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Meatball Mania by Deborah Taylor-Hough

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 by Deborah Taylor-Hough

Cooking up a large batch of meatballs in advance to store in
the freezer goes a long way toward establishing a supply of
quick and easy meals. And if you take advantages of sales
on ground beef and stock up, this can be a tremendous boon
to your family budget, too!

In addition to stirring meatballs into spaghetti sauce, you
can also use them in soups, serve them on skewers (kids
love this!), or heat in brown gravy or a warmed can of cream
of mushroom soup served with mashed potatoes.

The following recipes prepare a large batch of freezer meatballs
and also include examples of ways to use frozen meatballs. The
sauces require some preparation, but the meals go together
quickly with your stockpile of precooked meatballs in the freezer.

(this makes a lot — at least four dozen, depending on size)
12-ounces tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups dry bread crumbs
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup green pepper, finely chopped
1 teaspoons salt, optional
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/8 teaspoon dried marjoram, crushed
4 pounds ground beef

In a large mixing bowl, combine first eight ingredients. Add
ground beef and mix well. Shape into meatballs (use a small
cookie scoop if available) and place on boiler pan so grease
can drain while cooking. Bake uncovered in 350 degree oven
for 30 minutes. Divide into meal-sized portions. To prevent
from freezing into a solid meatball-mass, freeze individually
on cookie sheets and then place in freezer bags. Label
and freeze.

To serve meatballs, thaw completely and reheat with your
choice of sauces (six sample sauce recipes follow).

(5 servings)
1 (14-oz) can pineapple tidbits or chunks, undrained
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce (or more to taste)
1 family meal-sized portion of freezer meatballs
1 (5-oz) can water chestnuts, drained and thinly sliced
1 green pepper, cut in strips

Drain pineapple tidbits, reserving syrup. In medium saucepan,
combine brown sugar and cornstarch. Blend in reserved syrup,
water, cider vinegar and soy sauce. Cook and stir over low
heat until thick and bubbly. Carefully stir in meatballs, water
chestnuts, green pepper strips and pineapple. Heat to a
boiling. Serve over hot cooked rice.

(5 servings)
This recipe sounds a little strange (chili sauce and grape jelly?),
but it tastes like burgundy sauce (only without the wine)
1 (12-oz) jar chili sauce
11-oz. jar grape jelly
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cube beef bouillon dissolved in 1/2 cup water
1 family meal-sized portion of freezer meatballs

Whisk together chili sauce, grape jelly, lemon juice and
bouillon, breaking up all clumps. Simmer on low heat until
sauce starts to thicken. Add freezer meatballs; cook in
sauce until meatballs are fully thawed and heated through.
Serve over hot cooked noodles or rice.

(6 servings)
1 family meal-sized portion of freezer meatballs (approximately
4-5 meatballs per person)
6 hot dog buns (or hoagie rolls)
6 thin slices mozzarella cheese
2 cups prepared spaghetti sauce

Thaw meatballs and spaghetti sauce (if using frozen). Place
both in medium saucepan. Heat until hot. Place meatballs
into warmed buns. Ladle small amount of spaghetti sauce
onto each sandwich; place mozzarella slice onto each

(5 servings)
1 (10 3/4-oz) can condensed tomato soup
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 family meal-sized portion of freezer meatballs

Mix together soup, water and Worcestershire sauce. Place
meatballs in a medium sized saucepan; pour soup mixture
over meatballs. Simmer until meatballs are heated through.
Serve over hot cooked rice.

(5 servings)
1 (10 3/4-oz) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1 cup mushrooms, sliced and cooked in butter until soft
1 family meal-sized portion of freezer meatballs

In medium saucepan, mix together mushroom soup and sour
cream. Gently stir in mushrooms and meatballs. Simmer
until meatballs are heated through. Serve over hot cooked rice
or over egg noodles tossed with melted butter and chopped

(5 servings)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 bottle Catalina salad dressing
1 family meal-sized portion of freezer meatballs

Saute’ onion slices in olive oil until softened. Place frozen
meatballs in medium skillet. Pour dressing over meatballs.
Cover skillet and cook over low heat until dressing caramelizes
on meatballs and onion, and the meatballs are fully thawed
and heated through. Serve over rice.

Recipes adapted from “Frozen Assets: How to cook for a day and eat for a month”

–Deborah Taylor-Hough (free-lance writer, wife and mother of three) is the editor of the Simple Times [] and Bright-Kids [] email newsletters. She’s also the author of the bestselling book, Frozen Assets: how to cook for a day and eat for a month, and A Simple Choice: a practical guide for saving your time, money
and sanity. Be sure to visit Debi online at “A Frugal, Simple Life”: Hometown Has Been Shutdown – People Connection Blog: AIM Community Network

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4 thoughts on “Meatball Mania by Deborah Taylor-Hough”

  1. i’m not a know it all…just old and done it all or most of it. i like to freeze the meat balls in baggies. make big batches of the sauces too and include the sauce with the meatballs or in their own baggies.


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