How to Make and Freeze Meatballs | Days of Chalk and Chocolate

How to Make and Freeze Meatballs

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One of my earliest memories is standing next to my mother early on Sunday mornings as she mixed up meatballs and made the pasta sauce for our traditional Sunday pasta dinner. Dinner, mind you, that was eaten at 1:00 PM.  If you ever sat behind us in church, you no doubt smelled the onions and garlic on my mom. She always smelled savory in church.  I don't carry on the Sunday pasta tradition but I do make my own sauce and meatballs just as my mama taught me!  I'd love to pass on our family recipe to you now so today I'm going to show you how to make your own meatballs and how to freeze them so you can take out 1 or 20...however many you need.


(all amounts are approximations and by taste. I have never measured anything for meatballs and after making them a couple of times you'll decide how much your family likes of each ingredient)


1 lb (or so) ground beef (if you want them to be yummy don't use lean beef or you can use a blend of ground pork, veal and beef sometimes called meatloaf mix in the butcher case)
seasoned breadcrumbs
grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
dried basil, parsley, oregano
5-6 average cloves of garlic (or 3-4 large ones), peeled and finely chopped or minced
2 eggs

 1. Place the meat in a large bowl. Add a handful of breadcrumbs (1/2 cupish), 1 smaller handful of Parmesan or Romano cheese (1/3 cupish), a tablespoonish of each of the dried herbs (we prefer to use more oregano and less of the others), garlic, eggs, and a couple of healthy dashes of salt and pepper. Remember not to use too much salt since the cheese is salty.

2. Gently mix. You don't want to over-mix or else your meatballs will be not like my mom's for whatever that's worth. If it feels too dry add another egg. If it feels too wet add some more breadcrumbs.

3. Form the meat mixture into small balls, probably two tablespoons worth for each.

If you are making them to eat right away, brown them on all sides in olive oil in a cast iron or nonstick pan. Then add them to your simmering marinara sauce (no longer making it marinara sauce I think. Look, you're magic.) Let them finish cooking in the sauce as it bubbles away.

If you aren't going to eat them right away, lay them on a cookie sheet lined with non stick foil. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven until cooked through. Start checking after 10 minutes, depending on how large you made your meatballs.  Let them cool on the cookie sheet.  Place the whole cookie sheet, with your cute little meatballs all lined up, in the freezer. Freeze until, um, frozen.

Gently peel the frozen meatballs off the foil and place in a freezer storage bag, making sure to squeeze the air out before sealing.  

This process makes it possible to take out however many you want when you use them. If you don't freeze them on the cookie sheet first they will form a big frozen meatball lump which is fine if you want to cook them all at once. Not fine if you don't.

To serve, just take out what you need and toss them in your sauce as it heats on the stovetop. They will defrost in the sauce but just make sure to keep them bubbling in there long enough to get nice and hot inside.

See?  So easy. No need to buy bags of frozen meatballs in the store that are not nearly as yummy.

My mom is so proud of you. She does think you need to eat more green veggies though.

Linking up here!



  1. I always eat my green veggies, but I really do need to make these more! My hubby is really making yummy meatballs, our own recipe. Maybe I will try again! Thanks Jenny. You always post the BEST things.

  2. I remember when we came to visit you guys one time and your mom made a dish with pasta, tomatoes, and broccoli, thinking we'd need green veggies after our long road trip. Tomatoes weren't my thing when I was a kid, but now, as an adult, this dish is one of my favorites. I make it a lot when Rich is in the field or deployed. :)


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