Filling the Freezer: Meatball Madness

preparing meatball recipes for the freezer

Somewhere in the past year, my 5-year-old girl has become obsessed, OB-sessed, with meatballs.  She can’t get enough.  When we go to the pizza place we love, she wants meatballs on her pizza.  She requests spaghetti and meatballs quite regularly.  And when I made our most recent batch of meatballs to fill the freezer for this fall, I had to give her some for lunch before freezing the rest.

But not everyone in our family is as mad about spaghetti and meatballs as she is.  Specifically, my husband.  Not because he doesn’t like meatballs.  He doesn’t like pasta.  I KNOW!  Something that, try as I might, I cannot remedy – yes, it is an illness.

Combining the need to get dinner on the table with the many-varied desires of my family, while trying to get through the day around here can be super-difficult some days.  Often I start to dread the moment when my husband asks, late-afternoon, “What’s for dinner?”  Ugh.


“Um…I don’t know.”

Instead of relying on the old standby of drive thru or convenience meals this season, I am working on filling my freezer with things I can quickly prepare in the early morning (slow-cooker) or afternoon (after-school) that will make everybody happy.  Or, at least most of us happy.

So, I found myself the other day taking 4.5 pounds of ground beef and making a serious amount of meatballs.  I got the ground beef on sale at our new Aldi store – I am so impressed with how much a homemaker can get there on a budget!  But before I got started on making those meatballs, I made sure I had some unique meatball recipes in mind to try this fall.

And because I know there are a lot of you out there struggling with the same thing I am – getting dinner on the table at the end of long days – I thought I would share my favorite meatball recipes with you!

Making Meatballs for the Freezer

I have a great meatball recipe from The Pioneer Woman – my daughter’s favorite TV cook.   We picked up one of her cookbooks at Sam’s Club at the end of last year.  And I got another for Christmas.  So, we have been working our way through her yummy recipes!  I took out a couple of the items in her cookbook recipe and added a couple of spices to my version, but her version is good.

freezer meatballs preparation instructions

If you want to freeze these like I did, you will need to form the meatballs, heat up the oil in a pan and cook them through.  Then you will want to lay them out in a single layer and lay them delicately into the freezer for a couple of hours.  After flash freezing, you can put them into freezer bags according to how many you think you may need per recipe.  Our family tends not to eat big meals, so I put a dozen meatballs in most of my freezer bags.  I added 16 to another bag, in case we are having a couple of people over one meatball night.   Don’t forget to label the bags {with the quantity), get out as much air as you can, and toss them into the freezer.

Recipes Using Meatballs

Amazing and simple meatball recipes. Fill the freezer with meatballs. Then make these for fast weeknight dinners.

I have an basic plan for what we eat each night.  Saturdays is stir-fry.  And I love the idea of using these meatballs to make an Asian-inspired meal.  I like the idea of this hoisin-ginger sauce.  If the day is too hard, I can always make a little bit of brown rice, some broccoli and this super-simple sauce.  Yum!

Speaking of my basic plan and some seriously good sauce.  This super simple Tomatillo Green Chili Salsa screams, “Taco Thursday!” at me.  I am thinking I will thaw a bunch of meatballs over night, and toss them into the oven with this sauce slathered over them.  Once they are all warm, I will char some flour tortillas.  Then toss in some cilantro slaw.  And call it dinner.  What do you think?

The Pioneer Woman’s recipe for meatballs above is actually her recipe is for Salisbury Steak Meatballs – one of my options for dinner this fall.  But we won’t be pairing it with noodles – for above husband-related reasons.  We will be pairing this recipe with mashed potatoes.  And a veggie of some sort, maybe a salad.  Let’s keep it as simple as possible so these meatballs can shine!

I won’t be using the recipe for these meatballs at all, but they inspire me to create a simple skillet situation for dinner one night that I think will make every one happy.  My girls and I can make some simple baguette toasts while the thawed meatballs simmer in a skillet with a favorite pasta sauce.  Then we can cover the meatballs with our favorite: CHEESE!  And go to town!  Oh, and a Caesar salad, so simple!

Another inspiration-only recipe I found is this one for Mediterranean Meatball Gyros.  We like Greek flavors around here, but we LOVE Indian flavors.  I can see myself modifying this recipe using an Indian sauce and some Naan.  Mixing up a batch of raita is so simple, I think I can manage it even when I am tired.

fabulous meatball recipes to make with frozen meatballs

When basketball season starts up again, I know we are going to need a bunch of game-night recipes.  We watch every game for our team, folks!  And my husband has a liking for Dr. Pepper that will never die.  I think these Dr. Pepper Glazed Jalapeno meatballs will be perfect for him!

Somewhere along about November we will be ready to have soup here in the desert.  Our soup season is so short!  During this season, I try to make a soup once a week or so, because I LOVE soup!  And it is one of those things that can simmer for most of the day, if needed.  This recipe for Moroccan Meatball Couscous Soup will be perfect for that time of year!

I sneak a little pasta into the mix every once in a while by using orzo – it is acceptable to my husband most of the time.  And this recipe is the perfect way to sneak it in.  A mozzarella basil cream sauce?  Yes, please!  I can’t wait to try this out.  Oh, and the leftovers…something to look forward to, for sure!!

Some nights I just want comfort food.  And some nights I want a sandwich for dinner.  And some nights I have to compromise.  Enter Meatball Bomb awesomeness!   I can’t.  I just can’t.  These are going to be SO good!

Meatball Recipes perfect for fall.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Conni Hudson

    Wow! I just hope we are there for a meatball dinner.

  2. Evonne Cordell

    Sounds yummy! And inspiring.

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