I’ve mentioned before that I have been struggling with iron issues for the past couple years. During this timeframe, a lot of attention has been given to freezer meals and meal prepping. Since red meat is the most easily absorbed iron-rich food, I decided I needed more options than burgers and tacos all the time. (To my dad’s disappointment, I did not grow up to be a steak and potato kind of girl.) Sometime last year I decided to try and make meatballs. Just simple, plain meatballs to freeze that could be dressed up any which way. Since then, I have always kept a bag of them in my freezer.
Why should you make them rather than buy them? Well, they seriously take less than 30 minutes to make 2lbs worth of ground beef into meatballs. They also have a much cleaner ingredient list than the ones you’ll see in the freezer section at your local grocery store. And, if you care where your meat comes from, you also get to control that. We buy part of an organic cow every year at a really great price and I use that ground beef to make these.
What can you do with these frozen meatballs? Anything! My personal favorite for a very quick high protein and iron meal is to heat them up in the microwave, add some barbeque sauce and eat with some veggies or salad on the side. This was my lunch at work many times a week when my iron was extremely low. I would just take some out of the freezer in the morning and they would stay cold until it was time to heat them up at lunch.
Other meals to use them for include spaghetti and meatballs, the classic meatballs and gravy, or a meatball sub. I have even seen Landon heat them up and then crumble over some tortilla chips with cheese and salsa for easy nachos. Basically, it’s like you always have a meal on hand that you don’t need to remember to thaw beef ahead of time!
**I always make 2lbs at a time because that fits in my Kitchenaid mixer the best (I have the 5qt). You certainly don’t need a mixer to make these. And also feel free to make as many pounds of meat that tickles your fancy. ?
2lbs ground beef
2 eggs (general guideline is one egg per pound)
½-2/3 cup bread crumbs (generally I use between ¼ and 1/3 per pound of meat)
Salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder are all optional but a little bit of each really amps up the flavor
Preheat oven to 400. Add all ingredients into a bowl or Kitchenaid mixer. Stir by hand or use a low speed until mixed well. Using a cookie scoop or your hands, drop meatballs onto lined cookie sheets. I used parchment paper this time but tinfoil also works (and both mean less cleanup). Baking time will depend on the size of your meatballs. I usually make a few shy of a full 4 dozen and bake for 17 minutes. If I go for 18 minutes the smoke alarm likes to give me a standing ovation ?. Let the meatballs cool completely then toss in a freezer Ziploc bag.
I consider 5-6 meatballs a serving for myself and usually 6-7 a serving for Landon. When in need of an easy meal, pull out how many you want and microwave for about a minute, rotating them halfway through for even cooking.