Learning how to freeze meatballs is a great way to always have meatballs ready for a quick dinner. To freeze meatballs you want to cook them, let them cool, freeze them individually and then store them all together in a freezer bag.
Freezing meatballs is pretty simple and they freeze well if you follow a few simple steps.
Steps for freezing meatballs
1. Cook the 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 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.
Tips for freezing meatballs
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 Meatballs
- 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.