Use It Up...Make Ground Beef into Your Own Frozen Meatballs

Instead of buying expensive frozen meatballs, make your own when ground beef is on sale.  
This is one of our favorite “freezer” recipes …it saves me money, doesn’t take long to make, I know what is in the recipe and it saves time and mess at meal time.  These are not as tough as purchased ones – but don’t overmix, as that will toughen them.  
This recipe is not suitable for canning – the oatmeal doesn’t hold them together like a bread panade during the canning process, but they are perfect for freezing and reheating.  The flavor is excellent, and the oatmeal adds a little whole grain.  If I have it, I also chop a little fresh spinach and add it to the mixture. 
I usually make them in my Kitchenaid, but they can be mixed by hand easily. 3# of beef is the maximum size recipe to mix in a 5 qt. Kitchenaid. If you use a larger scoop, like a size 50, you won't get quite as many balls.  I freeze them flat in freezer bags so they thaw quickly, and stack easily in a basket in the freezer.  I use them in any recipe calling for frozen meatballs, like soups, spaghetti and meatballs, in sour cream sauce or gravy or casseroles like Green Bean Burger Bake or in a sauce like this Mushroom Sauce you can freeze.
                          Freezer Meatballs  
  2          large  eggs
     ½     cup  Whole Milk
     ¼     cup  ketchup
  2          teaspoons  worcestershire sauce
  5          ounces  Oatmeal -- (1 1/2 cups)
  3          ounces  Onion -- chopped (1/2 cup)
     ½      cup  Minced Parsley -- (2 tbsp dry flakes)
  2          teaspoons  salt 
  3 pounds  ground beef
Combine dry ingredients in bowl; combine eggs, ketchup, milk and Worcestershire sauce and add to bowl, mixing well, then add beef and mix lightly.  DO NOT OVERMIX.  (Use a gallon or larger bowl).  Shape into 1 1/8" balls, (I use a size 60 scoop).  Place on half sheet pans (lined with foil).  Bake, uncovered at 400° for 8 minutes, turn, (a soup spoon works well for this), bake 6-8 minutes more.  Bake one sheet at a time unless using a convection oven, for adequate browning.
For 2 servings:  After cooling, divide into quart freezer bags, 10 balls each.  Cool and freeze.   
To use:  thaw if possible, heat in pan in sauce, spaghetti sauce or gravy over low heat 10 minutes or until heated through. Entire recipe can be cooked and served immediately or frozen and reheated for company.  Or use in any recipe calling for meatballs; like soups and casseroles.
Cost: Oct, 2009 at $1.79 for ground beef, $6.21 or 35 cents per serving.
Cost today: at $2.89 for ground beef, $ 9.53 or 53 cents per serving

Yield:  "90 Balls" or about 18 servings
Per Serving: 283 Calories; 21g Fat (68.6% calories from fat); 15g Protein; 7g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 89mg Cholesterol; 346mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 2 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 3 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.


  1. great idea! are they completely cooked after their time in the oven? thanks, Loni

    1. Yes...though not overdone, so they can be reheated.

  2. I always make my own meatballs. Just can't stand them store bought ones. Like you; will make up a large batch and freeze.
    If I don't have oatmeal on hand, I will use finely crushed soda crackers and leaving out the salt.
    (Crackers salt enough without adding more salt.)
    I like onion in mine; so will use a whole, small onion and I grate it; giving more flavor by getting the onion juice as well as the grated onion for my 3-5 lb. of ground burger meat.
    When it comes time to freeze these babies up; I will line a baking sheet with parchment paper, placing in single layer will pop the baking sheet in freezer until frozen solid.
    Once frozen I will then vacuum seal up packages of meat balls; marked, dated and in the freezer they go.

  3. I made this and wanted to tell you that the meatballs tasted great! I halved the recipe since I didn't have that amount of ground beef on hand and was cooking for 2 days of meals (I work 12 hour shifts and like to prep ahead). It provided enough for many days of meals. Thank-you, Definitely a "keeper" recipe.

    1. Glad you liked it...I make it whenever I run out of canned ones. Nice to have a lot of the fussy work already done, and to make the mess just once.


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