How to freezer cook 8 Dozen Italian Meatballs

When is the best time to make meatballs? When your preferred meat goes on sale, of course. The average price per pound for ground beef in our area is $1.77 at Harris Teeter and $1.88 at Ingles this week so I’m making a double bubble batch. If you go early in the morning you ma get a reduced price from the day before (which is perfectly safe) if you make your meatballs and freeze them within 24 hours. Don’t let it sit in your fridge a while and then do it. If you don’t have time to make meatballs, you can freeze the meat and then thaw, cook and refreeze cooked.

I had two 3.5 pound packages of meat so I divided one into three pounds with a knife. Then I split one of the 1 pound parts in half and added it to my large 3,5 package and I had 4 pounds of meat for a double batch. The other two parts were devoted to tacos for the kids (went into the freezer).

First I measure  dry seasonings and beaten eggs and add this to the mixer. Then I mix until the oatmeal is moistened. You can also use bread.

I add the beef  and you can tell my mixer is full so I carefully mix it slow-just on the stir mode in short intervals (stopping and starting) until the beef starts to mix. Mix it until the fat is distributed. Gross, huh? You could do this by hand, if you’re not afraid of fat and lots of dishwashing liquid and hot water at the end.

Then I use my handy dandy notebook (just kidding); I’ve been hearing too many blues clues episodes. I love this scoop for everything. I never roll my meatballs or measure. I just use the scoop and scrape off the excess on the side of the bowl.

This step could be omitted, but foil catches the grease and you can throw it away when you’re done. It’s harsh on your septic pipes, especially without hot, hot water rinsing it down. It makes clean-up easier (I should work for a Reynolds).

I’ve scooped about eight dozen onto a rimmed cookie sheet and a 9×13 baking dish (you need it to be rimmed to keep the grease contained).

 I label and date my freezer bags while the meatballs are baking. I prefer the non-slider bags because they squeeze out more air, but this is what I had for some reason.

 Remove meatballs when they are done. I baked a double recipe for about 25 minutes (use a timer). Then allow them to cool  completely (cool to the touch-about 20 minutes or longer if you have time) on a plate with paper towels to drain excess fat. I’m using cloth napkins because I don’t use paper towels. I love using a tong because I can easily grab several meatballs at a time and it’s a great tool for loading them into the freezer bag.

 I put approximately 12 meatballs (4 per person) in a bag. I roll the air out by rolling the meatballs toward the zipper and then I seal the zipper. It’s almost like a vacuum seal. Like I said earlier, the slider bags don’t get as much of the air out :(

 I have eight bags for various meals throughout the month! See the meal ideas below and add your own. Double the ingredients below if you plan to make a double bubble recipe (it’s worth the effort and it requires no extra time).

 

How to freezer cook 8 Dozen Italian Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¾ cup soft breadcrumbs (about 1 slice) or ¾ cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 to 2 1/2 pounds ground turkey or beef

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients, except meat in a mixing bowl.
  2. Mix on low speed for about 1 minute.
  3. Add meat and mix on low pulses to mix thoroughly.
  4. Shape meatballs using a 1” scoop. Place all on a single layer pan or 9x13 pans with rims.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove and drain on paper towels and let cool about 30 minutes until cool to the touch.
  7. Label and date quart size bags. Divide approximately 40 meatballs among bags; 4-5 meatballs person.
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Meal ideas:

What is your favorite way to serve meatballs?

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Comments

  1. Hello! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay. I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

  2. I am a late bloomer (married at 40) and trying to do right by my husband. I’ve tried a lot of recipes for things and he is honest about whether he likes them or not. I made these meatballs yesterday and was not sure if my husband would like them. I made a baked ziti and put some of the meatballs on top (he likes meals with meat). Not only did he like them, he said he would eat them on a meatball sandwich, an item he doesn’t like. So, thanks for a homerun!

    • Hooray, it’s always a blessing to feed our husbands well. We do meatball subs all the time (just last night) and try it on calzones, pizza and dropped in chili! Blessings.

  3. NicholeB says:

    Trying these tomorrow! My family loves meatballs but making them ahead would be much better and easier for me.!

  4. I made a double batch and froze them. They taste great better than the ones I usually make. I usually just add seasoning and hope it is enough. So sometimes they are two strong of bland.

    I did not have onion powder so I used dried onions.

    This is definately a keeper!

    Thanks!

  5. I did a double batch of these, which made just over 100 meatballs (5 meals worth).

    I used 1 pound REALLY spicy churizo sausage and 3 pounds ground venison. They turned out so yummy!

    Thanks for this great recipe.

    • That sounds reall tasty with the sausage. I’ve heard ground venison is so lean and delicious, too. My girlfriend tells me all the time. If only my husband liked deer hunting as much as fishing ;) Thanks for sharing.

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  1. [...] center and duplicating some of the items we have made. So far, we have made black bean lasagna and Italian meatballs. The lasagna was a no cook recipe and it’s so easy to make. The ladies brought their own [...]

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