Ahh, day two in my 3 day quest to help us all avoid the take out trap by having premade dinner components in the freezer ready to go! Yesterday I posted 12 Easy Ideas for Ground Beef. Today I’ll be tackling meatballs!
There are lots of variations on the way folks make meatballs. Some use straight meat, but many use a budget stretching “filler” such as rice, oats or breadcrumb along with an egg binder to help them stick together.
Since you want these meatballs to be multipurpose, keep your seasonings pretty generic-those teriyaki flavored meatballs might be fabulous-but they could taste a little odd doused in stroganoff sauce 🙂 I use a basic mix of meat, breadcrumbs, egg, salt & pepper.
Scooping out and rolling all those little balls can be a pain, so here is a tip to help! Once the meat is mixed I like to pat it out into a 1 inch thick “square”* then cut it with a sharp knife into equal sized squares (like cutting a large sheet cake-vertically and then horizontally). You just pick up the squares and roll!
The meatballs can either be frozen raw or cooked. I find the easiest way to cook a huge batch like that is to bake them in the oven. I get all fancy and put my cookie cooking racks inside two roasting pans so that the meatballs aren’t stewing in their own fat (lovely mental image eh?).
Before packaging, flash freeze the meatballs on wax paper lined cookie sheets in your freezer. This keeps them from freezing in a “lump ‘o meatballs”. Then you can either toss them ALL into a single large freezer bag, or freeze them in meal sized portions.
Need a tutorial with pictures? Tammy at Tammy’s Recipes has a nice thorough bulk meatball tutorial.
Of course you with any of these meal ideas you could also go the not quite as frugal route of using store bought pre-made meatballs.
Spaghetti & Meatballs: Add to spaghetti sauce and serve over noodles
Meatball Subs: Add to spaghetti sauce, serve on a roll with cheese
Sweet & Sour Meatballs: 1C brown sugar, 1/4 C cider vinegar, 1TBS catsup, 2 TBS Flour, 2 TBS soy sauce. Mix, pour over meatballs and bake
Stroganoff Meatballs: Mix with 1 can of cream of soup, 1 pkg dry brown gravy mix. Serve over noodles (may add onions or mushrooms)
BBQ Meatballs: Cover with favorite BBQ Sauce (homemade or store bought)
Tomorrow I will be talking about chicken-but in the mean time I’m sure you guys have many more fantastic uses for meatballs that I haven’t thought of. Please share!
*Note: cover the counter in waxed paper or some such that can be thrown away-otherwise you’ll have a major disinfecting job on your hands due to the raw meat.
Photo by Natalie J