These make ahead and freeze turkey meatballs are perfect to have on hand for busy weeknights and game day appetizers!
My boys are growing and hungry! Seriously, I used to be able to give them 4 meatballs each with dinner and they would be full, but now at 10 and 12, it definitely takes several more than that.
So I started making bigger batches of meatballs. At first, I doubled it, but then I figured, why not triple it to be sure that I have some on hand in the freezer too. While I sometimes make these with grass-fed beef, personally, I’m more of a turkey meatball fan.
Batch Cook Your Meatballs in the Oven
These turkey meatballs are so delicious, even your Swedish meatball fans will love them. They are made in a similar way to the Swedish ones I make–with sauteed onion and fresh herbs, but instead of making them on the stovetop, they are baked in the oven. So. Much. Easier. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing like a classic Swedish meatball sauteed on the stovetop. That’s what I make at Christmas and for special occasions–these are more every day.
Pasta Night Simplified
We often have pasta on Thursday nights (see my meal planning method), so having these meatballs on hand in the freezer makes pasta night a breeze. Just add some of your favorite pasta sauce, we love Rao’s, and you are good! I also love to serve a simple side salad with most meals, which, if I’m in a hurry, can be as simple as a bowl of baby arugula!Batch cook these turkey meatballs and be ready to feed hungry bellies at a moment's notice! Click To Tweet
The Perfect Lunch Addition
That same dinner also makes a great school lunch. Simply cook pasta in the morning (or heat leftovers!), add sauce and heated meatballs. Place into a thermos that has been preheated with hot water. You could also serve the meatballs cold in a bento-box style lunch.
Or, make it a mom’s lunch, by topping a salad with heated meatballs for a little extra protein (pictured below).
Make Ahead and Freeze Turkey Meatballs – Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Nut-free, Kid-approved
Game Day Apps
In addition, with a family of sports fans, I have also realized these meatballs are great for game day! Just take them out of the freezer, heat in the microwave, and serve with meatballs and dipping sauce (ketchup or marinara).
So go ahead and batch cook some of these meatballs. Be sure to let me know what you think!
- 1 + 1 + 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats (certified gluten-free if needed)
- 1 cup water
- 1 small/medium onion, finely chopped or grated
- 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 pounds ground turkey (I use a combo of dark and light meat)
- ¾ cup fresh parsley, basil or a combination, chopped (or use 1½ teaspoons of dried herbs such as basil or oregano)
- 1½ teaspoons Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (convection if you have it). Line 3 rimmed sheet pans with parchment paper. Grease each a teaspoon of olive oil (1 T total).
- In a large bowl, combine oats and water. Let sit.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for about 3 minutes, add the garlic and saute for another minute. Remove from heat and set aside. Let cool slightly.
- To the large bowl with the oat-water mixture, add the ground turkey, fresh herbs, onion and garlic mixture, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Use a wooden spoon to combine, then form into meatballs using your hands or a mini ice cream scooper. Place them on the greased baking sheets. It helps to have wet hands during this process to prevent them from sticking.
- Bake in the oven for about 12 minutes for small meatballs, 15 minutes for medium meatballs, and 20 minutes for large meatballs. Shake the pan every 8 minutes or so to make sure they brown evenly. You can bake them all at once if you have a convection oven, otherwise in separate batches.
- Let cool and then freeze in resealable plastic bags or large glass freezer-safe storage containers.