Friday, December 12, 2014

Make Ahead Meatballs

I don't know if I have mentioned before, but I am a pretty habitual buyer of prepared meatballs. I almost always have them in my freezer. I buy both the Italian ones (that I use for spaghetti and subs) and some chicken teriyaki ones that we eat with a Hawaiian sauce over rice. They are something my kids really like to eat and I LOVE the ease of having them in the freezer and just reheating them with some rice or pasta. 

But I made them the other day and confessed to my husband, that I hated the way they tasted and that I was really unhappy with how yucky I felt after I ate them. And I didn't think we were going to be buying them anymore, but I moaned (quite) a bit about losing the ease of preparing the meatball dinner. He brilliantly suggested that I go ahead and make my own. Sometimes, I am awfully glad to have him around (WINK!). 

It turns out making meatballs is a supremely easy thing to do. This came together so fast, and I was actually under a lot of pressure as I had a pre-teen holding a crying newborn when I was trying to whip them together. The recipe I am providing you with is a basic all-around meatball.  If you want you can make a few batches and season them different ways. 

These were a huge hit, the kids loved eating them, and I felt fantastic because I knew of the high quality meat that I had used and that my "filler" was a steel cut oat. I may try and experiment with some quinoa or rice. 


5 lbs ground beef
1 to ­2 Cups Oats (or cooked rice - or maybe quinoa)
2 - ­5 eggs (I use two but you can use more!)
1 16oz Can Tomato Sauce (Can use up to 3 cups ketchup in its place)


Combine all ingredients in large bowl and mix well with hands. You can also use a potato masher or a big fat wooden spoon.

Scoop out and form into meatballs approximately one inch thick. Place on foil lined baking sheets that have a lip on them. You'll need the lip on your pans especially if you are using ground beef with a higher fat content.

I used one of those ice scream scooper tools that you use to make cookies with. This was super fast and quick and left all the meatballs nice and round and looking pretty (and cooking uniformly)

Bake in batches at 350 for about thirty minutes, storing raw meat covered in the refrigerator while you wait on each batch to bake. Test a meatball to make sure the center is no longer pink.

Allow to cool and store in quart sized freezer bags. Use any of the following recipes or create your own!

Spaghetti and Meatballs
Swedish Meatballs
Meatball Subs

To reheat:
Place frozen meatballs in pot and add one of the sauces. Cook over medium heat until heated through and serve with rice, egg noodles, or other cooked pasta or grain.