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How To Freeze Meatballs

Discover the secrets to mastering the art of preserving your delicious homemade meatballs with our comprehensive guide on how to freeze meatballs.

Our easy-to-follow steps will ensure that you can enjoy tender, flavorful meatballs any time you want, without compromising on taste or quality.

Say goodbye to last-minute meal prep stress and hello to convenient, freezer-ready meatballs!

How To freeze meatballs


To effectively freeze meatballs, first cook them thoroughly and allow them to cool completely. Once cooled, arrange the meatballs in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet, ensuring they do not touch.

Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 1-2 hours, or until the meatballs are fully frozen. Afterward, transfer the frozen meatballs into an airtight, freezer-safe container or a resealable plastic freezer bag.

raw meatballs before freezing

1. Cook the meatballs

frying meatballs

It is easiest to cook your meatballs before you freeze them. This method makes it easier to defrost or you can just throw them right into your dish and defrost them while you are cooking.

You want to make sure to cook them until they reach an internal temperature of 160°F. Once they reach the 160°F mark take them out and let them cool.

Alternatively, you can freeze them raw.

2. Freeze individually

Now that your meatballs are cooled off, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure there is a little space between each one so that they don’t stick together.

Put the baking sheet in the freezer and allow them to freeze. This will take 1-2 hours depending on the size of your meatballs.

3. Freezer storage

Remove your meatballs from the freezer and place them into a Ziploc freezer bag. Try to lay them in a single layer in the bag. This will make it a lot easier to take them out later on.

I like to separate my meatballs into bags that will serve a whole meal so that I can just grab one bag and defrost only what I need.

Meatballs can be stored in the freezer for 3-4 months. This is a great way to have some meal prep done and ready to go when you need them.

Learn what goes with meatballs for you next meal.

Tips for freezing meatballs

  • Cooking your meatballs before you freeze them makes it a lot easier to defrost and incorporate into your dish.
  • A few great ways to use your frozen meatballs: Spaghetti with meatballs, Meatball subs, and appetizer meatballs. So many ways to serve these!
  • Thaw your frozen meatballs in the crockpot with sauce in just 2 hours on high.

How to thaw meatballs

There are a few different ways to thaw out your frozen meatballs. They are easy to defrost and can be quick to thaw if you are in a pinch.

  • Refrigerator: This is probably the easiest but longest method, all you have to do is take them out of the freezer and place them in the fridge. You will want to do this ahead of time as it takes about 24hrs to thaw them.
  • Under running water: Place the bag of frozen meatballs in a bowl under cold running water. This method will take 30 minutes to an hour. It’s a great way for last-minute thawing.
  • Crockpot or stove: Place your meatballs in sauce and thaw them as you are cooking them. This method usually takes 2-6 hours depending on the cooking temperature.

How to freeze uncooked meatballs

This is not recommended I highly suggest that you cook the meatballs first for food safety reasons but if you were going to freeze them raw then…

  • Shape the meatballs: Combine your preferred ground meat, seasonings, and other ingredients, and shape the mixture into evenly-sized meatballs.
  • Line a baking sheet: Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or wax paper to prevent the uncooked meatballs from sticking.
  • Arrange the meatballs: Place the shaped meatballs on the lined baking sheet in a single layer, ensuring they do not touch each other.
  • Freeze briefly: Place the baking sheet with the meatballs in the freezer for 1-2 hours or until they are firm and hold their shape.
  • Transfer to a storage container: Once the meatballs are firm, remove them from the baking sheet and place them in a resealable plastic freezer bag or an airtight, freezer-safe container.
  • Label and store: Label the container or bag with the date and contents. Store the uncooked meatballs in the freezer for up to 3-4 months.

Storing Meatballs

Storage Method Temperature Duration
Refrigerator 40°F (4°C) or below 3-4 days
Freezer 0°F (-18°C) or below 3-4 months
Reheating from frozen 350°F (175°C) 20-25 minutes

Frequently Asked Questions For Frezing Meatballs

You can freeze meatballs in the freezer for 3-4 months before they start to lose their quality and freshness. This is a great way to have a meal prepped and ready to simply grab and cook. Cooking them helps with the potential for bacteria contamination.

Meatballs can be frozen before or after they are cooked, however freezing them after you have cooked them has always worked better for me.

Freezing meatballs raw is totally safe to do but I find when I am thawing them out they tend to get mushy and lose their shape and they are not as easy to grab and add to your meal because you still have to cook them.

I always cook them and then freeze them. Why? Because then all I have to do is thaw them and they are ready to go!

When I am making spaghetti and meatballs or meatball subs, having them already cooked makes it easier to just throw them in with the sauce and reheat them without having to thaw them in the fridge first.

Yes, you can freeze meatballs with sauce. Store them in an airtight, freezer-safe container, leaving some space for expansion. Remember to label the container with the date and contents. When reheating, thaw in the refrigerator or reheat from frozen using your preferred method.

To reheat frozen meatballs, you can thaw them in the refrigerator overnight or cook them directly from frozen. Methods include simmering in sauce, microwaving, or baking in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for 20-25 minutes, until heated through.

Properly stored in an airtight, freezer-safe container or resealable plastic freezer bag, frozen meatballs can last up to 3-4 months. For the best quality, consume them within this timeframe.

Yes, it is recommended to cook meatballs thoroughly before freezing. This ensures food safety and helps maintain their texture and flavor when reheating. Allow them to cool completely before moving to the freezing process.

meatballs for freezing

How to Freeze Meatballs

Meatballs are one the easiest freezer meals. Frozen meatballs are great to always have on hand when you are in a pinch for a quick dinner.
4.80 from 10 votes
Prep Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 1
Calories 1152 kcal


  • 1 lb ground beef


  • Cook you meatballs until they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees and then let them cool.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place your meatballs in a single layer on the baking sheet with a space between each one so that they do not freeze together.
  • Place them in the freezer for an hour or two depending on the size of your meatball.
  • Once they are frozen place them into a storage bag, date the bag, and put them back into the freezer until you are ready to use them.


Serving: 1gCalories: 1152kcalProtein: 78gFat: 91gSaturated Fat: 35gCholesterol: 322mgSodium: 304mgPotassium: 1225mgCalcium: 82mgIron: 9mg
Keyword can you freeze meatballs, Frozen Meatballs, how to freeze meatballs
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Learning how to freeze meatballs is a game-changer for busy households and meal planning.

By following the simple steps outlined in this guide, you can effortlessly store your homemade meatballs for months, ensuring a delicious and nutritious meal is always within reach.

So go ahead, make a big batch, and freeze away, knowing that your future self will thank you!

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