19 September, 2019
The Best Homemade Meatball Recipe – Plus Three Different Meals To Use Them In
My family loves it when I make this homemade meatball recipe! They know they will be having several dinners with them. I usually start off with spaghetti and meatballs, then meatball sub sandwiches and if I have made enough, I make sweet and sour meatballs in the crock pot.
When making them, you need to plan on buying enough meat, and have most of a day to bake them. I like to pull out all my old cookie sheets, stones, etc. Because making up the mix doesn’t take much time, but baking each batch for 15 minutes can take all day when you make this many. It helps to have several cookie sheets and an oven that has convection option so that you can bake at least two pans at a time. While those two are baking, I prepare another two to have ready to go in when I take out the two in the oven.
Making this many can seem like a chore, but you will reap the rewards when it comes time to make those dishes! Your meatballs are already done and you can have dinner ready in a matter of minutes!
For this article, I made meatballs with 4 pounds of meat, thinking I would have enough for at least two dinners. Well, I guess I have not made these in a while and my family devoured them! I only had enough for 1 spaghetti dinner and my husband was able to take a few for his lunch the next day.
To give you perspective, so that you can decide how much to make, 4 pounds of meat gave me 90 meatballs. I figured each person would eat 5 or 6 and that would give me 2 meals. I think this is correct, as long as your family isn’t like mine and go crazy. If I had divided them instead of putting them all on the table, this would have worked.
Homemade Meatball Recipe
2/3 cup bread crumbs
1 cup milk
4 lbs ground beef
3 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 cup Parmesan cheese
Combine bread crumbs and milk in a small bowl. Put into refrigerator for 30 minutes to soak. The bread crumbs will soak up all the milk and become a mush.
In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, eggs, garlic, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese, and pre-soaked bread crumbs.
- With hands, mix well.
- With a cookie scoop, get a heaping scoop of the meat mixture, then roll into balls.
- Place meatballs onto a cookie sheet.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
- Let the cooked meatballs completely cool before removing them from cookie sheet.
- Before starting, pre-soak milk and bread crumbs.
- Use a very large mixing bowl.
- Use a cookie scoop to make even sized meatballs. This will help them bake more evenly.
- Have enough cookie sheets on hand to be able to make the baking go faster.
- If you are making enough for several meals, have enough zip-lock bags on hand or freezer containers.
- Put the meatballs for another meal in the freezer. If using in the crock pot, you do not need to thaw.
Three Ways to Use Your Meatballs
1. Spaghetti and Meatballs – The first way to use your meatballs is in spaghetti and meatball dinner. This can be as simple as buying your favorite spaghetti sauce, pouring it over your
precooked meatballs and warming them up in the sauce. You can have a side salad, and garlic bread to serve with it.
If you want to get a little more elaborate but still very easy, you can make your own sauce.
1 (28 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 yellow onions, chopped
2 green bell peppers, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
Blend the stewed tomatoes and crushed tomatoes in a blender. In a stock pot saute the onions, peppers, and garlic. Pour in tomatoes, and reduce heat. Add sugar, basil and oregano, and simmer about 40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper before serving.
2. Meatball Sub Sandwiches – Another way that you can use your meatballs is by having a sandwich night. My kids love hot sandwiches. I purchase a good quality sub bun from my local deli. I warm up some meatballs in a marinara sauce or left over spaghetti sauce, then put 5-6 on each bun. Add shredded mozzarella cheese on top and let it melt. Serve this with a side salad, cup of soup, or chips.
3. Sweet and Sour Meatballs – This one is great if you need to leave the house or go to work because it uses the crock pot or instant pot. For a simple version all you have to do is mix together in the bottom of a crock pot a small jar of grape jelly and one 12 ounce jar chili sauce. Add meatballs to it and put on low for 4 hours or till heated through. Another homemade recipe is:
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1 red bell pepper and 1 green bell pepper – cut in large chunks
1 can pineapple chunks with juice
Add all ingredients to crock pot and mix well. Add meatballs and cook on low for 4 hours or till meatballs are warmed through and sauce is bubbly. Just before serving mix 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 1/4 cup water in a measuring cup. Slowly add to sauce to thicken.
With one baking time, you can get at least three easy meals! I’m sure there are other meatball recipes that these can be used for as well. I would love to hear your favorite ones! Leave me a comment below and let me know what your favorites ones are.
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