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.
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. (UPDATE: Ryan passed away in January 2018. You can continue to support his family by visiting Ashley’s blog CenterCutCook anytime you are looking for delicious recipes.)
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!
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…
…then put on a clean tray to be individually frozen…
…and once the meatballs are firmly frozen, store them in a zipper seal bag to be used as needed.
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.Print
- 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
- 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.
- Add all other ingredients and gently combine. Try not to over work the mixture.
- Line a sheet tray with parchment paper and spray the pan with kitchen pan spray. Set aside.
- 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.)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Freeze overnight or until firm, then remove to a gallon zip lock bag and freeze the bag of meatballs.
- 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