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Make-Ahead Meatballs Recipe

Make-Ahead Meatballs Recipe

My husband and I have company often. Keeping a supply of these frozen meatballs on hand means I can easily prepare a quick, satisfying meal. I start with a versatile meatball mix that makes about 12 dozen meatballs, then freeze them in batches for future use. —Ruth Andrewson, Leavenworth, Washington
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 25 min. YIELD:30 servings


  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups dry bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 4 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)


  • 1. In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 1-in. balls, about 12 dozen.
  • 2. Place meatballs on greased racks in shallow baking pans. Bake at 400° for 10-15 minutes or until no longer pink, turning often; drain. Cool.
  • 3. Freeze option: Freeze cooled meatballs in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Reheat on a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan in a preheated 350° oven until heated through. Yield: 5 batches (about 30 meatballs per batch).

Nutritional Facts

5 each: 139 calories, 6g fat (0g saturated fat), 22mg cholesterol, 357mg sodium, 6g carbohydrate (0g sugars, 0g fiber), 14g protein Diabetic Exchanges: 0 starch, 2 lean meat, 5 meat.

Reviews for Make-Ahead Meatballs

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Reviewed Aug. 4, 2016

"I halved this recipe. Very good! After I cooked them in the oven, I put them in pasta sauce and let them simmer away.....delish."

Reviewed Feb. 29, 2016

"I made these for the first time. I used non-stick foil to line the baking sheets and did not use racks. They were easy to turn and because I used lean ground beef, there was no grease on the pan after baking. My husband suggests substituting a fraction of the ground beef with sausage next time. I added some garlic powder, but even with that, they were a little mild for our tastes. Maybe I'll use seasoned dry breadcrumbs next time. It's a versatile and easy recipe to customize."

Reviewed Nov. 22, 2015

"I cook from scratch for a large family due to food allergies. I like to plan and make ahead many items. This is my go to recipe for meatballs. I make them many times during the year and do add many of the suggested items that have been previously suggested. However, I form my meatballs with a scoop to make the all the same size and bake them on a broiler pan in the oven. This allows the grease to drip away during cooking. I also drain/cool them on paper towel and wax paper lined cooling rack before storing. My family loves them. Thank you to the person whom submitted this delicious recipe!!!"

Reviewed Jan. 4, 2015

"This is a great and EASY recipe!!! Along with everything above, I added some sage sausage, Italian herb spices, 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese and used garlic salt instead of regular salt. This is a FUN recipe to prepare. You can add whatever you like to spice it up. Thanks for posting this! I will definitely keep it :)"

Reviewed Oct. 11, 2014

"The original recipe for these in quick cooking has different things to do with them when you get them out of the freezer. I enjoy all of the adaptations: meatball sandwiches, spaghetti and meatballs, Swedish meatballs and I am not sure of the final one, I lost that page. They are all good though."

Reviewed Mar. 8, 2014

"How do you cook the frozen meatballs? Do they need to be thawed first?"

Kris Countryman
Reviewed Jul. 1, 2013

"I was unsure if we would like these since the recipe sounded bland; so I only made 1 pound. They were very easy and quite nice. I am a meatball lover but I do not love making them. This was easy. I think next time I will add a little allspice and perhaps a cream sauce to make them more like Swedish meatballs. Hubby like them too. I baked them on nonstick foil and the cleanup was simple."

Reviewed Jun. 13, 2013

"These meatballs are great. I made these using the ingredients listed, but added about 1 teaspoon of dried parsley to a half recipe. Rather than baking them on racks, I lined my pan with foil and sprayed it with nonstick cooking spray. They baked just fine this way, and the cleanup was easy. Thanks for this recipe."

Reviewed Dec. 17, 2012

"Good and easy - nice to have in the freezer for last minute meals."

Reviewed Mar. 27, 2011

"Just made these yesterday so I could store them in the freezer for spaghetti & meatballs. Smelled great while making them. I did add a 1/2 t of italian seasoning (i only made 1/2 recipe) as I plan to use them solely for italian dishes."

Reviewed Jul. 27, 2010

"I love this recipe. I have made it since I found it in the magazine several years ago. They are so flavorful. I have a very hard time getting these to the freezer since we are constantly picking at them while they are cooling. LOVE THEM!!!"

Reviewed Mar. 15, 2010

"Great! They make take a while to make, but making them on a weekend afternoon, and then freezing most of it for later use is great! There is so much you can do with these!!"

Reviewed Nov. 24, 2009

"Great to keep on hand for busy weeknights or unexpected company. We love these!"

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