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Easy Freezer Meatballs

Easy Freezer Meatballs - A versatile and flavorful meatball recipe.  Make a big batch, then store in the freezer and thaw as needed.  Perfect for busy days when you don't have a lot of time to cook!  #TeamRyan

When life gets crazy-hectic, our Easy Freezer Meatballs are the perfect food to have on hand so you can make your family a quick and delicious dinner!  But today’s post is really more than just this recipe. Today, Jack and I are joining up with a group of other bloggers (you can see a list below) to help out one of our own.

Ashley is a fellow blogger over at CenterCutCook (you’ve got to try her amazing Chocolate Lasagna recipe!).

In late 2013, she and her husband Ryan learned that they were expecting their first child – but the joyful news was quickly overshadowed when a week later they learned that 29-year-old Ryan had colon cancer. A few weeks after that, they learned that Ryan’s cancer was Stage 4 – his cancer had also spread to his lungs and lymph nodes – and he has been receiving chemotherapy treatments ever since. In August of 2014, their beautiful baby boy Miles was born – but less than two months later their sweet baby suffered a severe seizure, and he was diagnosed with a rare disease that will require Miles to receive BOTH a kidney and liver transplant to survive.

This brave little family needs all of the help they can get to cover their ever-mounting medical bills – so our blogging community has joining together to help tell their story. You can follow the latest news over on Facebook at Team Ryan Strong, and if you are inspired to do so, please consider making a donation to help them out by clicking on the widget above.

Easy Freezer Meatballs - A versatile and flavorful meatball recipe.  Make a big batch, then store in the freezer and thaw as needed.  Perfect for busy days when you don't have a lot of time to cook!  #TeamRyan

And today our blogging group is also sharing recipes – like our Easy Freezer Meatballs – that are perfect for storing in the freezer to keep on hand for those days when you don’t have time to cook, but still want a home cooked meal!  They are super easy to make and very delicious!

Easy Freezer Meatballs - A versatile and flavorful meatball recipe.  Make a big batch, then store in the freezer and thaw as needed.  Perfect for busy days when you don't have a lot of time to cook!  #TeamRyan

Today’s recipe is made with ground chicken and pork, but you can also swap in a lean ground beef if you prefer. The meat balls are hand rolled, baked on a sheet pan…

Easy Freezer Meatballs - A versatile and flavorful meatball recipe.  Make a big batch, then store in the freezer and thaw as needed.  Perfect for busy days when you don't have a lot of time to cook!  #TeamRyan

…then put on a clean tray to be individually frozen…

Easy Freezer Meatballs - A versatile and flavorful meatball recipe.  Make a big batch, then store in the freezer and thaw as needed.  Perfect for busy days when you don't have a lot of time to cook!  #TeamRyan

…and once the meatballs are firmly frozen, store them in a zipper seal bag to be used as needed.

Easy Freezer Meatballs - A versatile and flavorful meatball recipe.  Make a big batch, then store in the freezer and thaw as needed.  Perfect for busy days when you don't have a lot of time to cook!  #TeamRyan

These Easy Freezer Meatballs are designed to be somewhat neutral in flavor, but still have a delicious, zesty meatball flavor! And they are versatile enough so that they can be frozen – then just pull out the portion you need to use in any recipe that calls for meatballs like soups (see here and here), glazed and served as an appetizer, served over pasta with a simple sauce, or with gravy and mashed potatoes.

Easy Freezer Meatballs
 
Serves: 3½ dozen meatballs
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups soft bread, crusts removed and cut into small cubes. (We used a supermarket bakery Italian bread)
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup tomato juice
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 pound ground pork (not ground seasoned sausage meat)
  • ½ cup onion, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon jarred pesto
  • 1 tablespoon jarred sweet pepper relish
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dry oregano
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
  • ¼ cup seasoned or plain bread crumbs
  • ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl place soft bread cubes and cover with milk and tomato juice. Let soak for ten minutes then use your hands to make a mash out of the bread or beat with a fork.
  2. Add all other ingredients and gently combine. Try not to over work the mixture.
  3. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper and spray the pan with kitchen pan spray. Set aside.
  4. Place a second tray or cutting board next to a small bowl of water. This will be used to scoop meatballs. (Once all are scooped, they will be rolled and neatly placed on parchment lined sheet tray.)
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  6. Using a medium scoop like this onep, scoop out 3 ½ dozen meatballs (42 meatballs, 1 ½ ounce each) onto the cutting board or tray. Keep the scoop a little wet by dipping in the water occasionally.
  7. Once all of the balls have been scooped, wet your hands lightly and roll each meatball into a ball and place on prepared sheet tray. Keep hands moist but not too wet otherwise the meatballs will get too soft and not keep their shape.
  8. Once the tray is full, place in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove, cool and place each meatball on a second tray lined with parchment. As you remove each ball, wipe off sides so they are nice and clean before freezing. Also make sure you pick a tray that fill fit in your freezer.
  9. Freeze overnight or until firm, then remove to a gallon zip lock bag and freeze the bag of meatballs.
  10. As needed, just pull as many as you need for your quick meal.

You may enjoy these other freezer-friendly and quick-to-prepare meal ideas:

Sugar Dish Me made this Easy Chicken Broccoli Bake

That Skinny Chick Can Bake made Mexican Chicken Manicotti

Food Faith & Fitness made a Paleo Casserole with Turkey, Peppers, Zucchini, and Tomato

Spend with Pennies made Chicken Noodle Casserole (from Scratch)

Wishes & Dishes made this Creamy Chicken Tetrazzini

Frugal Foodie Mama made Pizza Pierogi Casserole

Snappy Gourmet made Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta Casserole

Miss in the Kitchen made a Chicken and Mushroom Tortellini Bake

Life, Love, and Good Food made this Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

Bless This Mess made Quick and Easy Summer Chicken Salad

Mandy’s Recipe Box collected 30 Freezer Meals

Hugs and Cookies made Baked Parmesan Meatball Casserole

Barbara Bakes made this Veal & Wild Mushroom Stew

A Cedar Spoon made Sausage, Roasted Red Pepper, & Gouda Macaroni & Cheese

It’s Yummi made an Easy Cheese & Sausage Pizza Bake

A Family Feast made these Easy Freezer Meatballs

Stuck on Sweet made Homemade Goulash

Two Healthy Kitchens made a 5-Ingredient Easy Pasta Bake

It Bakes Me Happy made a Peach Skillet Galette

 #TeamRyan

Comments

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  1. Hmm, never tried a chicken pork combo for meatballs! Great idea! Definitely a nice change from beef. Great working with you on this project too! 🙂
    Lisa Huff @ Snappy Gourmet recently posted…Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta CasseroleMy Profile

  2. I love these meatballs! Pinning! So nice working together on this fundraiser for Ashley and her family with you. I love knowing such great people 🙂
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes recently posted…Creamy Chicken TetrazziniMy Profile

  3. meatballs are great to have on hand

  4. So nice to see bloggers joining together to support one of our own. God’s blessings on this family as they travel the road ahead of them.
    Lana | Never Enough Thyme recently posted…Tomato Chile Cheese GritsMy Profile

  5. These meatballs look perfect! I’d love a whole lot of them in my freezer-great for a quick, yummy meal. So glad to join you today to help the Wagner family!

  6. I can’t even imagine what Ashley and Ryan are going through right now. Hopefully many people will donate to help alleviate the financial burden.

    These freezer meatballs would be great to have on hand. Awesome idea!

  7. My heart goes out to Ashley and Ryan and so nice to see everyone bonding together to help them. These meatballs really are perfect to make and send off to someone in need that just needs to get dinner on the table fast.
    Susan recently posted…Pineapple Dark and StormyMy Profile

  8. Meatballs are something everybody should have on hand in the freezer for quick, delicious meals – these are great! This story really pulls at my heart, I will continue to offer prayers and spread the word…you guys are awesome for doing this.
    Heather | girlichef recently posted…Cherry Crunch Pie #fridaypiedayMy Profile

  9. These meatballs look incredible. What a great idea to freeze them for busy days!
    Sarah Walker Caron (Sarah’s Cucina Bella) recently posted…Spicy Fajita Grilled CheeseMy Profile

  10. I’ve heard so much about Ashley and my heart breaks for her and her family. Such a wonderful thing ya’ll are doing for them!!

    Ps. love recipes like this that I can stick into the freezer for busy weekday dinners!!
    Angie | Big Bear’s Wife recently posted…Caramel S’more PieMy Profile

  11. I’m so sorry to hear about Ashley. This is so tragic. I hope they will get enough donations to cover all their medical bills!

    Freezer meat balls sound amazing. You can never have enough recipes for busy weekdays!!
    Rose | The Clean Dish recently posted…Mini Chocolate Ganache Tortes {vegan, grain & gluten free}My Profile

  12. These sound delicious, so much tastier than the store bought kind and so versatile to use in recipes!
    Emily recently posted…Peach Skillet GaletteMy Profile

  13. I LOVE to have meatballs in the freezer – you are so right that they’re perfect to have on hand for a quick and easy dinner! I can’t wait to try your recipe! I’m always looking for new recipes on old classics – and this will be at the front of the recipe binder! 🙂

    I’ve really enjoyed collecting everyone’s recipes from this great project – and helping an incredibly sweet family along the way! This was such a worthwhile project to be part of!! 🙂

  14. Great meat balls. My kids love it so much. Thanks for sharing