For the past year I have developed a knack for making meals ahead of time. Let’s face it who has time after coming home from a long commute to make dinner from scratch?
I must admit it requires some planning and organization, but its doable. One of my favorite meals is make ahead meatballs; it’s easy and red-meat eating men friendly.
*This recipe can be easily adapted to a slow cooker recipe too! Please see note below
I have found that the best tasting meatballs require a mixture of meats. You can use one meat if you like. I like buying from my local butcher the “meatloaf” mix of ground meats.
It contains a mixture of ground pork, ground beef and ground veal. This saves me a lot of time from grinding my own meat. I don’t own a meat grinder and I can’t say I can justify buying an accessory meat grinder for my kitchen aid.
Plus, I’m trying to save time and make less work for myself. If you have a personal preference to grind your own meats, by all means go for it.
Place the ground meatloaf mix into a large bowl.
Next, add all the seasonings and gently mixed until well combined.
It should look something like this.
If you have the time to hand roll the meatballs, roll them into a walnut size ball and gently coat with breadcrumbs…but I use an ice cream scoop!
This makes the process a lot more streamline. Don’t worry about the meatballs having one flat side, the meatballs will round out when you roll them in the breadcrumbs! I love it when things just work out.
Next, place your meatballs in skillet with olive oil and cook them on medium until deep brown in color.
Browning the meatballs
Use a meat thermometer to make sure the meatballs are cooked to 165 degrees F in the center. Please note cooking time may vary depending on the size of the meatballs. You can stop after this step and freeze the meatballs up to one week for later use.
Make Ahead Meatballs Recipe
I grated 1/4 of a red onion, 2 Tablespoon of minced garlic, one sprig of oregano, one fresh garden tomato and cooked on medium until garlic is fragrant.
Then add 1 Teaspoon of sugar to offset the acidity and jarred marina sauce along with the meatballs. Serve when meatballs are hot and sauce has come to a slow simmer.
*You can pop the frozen cooked meatballs into a slow cooker in the morning before you leave for work and add your favorite jar marinara sauce and set to low to cook for 8 hours. Then grab sub rolls on the way home and you have meatball subs for dinner!
Or you can take out the meatballs the morning of and thaw in the fridge. When you’re home and ready to eat, heat your favorite jarred marinara sauce along with the meatballs and cook up some pasta and dig in!
This recipe makes 25 meatballs from my ice cream scoop, you may have more or less than this depending on how small or large you make the meatballs.
- 1 lb Ground Meatloaf Mix (1/3 Ground Pork, 1/3 Ground Beef, 1/3 Ground Veal)
- 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1 Large Egg Yolk
- 1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1/4 Cup Unseasoned Breadcrumbs
- 2 Tablespoons Heavy Cream (You can use whole milk if that’s what you have)
- 2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley
- 2 Tablespoons Minced Garlic
- 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan