Monday, August 25, 2014

10 Ideas for Leftover Or Frozen Meatballs-Update

This post, originally written in 2012, has been one of the most popular posts on my site. So I figured it would be fun to update it with a nice, shiny, new Pin-able picture and some updated recipes!

Making a double...or triple...batch of my freezer friendly meatballs doesn't take much more prep work than a single batch, and there are so many options for leftovers. I love having these in the freezer for those "uh oh, what's for dinner?!" weekdays. I make sure to freeze them without sauce, so I'm not bound to use them for Italian food!

1. Meatball Sandwiches

2. Meatball Pizza
-Slice meatballs into thin pieces. Prepare a pizza crust with sauce and cheese, and sprinkle meatball slices on top of cheese. Add other toppings or vegetables of choice (such as onions, bell peppers, olives, etc), and bake at 450* until bubbly and golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.

3. Chili
-Crumble up meatballs and add to your favorite chili recipe instead of the ground beef, onion, garlic mixture. This is especially easy for rushed mornings, to throw into the crock pot.

4. Meatball Soup
-My friend Kerstin gave me the recipe to this awesome and FAST soup in the crock pot.

1 lb leftover or frozen meatballs (I make mine larger, so about 4-5. I cut them into bite size pieces before serving)
1 can Beef Broth (14oz)
1 Cup Water
1 can of Diced Tomatoes w/Basil, Garlic and Oregano (14.5oz), undrained (or 1 can regular diced tomatoes with some italian seasoning sprinkled in)
1 can of Cannellini Beans or Kidney Beans (14oz), drained
1/2 onion chopped
1 C chopped carrots
1/2 C chopped celery
2 C cooked noodles (optional)
Parmesan Cheese to garnish individual servings

Combine all ingredients in crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours
Garnish individual servings with Parmesan Cheese, add noodles to individual bowls if desired, and serve.

5. Meatball Gyros
-Slice heated meatballs and add to warm pita bread. Top with sliced cucumber, sliced onion, lettuce, tomatoes, and tzatziki sauce.

6. Meatball Calzones
-Mix 2 C ricotta cheese with 1 egg, salt and pepper to taste, 1/2 C mozzarella cheese, and several sprinkles of Italian Seasoning. Fold in chopped pieces of meatball. Cut 1 lb pizza dough into 4 equal portions, and roll into squares. Place 1/4 cheese mixture on each square. Fold diagonally and seal edges with a fork. Brush tops with one egg whisked with 2 TBS water. Bake at 450* until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.

7. Sweet and Sour Meatballs
-Simmer meatballs with store bought or homemade sweet and sour sauce. Serve over rice and garnish with chopped scallions.

8. Lasagna
-Crumble or slice meatballs, use in place of ground beef, onion, garlic mixture in lasagna.

9. BBQ Meatballs
-Simmer meatballs in your favorite BBQ sauce until heated through. Serve over mashed potatoes with coleslaw on the side.

10. Sloppy Joes
-Crumble meatballs and use with your favorite sloppy joe recipe instead of the ground beef and onion mixture. Our personal favorites: This Rachael Ray recipe on Food Network, and this recipe over on Allrecipes   

What are your favorite ways to use up leftover or frozen meatballs?

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