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Making Meatballs for the Freezer

I would like to obtain a recipe and instructions for meatballs that you can prepare and freeze to be used in multiple ways, like spaghetti, sandwiches, etc. I was told about a preparation method involving pressing the meat in a pan, cutting into smaller squares, and rolling each smaller square into a meatball. Anyone have any idea of what I am talking about here? Sounds like a very timesaving idea for busy families!

Thank you!
Pam from Columbus, NE

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May 17, 20040 found this helpful

Deborah Taylor-Hough

Cooking up a large batch of meatballs in advance to store in

the freezer goes a long way toward establishing a supply of

quick and easy meals. And if you take advantages of sales

on ground beef and stock up, this can be a tremendous boon

to your family budget, too!

In addition to stirring meatballs into spaghetti sauce, you

can also use them in soups, serve them on skewers (kids

love this!), or heat in brown gravy or a warmed can of cream

of mushroom soup served with mashed potatoes.

The following recipes prepare a large batch of freezer

meatballs and also include examples of ways to use frozen

meatballs. The sauces require some preparation, but the meals

go together quickly with your stockpile of precooked meatballs

in the freezer.

MILLIONS OF MEATBALLS

(this makes a lot -- at least four dozen, depending on size)

  • 12-ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups dry bread crumbs
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup green pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoons salt, optional
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried marjoram, crushed
  • 4 pounds ground beef

In a large mixing bowl, combine first eight ingredients. Add

ground beef and mix well. Shape into meatballs (use a small

cookie scoop if available) and place on boiler pan so grease

can drain while cooking. Bake uncovered in 350 degree oven

for 30 minutes. Divide into meal-sized portions. To prevent

from freezing into a solid meatball-mass, freeze individually

on cookie sheets and then place in freezer bags. Label

and freeze.

To serve meatballs, thaw completely and reheat with your

choice of sauces (six sample sauce recipes follow).

SWEET-N-SOUR MEATBALLS

(5 servings)

  • 1 (14-oz) can pineapple tidbits or chunks, undrained
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce (or more to taste)
  • 1 family meal-sized portion of freezer meatballs
  • 1 (5-oz) can water chestnuts, drained and thinly sliced
  • 1 green pepper, cut in strips

Drain pineapple tidbits, reserving syrup. In medium saucepan,

combine brown sugar and cornstarch. Blend in reserved syrup,

water, cider vinegar and soy sauce. Cook and stir over low

heat until thick and bubbly. Carefully stir in meatballs,

water chestnuts, green pepper strips and pineapple. Heat to a

boiling. Serve over hot cooked rice.

CHILI-DAY MEATBALLS

(5 servings)

This recipe sounds a little strange (chili sauce and grape

jelly?), but it tastes like burgundy sauce (only without the

wine)

  • 1 (12-oz) jar chili sauce
  • 11-oz. jar grape jelly
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cube beef bouillon dissolved in 1/2 cup water
  • 1 family meal-sized portion of freezer meatballs

Whisk together chili sauce, grape jelly, lemon juice and

bouillon, breaking up all clumps. Simmer on low heat until

auce starts to thicken. Add freezer meatballs; cook in

auce until meatballs are fully thawed and heated through.

Serve over hot cooked noodles or rice.

MEATBALL SANDWICHES

(6 servings)

  • 1 family meal-sized portion of freezer meatballs (approximately 4-5 meatballs per person)
  • 6 hot dog buns (or hoagie rolls)
  • 6 thin slices mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups prepared spaghetti sauce

Thaw meatballs and spaghetti sauce (if using frozen). Place

both in medium saucepan. Heat until hot. Place meatballs

into warmed buns. Ladle small amount of spaghetti sauce

onto each sandwich; place mozzarella slice onto each

andwich.

TOMATO-SAUCED MEATBALLS

(5 servings)

  • 1 (10 3/4-oz) can condensed tomato soup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 family meal-sized portion of freezer meatballs

Mix together soup, water and Worcestershire sauce. Place

meatballs in a medium sized saucepan; pour soup mixture

over meatballs. Simmer until meatballs are heated through.

Serve over hot cooked rice.

MEATBALL STROGANOFF

(5 servings)

  • 1 (10 3/4-oz) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced and cooked in butter until soft
  • 1 family meal-sized portion of freezer meatballs

In medium saucepan, mix together mushroom soup and sour

cream. Gently stir in mushrooms and meatballs. Simmer

until meatballs are heated through. Serve over hot cooked rice

or over egg noodles tossed with melted butter and chopped

parsley.

CATALINA MEATBALLS

(5 servings)

  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 bottle Catalina salad dressing
  • 1 family meal-sized portion of freezer meatballs

Saute' onion slices in olive oil until softened. Place frozen

meatballs in medium skillet. Pour dressing over meatballs.

Cover skillet and cook over low heat until dressing caramelizes

on meatballs and onion, and the meatballs are fully thawed

and heated through. Serve over rice.

About The Author:

Copyright 2002/2004 Deborah Taylor-Hough. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Recipes adapted from "Frozen Assets: How to cook for a day and eat for a month"

Deborah Taylor-Hough (free-lance writer, wife and mother of three) is the editor of the Simple Times (join-simple-times@hub.thedollarstretcher.com) and Bright-Kids (join-bright-kids@hub.thedollarstretcher.com) email newsletters. Debi's also the author of several books including "Frozen Assets: How to Cook for a Day and Eat for a Month" and "A Simple Choice: A Practical Guide for Saving Your Time, Money and Sanity" (Champion Press). Visit Debi at: http://hometown.aol.com/dsimple/

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May 16, 20060 found this helpful

This is just what I was searching for! Thanks and will enjoy trying all the suggestions!

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May 16, 20060 found this helpful

A tip for freezing the meatballs is to put them on cookie sheets to freeze. When they are frozen then put them in your bags. You can grab as much as you want and they won't be stuck together.

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May 17, 20060 found this helpful

I don't roll my meatballs, I make them with a small ice cream scoop. I don't have time to mess with rolling them by hand!

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May 17, 20060 found this helpful

The method you describe lets you make uniform meatballs. I use my meatloaf recipe and follow the procedure you describe; cook the meatballs; freeze them in a single layer and then place them in a gallon ziploc bag and use as needed.

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May 17, 20060 found this helpful

I pat the meatball mixture into a pan and then bake it until firm. Cut into meat squares and add to spaghetti sauce. The corners break off in the sauce and will become meatballs.

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May 18, 20060 found this helpful

meatball recipe

3 lbs ground beef

3 eggs

1 cup milk

1 package of stuffing mix, crushed fine

mix the above. flatten out evenly and cut into equal

parts for size of meatballs wanted. roll each seperate

part and put onto 2 sheetcake pans,(cookie sheets,

with sides) so that they are not touching.

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