Make Ahead Meatballs

Do you buy those bags of pre-packaged frozen meatballs at the wholesale club? Well you can stop now.  

make ahead meatballs fb

I have an incredibly easy recipe for you to try.  It takes just a little more time than browning a pound of ground beef to make to make 50-60 of these “from scratch” meatballs.

This recipe is a time saver because you can serve a portion of these for dinner as they come hot out of the oven then freeze the rest for future meals (spaghetti & meatballs, cocktail meatballs, Swedish meatballs, etc.)

I’ve included my “real” food substitutions in parentheses next to each ingredient.  Use these if you can.  Remember, our goal here at the Ranch is to move towards living the real food 80/20 rule:  Eat healthy, nourishing, unprocessed food 80% of the time and don’t worry about the other 20%.

Either way, as long as you try this simple meatball recipe and stop purchasing the bagged, processed things from the store, I’m happy.

As an added bonus, you’ll find a link to The Rising Spoon’s homemade bar-b-que sauce below the recipe.  Place a dozen or two of your pre-made, frozen meatballs into a crock pot with this yummy bar-b-que sauce, set on low for 2-4 hours and you’ve got a great party snack.  Easy!PrintMake Ahead Meatballs

Rating: 4

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

50-60 meatballs


Easy time saving meatballs that you can prepare and store in your freezer until you need them.


  • 1 cup milk (organic)
  • 4 eggs (free range, organic)
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion (use fresh onion, skip the dried flakes)
  • 1½ tsp. salt (ground sea salt, not table salt)
  • ¼ tsp. dried parsley (fresh from your garden or farmer’s market then dried or find a quality source of seasonings at your local health food store)
  • ½ tsp cumin (see notes for parsley)
  • ¾ cup bread crumbs (day old crust and bread cubes intended for stuffing can be tossed into your food processor to make bread crumbs. You can buy these from your local bakery or dry your own).
  • 3# lean ground beef (grass fed)


  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper (natural, unbleached) for ease of clean up.
  3. Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix gently until well blended. A stand mixer is ideal for this task. A food processor on pulse setting might work with the beef but be cautious to not over mix.
  4. Roll the beef mixture into balls, about the size of a walnut. Place them approx. ½” apart on the parchment lined baking sheets.
  5. Next, chase a family member around the kitchen with your gross, meat covered hands. When finished, ask them to turn on the faucet so that you can wash up.
  6. Place the baking sheets in the oven for anywhere from 20-30 minutes. My general rule is that when an aroma of yumminess begins to waft from the oven the food is just about done. However, I’d sleep better if you used a meat thermometer to test if your meatballs are properly cooked.
  7. Remove the baking sheets from the oven. After a minute, using a spatula (because they’re hot!) transfer the meatballs onto a separate plate to cool.
  8. Once cooled (don’t let them sit too long) place the meatballs neatly into freezer bags. Label the bags appropriately with the date you made them and an expiration date if you wish. These will keep safely in the freezer for up to 6 months.
  9. To serve, thaw your frozen meatballs in the fridge, then warm prior to serving.


Here’s an alternative storage method if you don’t want to risk your meatballs freezing together. Move the meatballs from the hot baking dish onto a freezer safe plate or shallow glass baking dish. Place this dish (with meatballs) into the freezer. Once the individual meatballs have frozen place them into a freezer bag.

As promised, here is The Rising Spoon’s Homemade Sweet & Spicy Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce recipe.  And check out Kula Mama’s 10 No Fail Kid-Friendly Dinner Ideas for more great family meals.

A simple family pleaser that you can make and freeze.  |

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