These healthy and easy freezer meatballs are a game-changer! Made with lean ground meat, herbs, and wholesome ingredients, these freezer-friendly meatballs are packed with flavor and perfect for busy weeknights. Simply prepare a batch, freeze them individually, and pop them out whenever you need a quick and satisfying protein boost.
These meatballs are versatile too! Serve them with zoodles, toss them in a hearty soup, or enjoy them as a delicious appetizer.
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Freezer meals are perfect for busy weeknights! I love that I can prep ahead some core ingredients like these homemade meatballs and then make my life so much easier throughout the week. This freezer recipe is one of my favorite easy dinner recipes because I can use them in so many ways and they’re almost addictingly tasty. I grew up eating these at graduation parties, potlucks, Tuesday night dinner–they work in so many different ways!
Beneath the actual recipe below I will also show you four ways to use these meatballs for simple and healthy family dinners that your whole family will love!
I recommend making a big triple or quadruple batch, freezing them, and then you’ll be SET for a variety of delicious dinners! Such a smart way to meal prep ahead of time for a baby or just a busy season!
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My mom got this recipe from a dear friend who passed away almost 10 years ago. She was one of those sweet ladies always serving in the church and especially adept at the ministry of hospitality.
She showed up with thickly frosted cookies for her small group of angsty pre-teen girls or stayed late in the church kitchen washing pots and pans because it needed to be done. Far from flashy or an influencer who the world notices, she was generous, kind, and open-hearted. The kind of person you are blessed to know.
When people are hurting or sick or at a loss financially or just had a baby one of the kindest ways you can be the literal hands and feet of Jesus is 1. Showing up and 2. Bringing food. It’s not flashy; few may notice.
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been blessed by a friend showing up with soup or lasagna or meatballs. It’s a way of saying “I can’t do everything, but I can do this: I can take dinner tonight off your shoulders and maybe that is just the break you need to keep going.”
So make some meatballs; and then make some more and take it to a friend. It’s a good way to live.
How to Make Easy Freezer Meatballs
Making freezer meatballs is really so simple! The best part is you can customize this recipe based on what ground meat is on sale in your area making this a healthy and frugal recipe! You can substitute ground turkey, ground chicken, or ground pork for all or half of your recipe.
1. Preheat your oven to 350. You can also cook the meatballs over medium heat in a large skillet. But I think it’s easier and less messy to make them in a sheet pan in the oven.
2. Get a large bowl and add your lean ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, black pepper, salt, onion flakes, parsley, garlic and milk. Now you can carefully combine the ingredients thoroughly. I sometimes use my hands to make sure everything is fully integrated.
4. Bake them in the oven at 350 for OR place 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering place a single layer of meatballs in the pan and cook them thoroughly turning a couple times to ensure they are brown on all sides.
5. Once the meatballs are cooked (in the oven or on the stovetop) place them on a plate covered in paper towel to allow any extra grease to drain off. Serve immediately or freeze for later. (See freezer instructions below.)
Homemade Freezer Meatballs Recipe
- 1 pound hamburger
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1 Tablespoon dried onion flakes
- 1 egg
- 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic
- 1/4 cup milk
- Mix all ingredients together. Roll into smallish size balls. Bake at 350 degrees on a foil lined cookie sheet for 30 minutes. Rinse and drain if desired (they'll be a little greasy when they come out, depending on the fat in your meat).
I use a cookie scoop to help make my meatballs uniform in size. To Freeze: Bake, cool, store in airtight container. Thaw in refrigerator overnight and reheat or use in any recipe.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g
How Do I Freeze Homemade Meatballs?
Freezing meatballs is very straightforward. They are the perfect freezer food and a great way to start meal prepping and preserving.
- I do not freeze raw meatballs. Cook the meatballs per the recipe and let them cool to room temperature.
- Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place the cooled meatballs on the pan in a single layer without touching. Then place meatballs in a freezer for about an hour. This will “flash freeze” the meatballs to help each individual meatball hold it’s shape.
- After 1-2 hours, transfer the frozen meatballs to a date labeled freezer bag or freezer-safe container. (<<< I’ve had these for three years and they’ve held up SO well!)
- To defrost your homemade freezer meatballs place them in the fridge overnight the day before you want to use them. Do not refreeze after de-thawing.
Easy Freezer Meatball Meals
- Spaghetti and meatballs. – Whole wheat pasta (or spaghetti squash) + jar of marinara sauce + meatballs = magical almost-as-fast-as-takeout dinner. You can also add the spaghetti sauce and frozen meatballs to a crock pot on low for 4-6 hours if you prefer.
- Meatball subs. – Take meatballs and marinara you had with your spaghetti and spread on whole wheat sub bun. Top with mozzarella cheese and place under the broiler for a minute until toasty.
- Barbecue Meatballs. – Your favorite barbecue sauce + meatballs. Cover the meatballs in barbecue sauce heat in saucepan on stove or in a shallow baking dish or in the microwave or in a crockpot.
- Swedish meatballs. – Combine two cans cream of chicken soup, 2/3 cup milk, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg in a large saucepan. Add meatballs and heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in 1 cup sour cream and heat through. Serve with rice, cauliflower rice or noodles or just plain (but you will have excess sauce!) You can also put this in a crockpot on low. Add the sour cream 1 hour before serving.
- Cranberry sauce. – 1 can jellied cranberry relish, 1 bottle ketchup (24 ounce, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 T Worcestershire sauce, 1 T minced onion. Blend all ingredients in blender. Cover the meatballs in sauce heat in saucepan on stove or in a shallow baking dish or in the microwave or in a crockpot.
- Sweet and Sour Meatballs – Your favorite sweet and sour sauce + meatballs. Cover the meatballs in barbecue sauce heat in saucepan on stove or in a shallow baking dish or in the microwave or in a crockpot. Serve with stir fried vegetables and rice.
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How would you use these yummy meatballs?