It's no wonder why meatballs are so beloved served as an appetizer, sauced over pasta, or simmered in soup. They are super flexible and easy to prepare. And they freeze well, so you can make them ahead.
Variety is what makes meatballs so popular. The only sure thing from one recipe to another is the round shape. You can change up the ground meat, vary the seasonings, add extra ingredients, and even cook the meatballs in different ways. Here's a primer to get you started.
Combine the Meatball Ingredients
In a large bowl stir together all of the ingredients except the ground meat. Stir in the ground meat and mix well until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed.
To assure even cooking, the meatballs need to be the same size. On a cutting board, pat the meat mixture into a 6x4-inch rectangle. Using a large knife, start from a long side of the rectangle and cut it into six 1-inch-wide strips. From a short side, cut four 1-inch-wide strips so you end up with a grid of twenty-four 1-inch squares.
Tip: Each square equals about 1 tablespoon of meat mixture. You can also use a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon to portion the meat mixture directly from the bowl.
An easy way to make sure the meatballs are done is to insert an instant-read thermometer into a few of the meatballs. It should register 160 degrees F.
Consider making extra meatballs so you will have enough to freeze for another meal. Place cooked meatballs in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze them overnight, then repack in resealable freezer bags, date, and return to the freezer. Use the meatballs within 2 months.
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