Cooking frozen meatballs is easy, even if you don't thaw them first. In most cases, you buy them already fully cooked, so all you have to do is reheat them. You can reheat them several ways.
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Cooking Frozen Meatballs
Whether you're making frozen meatballs in the oven with BBQ sauce or cooking frozen meatballs in marinara sauce, the point is to make sure they are heated through and safe to eat. They can be cooked in 12 minutes or less, and are a great way to make a quick healthy meal. Plus, they are already seasoned, so you don't have to add anything.
You can serve them in your spaghetti dinner instead of browning ground beef to make a meat sauce. You can make your own meatball subs at home, use them to make Swedish meatballs, add them to pizza or serve them as an appetizer at a party.
To cook frozen meatballs in marinara sauce on the stove, heat a pan over medium-high heat. Add meatballs in a single layer and cook until heated through.
To cook them in your slow cooker, add them in a single layer to the bottom of the pot. Add any desired sauces per the recipe you're following. Cover and cook on high for an hour; then turn down to low and cook for three more hours or until heated through.
According to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, any leftover food that's been prepared in a slow cooker should be stored and refrigerated within two hours.
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Cooking Frozen Meatballs in Oven
If you want to make frozen meatballs in the oven with BBQ sauce, simply preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the meatballs on a baking sheet about a half-inch apart in a single layer to promote even cooking.
Bake meatballs for 10 to 12 minutes, or until heated through. If using a convection oven, bake for eight to 10 minutes. Once finished, remove from the oven and coat with BBQ sauce. If desired, place back in the oven for two to three minutes to bake the sauce onto the meatballs. Serve with toothpicks.
If you don't want to use BBQ sauce, you can remove them from the oven and add them to any sauce or soup to suit any recipe you'd like. If you want to speed up the cooking process, you can thaw the meatballs prior to cooking in the refrigerator overnight, and they will heat through faster.
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Raw Premade Meatballs
You can buy premade meatballs already frozen. Many grocery stores carry them already fully cooked, so all you have to do is heat them through. If you look in the meat department, you may also find premade meatballs that are raw but ready to cook.
Generally, these meatballs are not frozen, but if you're not ready to cook them that night, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) states you can leave them in the fridge for a couple of days, or freeze them to thaw and cook later. Usually made with ground beef, you can also find them made with ground pork or a mixture of meat.
When cooking these meatballs, cook until they've reached an internal temperature of 160 F if they are made with beef or pork and 165 F if they are made with chicken or turkey, per DHHS guidelines. You can cook these in the oven, in the slow cooker or on the stove.
If cooking raw meatballs from frozen, increase cooking time by 50 percent. Monitor the temperature closely, as the total cooking time will depend on the size of the meatballs.
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