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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 (0 saturated fat), 22mg cholesterol, 357mg sodium, 6g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 0 fiber), 14g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 5 meat, 2 lean meat, 1/2 starch.

Reviews for Make-Ahead Meatballs

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angela32 User ID: 3084463 252238
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."

motherofdogs User ID: 265088 244693
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."

pottercrbr User ID: 1023357 237857
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!!!"

michelle4773 User ID: 5599211 216835
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 :)"

lstoltzfus User ID: 5117010 26187
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."

jdc1975 User ID: 2223645 23050
Reviewed Mar. 8, 2014

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

Kris Countryman User ID: 1858674 20841
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."

chocolatecookies User ID: 1014884 45711
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."

shell7293 User ID: 5815824 25426
Reviewed Dec. 17, 2012

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

scrapo User ID: 2908723 79026
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."

mytwosons User ID: 524776 52132
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!!!"

nadinas User ID: 4279916 21491
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!!"

nanc2003 User ID: 4253812 202525
Reviewed Nov. 24, 2009

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

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