Have you heard about köttbullar, köfte, or polpette?
These are all names for various kinds of meatballs – delicious balls of meat that are adored by gourmets all over the world.
My family is no different – they love meatballs in all kinds and shapes, and are always enthusiastic about eating them – regardless of which way will be on the menu on a specific day!
Best Frozen Meatballs
Although I prefer food that I make from scratch, I do not always manage to do that with my hectic schedule and two jobs. There are some benefits of using frozen meatballs that I consider a reason worth enough that they become a regular part of my kitchen.
I know that it is more typical of Jack and Barbara to go in search of specific products or appliances, but I tried out many kinds of meatballs recently to find the finest frozen meatballs for my recipes, and I want to share my findings with you.
(Almost) Endless Possibilities With Frozen Meatballs
Here are some reasons why I find frozen meatballs convenient to use:
- It saves time. Frozen meatballs are so quick to make – it will only take around 5-10 minutes to prepare them! They are already seasoned and prepared. No need for the usual procedure: go to the supermarket, shop around for half an hour, come back home only to learn that you forgot to buy eggs (or you thought that you have them at home, but you actually don’t).
- Nutritious. Although everything frozen and pre-made is not as good for you as your homemade recipe, frozen meatballs are not that bad – they are nevertheless a great source of protein, and the only thing you should pay attention to are ingredients and calories – we’ll come to that later.
- Versatility. Once you have a package of your favorite frozen meatballs on hand in your kitchen, you can easily transform them into many delicious recipes!
If you want to learn what are my favorite ways of making meatballs stay with me, or if you already know where you want to implement the frozen meatballs, skip to my research!
Catherine’s Top 5 Ways to Eat Frozen Meatballs
Now we’ll go on a short trip around the world – when I say “short,” I mean a couple of minutes of writing for me, a couple of minutes of reading for you, a couple of minutes of preparing frozen meatballs – but quite a bit of traveling if we actually covered all these countries.
- Swedish Meatballs – you have probably tried these in Ikea at least once, but homemade are even better, and frozen meatballs will help you with that! They are prepared in a creamy gravy sauce. The sauce contains milk, sour cream, butter, nutmeg, onions, and black pepper.
- Italian Meatballs – A crucial ingredient for the meatballs to be called “Italian” is the tomato sauce. The sauce is made from canned tomato, water, salt, oregano, and black pepper. You can always make handmade tomato sauce. If you need help thickening your tomato sauce, check out our tips! Another variation of Italian meatballs that I tried is fried meatballs with breadcrumbs – let me know if you want me to write about that, too!
- Irish Meatballs – The Irish eat meatballs in a stew made from mutton and many vegetables – this is the healthiest option for your frozen meatballs.
- Turkish Meatballs – This kind, known as köfte, is perfect for those of you who appreciate the strong and spicy taste. It is made from beef and many spices, which will add to the authentic Turkish flavor – onions, peppers, and even some lemon juice.
- Catherine’s Meatballs – This is the American (not the most original, but arguably the fastest one) recipe. My kids love it when I make smaller balls of meat and insert a colored toothpick through each – they pass by the plate and grab 3 to 4 balls from the stack. I don’t make them with any sauce – some frozen meatballs are good enough to be served like this!
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What to Pay Attention to When Buying Frozen Meatballs?
When deciding which frozen meatballs you should buy, some key factors will help you make up your mind.
Let’s take a look at them:
The most important thing regarding frozen meatballs is the ingredients. The quality, texture, and taste of your meatballs will depend on this, so choose carefully.
Typically, the following ingredients can be found in all frozen meatballs:
- Meat – frozen meatballs are made from various kinds of ground meat: you can choose among beef, pork, or chicken meat, or a mix of two (in some cases, even three) kinds. Apart from making sure that the meat you get is safe and of high quality (no added hormones, not GMO), you should choose the kind of meat that you love. This will affect the taste and the overall texture of your little rolled ball. My preference is ground beef, as I consider this the perfect, authentic taste of meatballs – although chicken is the healthier alternative as it provides more protein and fewer carbohydrates.
- Spices – although you can alter this later when preparing frozen meatballs, you can make it easier and choose those that are spiced according to your taste. Remember when we talked about various recipes for meatballs? Some frozen kinds will contain a lot of spices so that they are somewhat pre-conditioned for Turkish meatballs, and some will contain vegetables or even cheese to add to the taste (this, on the other hand, reminds me of Italian meatballs). Be careful with sodium and salt levels – I encountered many frozen meatballs that had an excess of this, which is not good for your kidneys!
- Add-Ons – Some frozen meatballs come with a variety of add-ons, such as a ready-made sauce, or even rice. We will explore these later for each of the frozen meatballs that I chose to review for you.
2. Nutrition facts
When you explore the nutrition label on one of the frozen meatballs, I suggest that you check the amount of protein that you get on one hand, and calorie intake on the other. The balance between the two is what we’ll be looking for.
Some vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibers will be a plus, of course!
This feature is about two things we will be paying attention to the package of the meatballs (size of the box, the amount that you get, servings, the price for the package), and the actual meatballs(size and shape of a single meatball).
We already learned that there are so many ways to consume meatballs, but there are also many ways to prepare them – you can make them in an oven or a skillet, or even thaw them for later use.
Of course, depending on the way of preparation, the time and effort needed to make frozen meatballs also differ.
5 Best Frozen Meatballs You Can Add to Your Dishes: Detailed Reviews 2021
These meatballs come from Turkey. They are made from Angus Beef, which hints that the quality of meat is excellent. Angus beef is known for the tenderness and being well-marbled (meaning that the amount of fat is evenly spread). No hormones, antibiotics, or MSG – checked. It is natural and definitely one of the better options regarding quality.
As for the taste, they describe it as “lightly seasoned”, but I think that “lightly” here is defined according to Turkish standards – I would describe them as “highly seasoned”, though delicious, too! The spices do add to the authentic Turkish taste. There are not listed on the package, but my taste buds detected black pepper, paprika, onions, and salt.
What distinguishes these meatballs from the others that I’ve tried is the shape – they are not in a shape of a ball, but of a rolled stick, a type of kebab eaten in Turkey and the Balkans. You may or may not like this, but I find it very interesting and convenient – because of the shape, you can implement them into many recipes, for instance, in sandwiches (you must admit it would be hard to bite a sandwich with a ball).
The texture is also somewhat different than what you would expect: the meat is more firm, and when you bite it, you cannot really taste that it once was ground – it has a texture somewhere between the regular meatballs and a burger, crispier on the edges than the regular meatballs.
Nutrition-wise, the percentage of protein that you get with these meatballs is very satisfying, and there is no need for multiple calories by adding oil when preparing them: this tender meat will cook in its own juice.
You get 32 frozen meatballs (1.6 lbs) that you can prepare in many ways: grill them over coal or on a gas grill or in a cast-iron skillet on the stove. The preparation time is 4 to 5 minutes.
- Authentic taste
- Unconventional tender texture
- Premium meat
- Good source of protein
- Too spicy for some
- Easy to burn
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If you prefer pork, then the Johnsonville Homestyle Meatballs are the perfect option for having a quick and delicious meal available at any time you feel like some meatballs.
Each 24-ounce pack of these frozen meatballs contains delicious frozen meatballs made of carefully selected premium cuts of pork. There are no artificial colors or flavors, or any nitrates and nitrites added.
Jacksonville has added some spices and veggies, as well as breadcrumbs to the ground pork to make juicy and ready to eat meatballs. No MSG is added, so you will be eating all real ingredients if you choose to purchase these frozen meatballs.
One pack contains 28 meatballs that are ready to be prepared in accordance with your taste or preferences.
You can easily prepare these Homestyle Meatballs with sauce by combining them with your favorite sauce on a stovetop for 15 to 25 minutes, depending on whether you add them frozen or thawed.
You can also cook them in an oven from 20 to 32 minutes at 350 degrees F.
When you need to make a delicious meal very quickly, you can pop them in the microwave for 70 seconds when thawed or for just 2 minutes while they are still frozen.
Johnsonville has added detailed cooking instructions, as well as some ideas for recipes with their meatballs on the package and the company’s website.
3 of these mouthwatering all-pork meatballs contain 290 calories.
- Made of premium pork cuts and real vegetables, seasonings and spices
- No nitrates, nitrites, MSG or artificial colors and flavors are added
- They are fully cooked and flash frozen
- Very easy preparation on a stovetop, oven, crockpot, or microwave
- You can prepare a meal in just 2 minutes in the microwave with the meatballs taken straight out of the freezer
- They come in frozen packs of 28 juicy and big meatballs
- The company provides detailed instructions and recipes for preparing their products
- Once thawed, you can store them in the fridge for up to 7 days
- They contain bread crumbs and wheat, so if you are sensitive to gluten they are not recommended for you
- They are made of pork meat only, so they are suitable for pork lovers
Related article: Quality and Tasty Frozen Hamburger Patty
The Swiss Colony offers these juicy and flavorful frozen stuffed meatballs in beef or chicken options.
The stuffed beef meatballs are filled with aromatic blue cheese with added caramelized onions.
The chicken meatballs are made of roasted chicken with prosciutto, spinach, fontina cheese, and red peppers.
Both variants are delicious and are different from the other pre-cooked meatballs available on the market, which makes them perfect for foodies, and those who prefer more exotic tastes, or who want to impress their guests with something different.
The bite-sized meatballs by The Swiss Colony come in packs of 1 lb. 14-oz, which contains 40 of these mouthwatering meatballs.
The frozen meatballs come with a free cookbook, which includes various ideas for preparing them.
- Offered in large packs of 40, suitable for large families or for hosting events
- They are bite-sized and perfect for skewers, appetizers, and all types of meals
- Available in 2 non-traditional but delicious recipes with stuffed chicken or stuffed beef
- Sold with a free cookbook with recipes
- The package may be too large for small families
If you want to feed your family a delicious and healthy homemade meal every time, but simply don’t have the time or energy to prepare one from scratch, then this pack of Mom Made Meatballs could help you save the day.
The meatballs come in 8-ounce packs and include chicken and apple meatball bites prepared with real chicken, apples, seasoning, and spices. There are no antibiotics, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives added to these delicious meatballs.
Mom Made offers other meatball recipes and combinations as well, including Beef and Cheddar, Spaghetti and Turkey, and a Meatball Variety pack.
These meatballs are made with the goal to remind you of the delicious meals which your grandma or mom used to make.
The chicken and apple meatballs contain 28% of the protein you need per day, and have minimal salt added, making them suitable for people who are on low-sodium diets, or those who simply don’t want to consume too much salt.
The meatball bites can be prepared for just 5 minutes, and you can eat them as appetizers, in the form of skewers, in sauce, in spaghetti, or however, you like them.
They are pre-cooked and frozen, so all you need to do is thaw them or heat them up frozen straight out of the freezer.
10 of these bite-sized meatballs contain only 130 calories.
- The meatballs are bite-sized, making them perfect for toddlers and adults alike
- They come in 8-ounce packs, perfect for about 2.5 servings
- They are prepared from antibiotic-free chicken and real ingredients
- No added artificial preservative, colors or flavors
- The recipe includes less sodium than many of the other frozen meatballs
- The chicken and apple meatballs are low in calories
- You can prepare them for less than 5 minutes
- They are perfect for skewers, pasta, appetizers, or with sauce
- The meatballs are also available in other recipe options, including beef and cheddar, variety pack and spaghetti and turkey
- The size of the meatballs and the size of 1 pack may be too small for larger families
- The not so traditional chicken and apple recipe may not be to the liking of all people
The Omaha Steaks All-Beef Meatballs are giant-sized meatballs made of ground beef.
They come completely cooked, with added slightly spicy Italian seasoning and have been flash-frozen to preserve all the nutritional and taste qualities in each of these oversized meatballs.
These frozen meatballs are ready for consumption and can be enjoyed separately, as appetizers or in a pasta dish. You can cook, microwave or fry them.
Made by America’s Original Butcher Omaha Steaks, which has been a family business for five generations, these delicious meatballs are made from hand-picked, hand-trimmed, and aged beef steaks.
The meatballs come in packs of 12 ounces and are a perfect solution for a quick and easy to prepare meal that every family member or guest will enjoy. Each package includes about ten meatballs.
They are delivered with dry ice, which will guarantee their quality and safety, and will take you less than 30 minutes to prepare into delicious dishes, from the freezer to the table.
A portion of 3 meatballs has about 280 calories, and include 37% fat, 22% cholesterol, 19% sodium, 2% carbohydrates, 12g of protein and vitamins A and C as well as calcium and iron.
- They come prepared with added spices, and cooked, ready for consumption
- Made from the best hand-trimmed and aged beef steaks by a company with decades of experience
- Every meatball is oversized
- Sold in packs of 12 ounces with about 10 meatballs per pack
- They can be eaten separately or added to a dish
- The meatballs have been flash-frozen to keep them nutritious, delicious and safe
- They are easy and quick to prepare
- There is no information about the fillers added
- Some people might find them a little bland
Conclusion: My Honest Opinion
Having read all this information, we can focus on answering the question: which frozen meatballs should you buy?
The answer is a bit cliché: It depends.
If you are looking for a healthier, lower-calorie, and lower sodium option, which is suitable even for the youngest children, then the top option is the Mom Made Meatballs – Chicken & Apple Meatballs.
For those of you who like to experiment with different tastes, you may want to try out the more unusual recipes of the Stuffed Meatballs from The Swiss Colony.
All in all, this time and in this battle you choose the winner according to your needs – I was there to coach you a bit and assure you that these are the greatest frozen meatballs that you can currently buy.
- Advances in food refrigeration
- Frozen Foods: Convenient and Nutritious
- Fresh or frozen produce? The health benefit is all in the mix
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