and freeze the other half for another day.
My preferred cooking method is baking. I stumbled upon this approach on allrecipes.com years ago, ran with it and never looked back. Pan-frying is hot, messy and entirely too hands-on for me.
Just bake for 20 minutes and then let them cool. I line the baking sheet with foil for easier cleanup.
Freeze the meatballs for later
To freeze, line a baking sheet with (fresh) parchment paper and spread the meatballs out, not touching, if possible.
Even though the meatballs look like they could be frozen right on the foil used to bake, I opted to transfer because each one was a little stuck on the foil. I didn't want frozen foil bits on my meatballs.
Freeze for about an hour, then remove and place in a freezer-safe airtight storage container. (I use ziptop bags)
By freezing them individually first, it will be easier to remove the quantity needed at dinnertime rather than dealing with one frozen block. Large batches can be split between multiple containers as desired.
How to use these meal prepped meatballs
When needed for a meal, it’s best to take the meatballs out in the morning to thaw during the day, but in a pinch you can microwave-defrost and finish warming them in your sauce while the pasta cooks.
Freezer Meatballs make weeknight meals so easy!
- Baking sheet
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground pork
- ⅓ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 TB dried minced onion or onion powder
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 TB Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 2 TB milk
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- In large bowl, mix all ingredients together until fully combined.
- Prepare a baking sheet by spraying with oil or lining with foil.
- Form meatballs with your hands or a cookie scoop. Place on the prepared baking sheet, leaving space between the meatballs.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 400F.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- To freeze, place baking sheet with meatballs in the freezer for an hour. Remove from freezer and transfer frozen meatballs into an airtight freezer-safe storage container. Return to freezer until needed.
Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.
Also try Ricotta Meatballs - another delicious choice!