If meatballs have been chained to tomato sauce and spaghetti in your home—it’s time to set those meaty marvels free. The kid-friendly bites are wonderful weeknight basics and can be prepared quickly in a slew of tasty ways—especially if you snag a bag of frozen meatballs at the supermarket.
Cookbook author Stephanie Ashcraft’s (who wrote 101 Things To Do With Meatballs) offers 10 quick and easy dinner ideas the whole family will love.
Sloppy Joes: Crumble 1 ½ pound of thawed meatballs using a food processor. Sauté meat over med high heat for 5-8 min. Stir in 1 ¼ cup ketchup, 1 tbs dried onion, 1 tbs sugar, 2 tbs yellow mustard, 1 tbs apple cider vinegar. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 25 min. Serve on warmed buns. 8 servings.
Instant Soft Taco: Heat 5 frozen, fully cooked meatballs according to package directions in the microwave. Serve hot meatballs in a warm tortilla with cheese, salsa, guacamole, and sour cream. Garnish with cilantro if desired. 1 serving.
Blue Cheese Buffalo Balls: Place 30 frozen, fully cooked meatballs in an 8 x 8-inch pan and pour a jar of buffalo wing sauce over top. Cover pan with aluminum foil. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until bubbly. Serve with toothpicks and blue cheese dressing on the side. 6-7 servings.
Crowd-Pleasing Meatball Chili: In a 6- to 8-quart stockpot, sauté 1 onion in olive oil until translucent. Stir in 2 tsp minced garlic, 28-ounces diced tomatoes, 28-ounces crushed tomatoes, 4 16-ounce cans of diced green chiles, 1 tbs chili powder, and 39 thawed meatballs. 14-16 servings.
Pesto Meatball Baguette Sandwiches: In a bowl combine ¼ cup pesto and ¾ cup mayonnaise. In a frying pan, heat ½ tbs olive oil. Sauté 15 cherry tomato halves in oil for 1-2 minutes. Add 25 frozen, fully cooked meatballs to pan and cook, stirring frequently, until meatballs are hot. Toast open-faced baguettes. Spread mayonnaise mixture over both sides of baguettes. Spoon 5 meatballs evenly over each and top with lettuce.
Italian-Style Cocktail Meatballs: In a 2- to 3-quart pan, combine 16-ounces tomato sauce, 1/3 cup brown sugar, and ½ cup apple cider vinegar. Fold in 39 frozen, fully cooked meatballs. Cover and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve as an appetizer with toothpicks or over hot cooked angel hair pasta. Makes 7-9 servings.
Ravioli Meatball Stir-Fry: In a wok or stir-fry pan, heat 2 tbs olive oil until hot. Add frozen vegetables and stir-fry over high heat for 3 minutes. Stir in 13 thawed meatballs and cook 4 minutes more. Add a 12-ounce bottle of stir-fry sauce and toss in 1 25-ounce bag of frozen cheese ravioli thawed. Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes, or until ravioli is heated through. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.
For the final three marvelous meatball recipes, check out the links below.