Versatile in nature, frozen meatballs easily can be added to delectable pasta dishes, savory soups or scrumptious sandwiches. Since store-bought frozen meatballs already are cooked, the process of using them simply entails heating them through before they are added to a recipe. Leftover meatballs should be stored in shallow airtight containers and will remain good for three to four days in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spread the meatballs on a baking tray in a single layer about 1/2 inch apart. Spraying the baking tray with nonstick spray reduces the risk of the meatballs sticking to the tray.
Bake in the oven for 10 to 11 minutes until they are heated through. The meatballs will brown slightly during the cooking process, signifying they are ready to remove.
Remove the meatballs and add them to your dish. When adding cooked meatballs to a recipe, make sure the other components already are warm to match the temperature of your dish.
Preheat the toaster oven to 350 degrees F. Place a layer of foil on the bottom of the toaster oven rack to help catch any grease that falls to the bottom.
Arrange the meatballs in a single layer on a baking tray sized for the toaster oven. Leave at least 1/2 inch between the meatballs so the hot air has room to circulate and cook the meatballs.
Cook the meatballs for eight to 10 minutes until they are heated through. The meatballs will start to sizzle and exhibit a golden brown hue when they are properly cooked.
Remove the meatballs and add them to your desired recipe. A pair of tongs will help you retrieve the meatballs from the toaster oven before adding them to your dish. Since an entire bag of meatballs might not fit in your toaster oven, you may need to repeat the process two or three times to cook a full bag.
Arrange frozen meatballs on a microwave-safe plate, leaving space in the center. Place a paper towel underneath the meatballs to help absorb excess grease released during the cooking process.
Cook the meatballs on "high" for two to three minutes until the meatballs are heated through. If possible, check your microwave manual for exact meat-cooking times based on the weight of the meat and wattage of the machine.
Allow the meatballs to rest in the microwave for one minute before removing them. Use potholders. The meatballs will continue to cook after the cooking process. Leaving them inside for one minute ensures they start to cool.
Pour the jar of tomato sauce or gravy into a small sauce pan. A tomato-based sauce is more appropriate for Italian dishes while a cream or milk-based sauce is best for Swedish-meatball dishes.
Add the bag of frozen meatballs to the sauce pan. Give the meatballs and sauce or gravy a stir so each meatball is well covered. The sauce aids in the heating process.
Cook the meatballs on medium-low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, allowing them to simmer until heated through. Do not boil the meatballs. Boiling causes the texture of the meatballs to become chewy.
Remove the meatballs from the sauce pan and add them to your dish.
- Use a food thermometer to ensure meatballs are reheated to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- Wiping your baking sheet with vegetable shortening when cooking meatballs is a substitute for nonstick spray; however, it adds calories to the dish.
- Meatballs should be refrigerated within two hours of cooking. They can last between three and four days before they should be consumed or discarded.
- Cook a bag of frozen meatballs without adding them to a recipe at the start of the week. Store them in the fridge for use in different recipes such as classic spaghetti and meatballs, sandwiches and soups.
Scott Damon is a Web content specialist who has written for a multitude of websites dating back to 2007. Damon covers a variety of topics including personal finance, small business, sports, food and travel, among many others.