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Big Batch Make-Ahead Beef Meatball Recipe

Big Batch Make-Ahead Beef Meatballs

Be sure to bookmark this amazing beef meatball recipe, because these make-ahead meatballs will save you so much time on busy weeknights. They’re so tender, moist and versatile.

The secret to the most tender and moist beef meatballs is Panko soaked in milk, aka panade.


  • 1 ½ cups Panko Japanese breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 4lbs lean ground beef
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper


  1. In a medium bowl, combine panko and milk. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together soaked Panko, beef, garlic, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. With clean hands, mix the beef mixture until well combined.
  3. Using a medium cookie scoop, shape the meatballs and arrange them on 2 baking sheets, lined with foil, or silicone mat. (I usually get about 125 1-inch meatballs.) If desired, roll the meatballs between your palms to smooth out the surface.
  4. At this point you can either freeze the meatballs raw on sheet pan and then divide into freezer bags. Or bake it and then freeze the cooked meatballs for later use, which eliminates the searing step later on.
  5. To bake the meatballs, bake in preheated 350F oven for 15-20 minutes. Cool completely and then divide into 1lb portions and place in freezer bags, or vacuum seal for longer storage.
  6. These meatballs are perfect for these Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs, or these Meatballs and Gravy, or any other recipe that calls for meatballs.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 16 servings, Serving Size: 1 serving

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 237 Calories
  • Total Fat: 5.3g
  • Cholesterol: 114.5mg
  • Sodium: 867.1mg
  • Carbohydrates: 16.5g
  • Sugar: 1.5g
  • Protein: 29.1g
Disclaimer: Nutritional information is estimate only. Read full disclosure here.
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2 baking sheets full of raw beef meatballs... Big batch make-ahead beef meatball recipe

Investing couple of hours to make and freeze a big batch of homemade meatballs is a smart way to meal prep for busy weeknights.

This beef meatball recipe yields 4+ pounds of meatballs which means 4 dinners to a feed a family of 4!

Why make homemade meatballs, when you can buy frozen meatballs from the store? Sure, store-bought frozen meatballs are a life-saver in a pinch, but homemade is always better.

Here’re a few reasons why homemade beef meatballs are a way to go:

✔️ You know exactly what goes in those meatballs. No additives, no flavor enhances, just good quality ingredients!

✔️ And you can customize the meatballs to your taste. Add some onion, or load them with veggies!

✔️ You can shape them into whatever size you want to. Love jumbo meatballs, make them bigger!

✔️ Finally, it’ll probably cost you way less! Now, I don’t know how much it costs to buy frozen meatballs, but my guess is that these homemade meatballs cost a fraction of the ones from the store!

These beef meatballs are so versatile. You can use them in a pasta dish, like this Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs, or this Meatballs and Gravy, and any other kind of recipe that calls for frozen meatballs.

This homemade beef meatball recipe yields tender, moist and versatile meatballs, perfect to make ahead and freeze. Save time & money by making a big batch!  #beefmeatballs #meatballs #easyweeknightdinner #weeknightcooking #beef #meatballrecipe #busycooks

Hi, I’m Shinee

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4 comments on “Big Batch Make-Ahead Beef Meatball Recipe”

  1. What temperature and amount of time do you recommend to reheat? I’m doubling the batch for an upcoming baptism dinner and was hoping to just reheat them in either a slow cooker, roaster, or oven. Thanks!

    • Hi, Sarah. Are you planning to freeze pre-made meatballs? And if so, are you freezing them raw or cooked? Frozen cooked meatballs will take about 15min at 350°F or about 3 hours in slow cooker on low. Uncooked frozen meatballs will take about 25min at 350°F, or 4 hours in slow cooker on high. Hope this helps. And hope you all will enjoy the meatballs. Let us know.

  2.  I just made these meatballs. I followed the recipe, but I do not have a medium cookie scoop.  I used 75% ground beef and put each of the batches on some sort of grease draining apparatus as they baked. I did my best to make all of them about 1 inch in diameter. Given all of those factors, these turned out so delicious.   they are delicious all on their own, but I imagine that they will be delicious in other recipes. My husband and children and I very much approve. Love that this is for a bigger batch because we often cook for a lot of people or just like to cook more for future meals. I will be using this recipe again. Thank you. 

    Rating: 5
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