"But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philipians 3:13b,14

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Make Ahead Meatballs

I tried to think of some catch title for this blog post...

....but they all seemed wrong.

Ha ha!

I LOVE these meatballs! You can make them with either ground beef or ground turkey, and they make GREAT sweet and sour meatballs in the crock pot, or simmer them in the crock pot with tomato sauce (or just a pan with sauce on the stove) and have spaghetti and meatballs, or a meatball sandwich. If we have leftovers from spaghetti or meatball sandwiches, I've diced them up and used them as pizza topping! They just have a great flavor!

The BEST part is that I've perfected the "I hate to touch raw meat" method of making meatballs!! So if you have a potato masher, a cookie scoop, and hate to touch raw meat, today is your lucky day!!!!

I freeze them raw, then cook them either in the crock pot, or if you want to, you can put them, frozen, on a cookie sheet and bake them. I usually stick them in the crock pot frozen, either with marinara sauce or with grape jelly and chili sauce and cook them that way.

Here's what you need:
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground meat (either turkey or beef)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (DO NOT buy breadcrumbs they're a rip off!! If you have bread, I will show you how to make some quickly)
  • 1 Tb minced garlic (I used 4 cloves)
  • 1-2 tsp salt (I used Lawry's Seasoned Salt I heart that stuff)
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano (or, if you have fresh, 1 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (if you only have dried, use 1 1/2 Tb)

Ok, are you ready for the trick to making breadcrumbs? I used two slices of bread. Put the bread in a blender, food processor, or Magic Bullet. Pulse until it is crumbs. The end.

See?! They rip you off with those store-bought breadcrumbs!!

So, put all of the ingredients into a large bowl. Be careful taking the meat out of the package, or else you might touch it!!

Then take your potato masher and smash and goosh all the stuff together. I make sure I do this for a good while, because you want all the flavors to spread all through the meat. You can also do this step with your hands. If you want to. Just don't tell me about it.

Then like 2 cookie sheets with wax paper. You're going to freeze the meatballs individually first, this way they don't all freeze together in the bag, and you can just remove 1 or 10 or 20 from the bag once it's in the freezer. Make sure you have space in your freezer to let the cookie sheets lay flat while they freeze. Eat all the ice cream if you need to , you know, to make room. (The sacrifices we women make for our families...)

Then take your handy cookie scoop and scoop out meatballs onto the wax paper! I used to roll them by hand before I bought the cookie scoop, and that way works fine too. Even though your hands will need bleaching. And possibly sanding.

(I do have to admit, the hand rolled meatballs are more...well....round. But I. Don't. CARE.)

So now, pop them in the freezer for an hour or two, then stick them into a gallon sized Ziploc bag or into a freezer container if you prefer!

So, like I said, now you can bake them, simmer them, or crock pot them! Make sure they're thoroughly cooked before you eat them! (Because, you know, raw meat is gross.....)

Spaghetti and Meatballs
French Bread


  1. How funny! I spent yesterday making meatballs and taking pictures of them! I had my kids help me, which certainly cuts down on ME having to handle raw meat, but doesn't eliminate the yuck factor for them. The ice cream scoop is a great idea, and I may try that next time!

  2. Raw meat gives me the heebeejeebees. ;)

    Sooo.... do you get mocked for constantly taking photos of food at your house, or is it just me??

  3. I love medical gloves for raw meat, or anything else for that matter (bathroom cleaning etc). Thanks for posting these recipes! Sounds YUMMM

  4. Teresa- GREAT idea!!!! I should do that when I'm shredding cooked chicken!!

  5. Hi! I am going to make these for a friends holiday party that I cannot attend :(

    Since I can make them ahead and freeze them, and she can just pop them in the crock pot on the day of, this is perfect!

    How long do they need to be in the crock pot before serving, and on what heat? (I want to give her as specific instructions as possible since I can't be there to help)