Cocktail Meatballs (Fry for Now or Bake for Later)

8 Sep

The school year has started for me (for those who don’t know, in my other life I am a college professor of English as a Second Language) and will start for my FIRST-GRADER (!?!) on Monday.

I love a little army of meatballs. I do them in my fancy toaster oven!

I love a little army of meatballs. I do them in my fancy toaster oven!

I like to start the semester with the first two weeks of my lesson plans prepped, photocopies made and ready-to-go, and….my freezer full of home-made dishes that I can pull out in a heartbeat and serve with an easy starch and a steamed vegetable. The older my son gets, the more activities we have outside school, and the harder it gets for me to get to the gym. When dinner’s already ready, I am more relaxed and have fewer excuses to keep me from the treadmill.

Cooked! Meatballs are one of my favorite things...

Cooked! Meatballs are one of my favorite things…

Meatballs are one of our favorites. If you bake them, you can freeze them. Then, you have loads of options, Drop them in tomato sauce to defrost and make delicious pasta gravy. Just heat them up and serve with rice or buttered noodles or pesto. Make a meatball hero. Serve to unexpected guests with toothpicks as an attractive appetizer. Yes, meatballs in the freezer make life much easier. So here they are, simple to make (the little guy helps with the smashing and meatball making) and yet very, very tasty.



Meatballs, baked or fried

(makes 25-30 2” meatballs)

1 Tbs oregano

1 Tsp Old Bay seasoning

1 Tsp Adobo powder

3 cloves garlic

1 Tbs grated onion

1 egg

½ Cup fresh breadcrumbs

1 lb. ground beef (may substitute ¼ lb. with ground pork)

(vegetable oil, if frying)

Preheat oven to 400°F (if baking). Smash oregano, seasonings, garlic and onion in a mortar and pestle to form a paste. Place in a bowl with egg and breadcrumbs and stir to mix thoroughly.

Add meat and, using hands, squish the paste through gently. Form small meatballs and place on a rimmed oven dish, covered in foil (to reduce clean-up). Bake for 30 minutes and serve (or allow to cool and place in a flat layer in a freezer-safe bag, and lay on a plate in the freezer. Remove plate when meatballs are frozen and they should move freely (not be frozen stuck together).

If frying, fry in a small amount of vegetable oil, turning every few minutes (should be completely cooked in under ten minutes at medium). Serve immediately.



9 Responses to “Cocktail Meatballs (Fry for Now or Bake for Later)”

  1. deliciousdaydreams September 13, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

    Meatballs should have their own food group. This recipe sounds delicious!

  2. Karen September 8, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

    I agree with you about having meatballs in your freezer…especially with your busy schedule. I’m sure yours are a hit with everyone that try them.I tend to fry mine but without any additional oil. I like all the crispy brown edges.

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy September 8, 2013 at 7:31 pm #

      I love the fried ones too, but they don’t freeze as well…And the baked ones can be fried once they are defrosted to give them some browning….

  3. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide September 8, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

    I would like to fry a batch and bake a batch!

  4. Mad Dog September 8, 2013 at 10:00 am #

    I love the idea of cocktail meatballs. I had some delicious albondigas in a street market of Friday, before going to the theatre 😉

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy September 8, 2013 at 10:28 am #

      That sounds perfect! They are great with a bit of jerez to start things off!

      • Mad Dog September 8, 2013 at 10:31 am #

        You are tempting me – I’ve got a bottle of fino in the kitchen!


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