This Easy Meatballs Recipe is economical, delicious, and is easily made with either ground turkey, ground beef, or a mix of both. Easily prepare this meatball recipe in bulk, freeze the extras, and thaw for an easy, no-fuss family dinner.
Meatballs Make Dinner Easy
Meatballs are one of my absolute favorite dinner time heroes, and this easy meatballs recipe is a perfect canvas for all of your delicious meatball creations.
In this post, you’ll find a simple, no-frills, recipe for meatballs and everything you need to know about how to freeze (and reheat) them for later use.
Now, just because I’ve left this particular recipe light on the seasoning and didn’t pair it with any sauce, doesn’t mean they aren’t delicious!
Because they are. At least in my opinion.
Anyway, feel free to have fun and add your own spin to this recipe. Make them spicy, sweet, drown them in your favorite sauce, or add them to a bowl of noodles.
Still not feeling inspired?
Anyway, there are tons of reasons to bulk-prep meatballs,
- They’re economical, meaning it’s cheaper to make and freeze your own than it is to buy already pre-made frozen meatballs.
- Kids love them!
- Making meatballs really isn’t all that fast. In fact, they’re kind of a pain to make. Why not get it done and over with!
- Storage is easy.
- Perfect for last-minute appetizers or easy weeknight main dish.
Check out: Classic Italian Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
Homemade Meatball Ingredients
- Ground meat (or turkey, chicken, beef, pork, or lamb)
- Bread crumbs (use gluten-free bread crumbs if you’re sensitive to wheat)
- Red chili flakes (optional)
- Salt and black pepper
As I mentioned above, this is a pretty basic meatball recipe. I did this on purpose.
Optional additions to add more flavor:
- Fresh herbs – parsley, cilantro, mint, or dill
- Dried herbs – dried Italian seasoning, basil, oregano, thyme, parsley, etc.
- Garlic powder or onion powder
- Curry powder or ground cumin
- Minced onions – yellow onions, red onions, or green onions
- Shredded cheese – cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese (pretty much any cheese)
Easy Meatball Recipe
1. Preheat and prepare:
Preheat your oven to 400 F.
Spray a large oven-safe baking sheet or casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. You may also line a large baking sheet with parchment paper if easier.
2. Make the meatball mixture:
Mix together all of the ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl until fully combined (I highly recommend using your hands here).
Shape into approximately 24 equally sized meatballs.
- TIP: Add a few drops of water to your hands if the meat mixture starts to stick to your hands.
Transfer meatballs to the prepared baking sheet in a single layer.
Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until the internal temperature registers 160 degrees F.
How to Freeze and Thaw Frozen Meatballs
You can freeze meatballs that are uncooked or fully-cooked and cooled completely. I always prefer to cook my meatballs before freezing. Completely unnecessary food-safety paranoia that lives inside my head.
- Remove meatballs from the oven and allow them to come to room temperature.
- Once at room temperature, carefully transfer the meatballs to a small tray lined with parchment paper. Place the tray in the freezer.
- Allow meatballs to freeze for at least 2 hours.
- Once frozen, transfer to a freezer-friendly ziplock bag, removing as much air as possible.
- Transfer to the freezer for up to 3-4 months.
You may thaw meatballs in:
- The refrigerator overnight
- In a microwave-safe dish covered with plastic wrap that has been punctured with a fork to allow venting.
- Or, cook from frozen. This works best when adding to a crockpot, soup, or simmering sauce.
More Delicious Meatballs,
If you make this Easy Meatballs Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
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Easy Meatballs Recipe (and How to Freeze Them!)
How to Make Meatballs
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a large oven-safe baking sheet or casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray or line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl mix together all of the ingredients until fully combined (using your hands may be helpful to get everything combined evenly). Shape into approximately 24 evenly sized meatballs (optional - use a large cookie scoop to scoop the meat mixture into equal portions).
- Transfer the meatballs to the prepared baking dish or baking sheet arranged in a single layer. Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until internal temperature registers 160 degrees F.
How to Freeze Meatballs
- Remove the cooked meatballs from the oven and allow them to cool to room temperature. Once at room temperature, place meatballs on a small tray or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and place the tray in the freezer. Allow meatballs to freeze for at least 2 hours.
- Once frozen, transfer the meatballs to a freezer bag or freezer container with as much air removed as possible. Use a permanent pen to label the bag with the meatball type and the date. Store at the back of the freezer until ready to use.
- To thaw: For best results, thaw your meatballs in the refrigerator overnight. You may also transfer the bag with the meatballs into a bowl filled with warm water to help speed up thawing (just make sure there are no holes!) Feel free to simmer frozen meatballs in your favorite sauce, soups, or casseroles (note that additional cooking time will be required when starting with frozen (vs. thawed) meatballs). You may also thaw frozen meatballs in the microwave. Microwave at 30-second increments, turning the meatballs often to ensure even cooking.
- You may also use ground turkey, ground chicken, ground beef, ground pork, Italian sausage, or even ground lamb to make these meatballs.
- To make this recipe gluten-free, substitute regular bread crumbs for your favorite gluten-free variety.
- A few of my favorite pasta sauce recipes include this super easy homemade marinara sauce, spaghetti sauce, or arrabbiata sauce.
- Note - you may also freeze your meatballs before you cook them. In fact, according to the USDA, ground meat that is not yet cooked is freezer-safe for up to 3-4 months.
- Cooked and frozen meatballs are best enjoyed within 3-4 months.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)