Meatballs for the Freezer

I am a big fan of planning ahead and that carries over to my meal planning.  We try to be healthy in this house and that means home cooked meals, instead of fast food or prepared foods from the store.  I not only prefer the taste, it allows me to control things like the salt and fat content in our meals. Besides, the hubby travels so much, he deserves home cooked food when he and I are actually in the same state, at the same time!  Last weekend I made the pierogi and froze them for future meals, this weekend, I made a big batch of meatballs and sauce.

Meatballs

I use the recipe from the Rao’s Cookbook.  There are actually two recipes in the book, Frankie’s Meatballs on page 124 and Mario’s Meatballs on page 125.  A couple of years ago, I used the recipe for Frankie’s Meatballs and we loved them so much that is has become my go to meatball recipe.  Someday I will have to try Mario’s Meatball recipe to see how it compares but for now, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it is our motto when it comes to meatballs!

Because I made a triple batch of meatballs, I cooked them in the oven on two sheet pans, instead of frying each one.  Once they have been cooked through, I pile them on one pan and wait for them to cool.  Once cool, I load them into quart size ziplock bags, top with some sauce and lay them flat on cookie sheet.  The cookie sheet gets put into the freezer and I leave it there until the meatballs are frozen.  Once frozen, I remove from the tray and stack them.

Whenever I need a quick dinner, I pull a bag of meatballs from the freezer, put them in the fridge to defrost and all I have to do when I get home is heat up the meatballs/sauce and boil water.   I add a nice green salad and dinner is on the table in twenty-five minutes!  On nights when it is too hot for a big pasta meal, I use the meatballs to make meatball sandwiches.  I buy nice, crusty long rolls.  I split and toast the rolls, add the meatballs and sauce then a nice slice  of either mozzarella or provolone cheese and pop it in the toaster oven to meal the cheese.    The meatballs also make a great pizza topping, I usually slice them in half and then put them on the pizza before putting it on the grill or into the oven.  If you are having a party, you can make meatball sliders as an appetizer, one small dinner roll, one meatball, a little sauce and cheese, stab it through the center with a toothpick and you have yourself and easy, quick, and hot hors d’oeuvre.

It is also a nice meal to be able to pull out of your hat in the event you have unexpected company, if any of you have husbands who are like mine and invite people over and give you about 20 minutes notice! Manga!

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