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Appetizers Using Frozen Meatballs

by Bonnie Swain Schindly

Frozen meatballs are a kid-favored staple in many kitchens. Make your favorite meatball recipe in advance and then freeze so that you only need to thaw, heat and serve when you're in a rush. Another choice is to stock your fridge with store-bought precooked meatballs that are ready at a moment's notice. These morsels of meat can be heated and served in many tantalizing sauces or enjoyed as they are without any fancy dressings. Appetizers using frozen meatballs are ideal choices for family movie nights, holiday parties and potlucks.

Seasoned

Create homemade meatballs that can be baked, frozen and later served with a creamy dip or glaze. Start with ground beef, turkey, chicken or pork. Boost the nutritional value of your recipe by mixing grated carrots or zucchini into your raw meat. The carrots insert a touch of sweetness and the shredded zucchini enhances the texture. Add some kick with Cajun seasoning, Worcestershire sauce or even cinnamon, or blend in a packet of dry dip mix. Most recipes require baking at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until the centers no longer are pink. Allow meatballs to cool before freezing.

Sauces

Dress up your cooked and defrosted meatball appetizers with an assortment of flavorful sauces. Some popular blends include a jar each of grape jelly and chili sauce, a store-bought container of marinara spiced up with a packet of seasoning mix or a bottle of barbecue sauce. Stir in some beef-flavored gravy for Swedish meatballs. Use your stove-top skillet or a slow cooker so the meatballs simmer in sauce before your hungry clan digs into them. Transfer onto a serving dish or let your family and guests go straight for the slow cooker with their toothpicks in hand.

Sides

Team your frozen meatballs up with some other favorite appetizers like cocktail wieners. Add a 16-ounce package of precooked tiny sausage links to your sauce so that the smoky flavor complements your glaze. Another suggestion is to make kabobs by defrosting some already-cooked meatballs and then spearing your meat with cheese chunks and veggies like cherry tomatoes and green peppers. For an Italian style of appetizer, skewer meatballs and cooked tortellini. Serve with pasta sauce or a creamy Parmesan dressing.

Dough

Turn a meatball into a heartier bite by pressing refrigerated biscuit dough into a mini muffin pan. Drop a lone thawed meatball into each muffin cup. If your kids are in a taco sort of a mood, spoon some taco sauce or creamy dressing with Southwestern seasonings onto each meatball. If Italian is your theme, place a dab of spiced marinara or creamy balsamic dressing with herbs onto each appetizer-sized meatball. Sprinkle on your favorite cheese before baking and serve warm as a tasty snack.

Photo Credits

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