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Make-Ahead Meatballs

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: 30 min. Bake: 10 min.
  • Makes
    5 batches (about 30 meatballs per batch)


  • 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)


  • In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 1-in. balls, about 12 dozen.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Nutrition Facts
5 meatballs: 134 calories, 6g fat (2g saturated fat), 62mg cholesterol, 334mg sodium, 6g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 0 fiber), 14g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 lean meat, 1/2 starch.

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  • jeniece
    Jan 17, 2021

    No comment left

  • erinn624
    Jun 26, 2020

    I recently discovered this recipe in my tattered, premier issue of Quick Cooking! My family is picky about meatballs, so I halved the recipe to give them a try. Next time, I'll make enough to freeze, as they are so, so good! I did bake them closer to 30 minutes, and once they cooled, let them simmer in a crockpot with spaghetti sauce - we enjoyed them on meatball subs and over spaghetti - definitely a keeper!

  • angela32
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    Mar 8, 2014

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

  • Kris Countryman
    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.

  • cinnamongirl319
    Jun 18, 2013

    No comment left