Frozen Meatballs: Best Brands & Recipes

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Meatballs are one of the most versatile and flavor-filled meats that can be served in a variety of ways. From atop spaghetti all covered with cheese to a spicy saucy sub, meatballs can satisfy your hunger. 

Frozen meatballs are almost always a great shortcut for dinner, but when they’re made with the right ingredients and cooked right, you can have delicious homemade flavor. To help you get your meal started, we rounded up our favorites to try this week. 

How We Found the Best Frozen Meatballs

When it comes to a good meatball, we want the same thing: delicious, savory flavor and an ideal texture that isn’t too dry or spongy.

To test the meatballs, we bought a bunch of brands and judged them by these criteria: 

  • Flavor: Do they seem like high-quality ingredients?
  • Texture: Are they fresh and crisp or wilted and mushy?
  • Appearance: Can you tell that these were made in a professional kitchen versus homemade? 

Frozen Meatballs: Health Considerations

There are many types of meatballs, some made with fillers or sub-par meats. Ethical choices are often packed with familiar ingredients, or use only a few ingredients. It was important to focus on quality when searching for the best frozen meatball. 

Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing frozen meatballs: 

  • Some non-vegetarian meatballs contain fillers like breadcrumbs and cellulose, which do not significantly improve the food. Avoid these types of meatballs, along with artificial colors and questionable additives. Instead be sure to select a meatball that contains plenty of actual meat. 
  • It’s best to avoid soy in meatless meatballs, especially in meatless options made by brands like Morningstar Farms or Gardein. Many meatless alternatives to traditional ground beef use soy as their primary source of protein, instead of more nutritious ingredients like black beans or quinoa. 
  • Look for low-sodium products. Products with more than 20 percent of the recommended daily sodium intake per serving should be avoided. 
  • Check for low amounts of saturated fat. If there are higher amounts, it means that fattier cuts of meat were used in the product or soybean oils were added to products which are partially fried before freezing. 
  • Unless the sauce will accompany a whole meal, it’s best to avoid pre-made sauce packets. They can be full of preservatives and sugar which are loaded with calories. 

Best Frozen Meatballs You Can Buy

Pineland Farms Italian-Style Beef Meatballs

I found that the Pineland Farms meatballs provided the perfect blend of flavor and texture. They were so good that they overpowered any marinara sauce I tried to pair them with, and would have been equally delicious as appetizers or served over pasta.  

The Pineland Farms brand is dedicated to providing the highest quality meatballs. Their products are all natural, without any preservatives or additives, and are made with 100% grass-fed beef raised on small farms in Maine.

Amylu Cranberry Chicken Meatballs with Jalapeno Peppers

The combination of cranberry and jalapeno is surprisingly good. These chicken meatballs are antibiotic free and gluten free. The sweet and spicy flavor will make you want to grab these with both hands, but please be warned, they’re addicting.  

Oh, how we love cranberries. On their own they are tart and delicious. But why do that when you can add them to a dish that gives them a little extra pep? These chicken meatballs have just enough jalapeño to give them an extra kick without overpowering the cranberry flavor.

Lightlife Veggie Meatballs

Plant-based meatballs are a tasty and healthy addition to any meal. Toss them in the slow-cooker with your favorite sauce to make Sicilian inspired plant-based meatballs.  

These plant-based meatballs are a great way to add protein and flavor to your favorite meals. We’ve created a delicious Sicilian inspired sauce recipe that combines tomatoes, basil and garlic for a rich and hearty sauce that is sure to become a new family favorite.

Butera’s Spinach & Asiago Cheese Chicken Meatballs

You can now make the same meatballs that made Butera’s famous. Made with real cheese and spinach, this recipe will keep your family coming back again and again.  

Meatballs made with real cheese and spinach, known as “Arancini”, are a favorite in Sicily. You can assemble these delectable balls ahead of time and then simply simmer with sauce before serving. Arancini are often served with tomato sauce, but they also go well with sweet and sour marinara.

Aidells Teriyaki & Pineapple Chicken Meatballs

The bold, Asian inspired flavors of Aidell’s Pineapple Teriyaki Meatballs will save a boring weeknight dinner. With real pineapple and ginger, these meatballs are an amazing standalone dish or an even better sidekick to your favorite rice or noodle dish.  

These meatballs are amazing on their own, but some of our favorite ways to eat them are in Chinese takeout inspired dishes. Try serving the pineapple teriyaki meatballs with your favorite fried rice or noodle dish for a flavor twist on your classic meal.

Nature’s Rancher Angus Beef Meatballs

When we go shopping for Frozen Meatballs, what we are really looking for is a shortcut to the sort of meatballs a professional chef might make. 

We were thrilled by how tender these Nature’s Rancher meatballs were and loved the slightly charred flavor they had. The mix also included parsley, garlic and a blend of cheeses including Romano and ricotta.  

Nature’s Rancher meatballs are made from 100% grass-fed beef and contain no hormones or antibiotics. These turkey meatballs are also free of hormones and antibiotics and our chicken meatballs contain no preservatives, fillers or MSG.

Bremer Italian Style Meatballs

Bremer Italian style Meatballs

COURTESY ALDI

This option from Bremer, while called “Italian style” meatballs, was not particularly strongly Italian-flavored. Our testers tasted a blend of savory, tender frozen meatballs with black pepper, onion and paprika—a great combination for all sorts of dishes.  

Bremer’s Organic Meatballs taste great in a variety of dishes. You can serve them on their own with sauce and pasta, or add them to soups and casseroles. 

They also make delicious additions to sandwiches, salads, burgers and more. Bremer’s Organic Meatballs come in a variety of flavors, including 100% beef and pork, roast chicken, and bacon chipotle beef selections.

Trader Joe’s Italian Style Meatballs

Tkp Trader Joe's Meatballs

COURTESY TRADER JOE’S

Let’s be honest. We don’t always want to spend hours slaving over a hot stove for something we can buy in five minutes at the store. That’s perfectly fine! It happens to us too, even though we both love cooking and are pretty darn good at it. 

These meatballs are homemade-looking and pitch-perfectly well balanced, with just enough salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. That makes them a great option for anyone who wants to save time by picking up store-bought sauce.   

A few months back, I was craving meatballs. But I was in a hurry to get dinner on the table, so I decided to whip up a batch of these quick-cooking Italian-spiced chicken meatballs instead. They’re moist and saucy on the inside and crispy browned on the outside. 

Healthiest Meatballs You Can Buy

Al Fresco All Natural Chicken Meatballs, Tomato and Basil

al fresco chicken meatballs

This is one of the meatiest chicken meatball varieties I’ve had with a solid list of wholesome ingredients. You can tell they paid attention to classic Italian cooking techniques when making these. Most importantly, it tastes great: sophisticated, cheesy, and flavorful without being overwhelming or too salty. You get 16 grams of protein in the form of chicken, and while 3 grams come from saturated fat, the high quality ingredients outweigh this.

Amy’s Meatless Veggie Meatballs

amys veggie meatballs

Organic vegetables and grains are packed into Amy’s Meatless Meatballs, which make great vegan dinner options. A serving of 3 meatballs contains 14g of protein and 3g of fiber to help you feel satisfied while cutting carbs by going meatless.  

After one serving (3-4 meatballs), the 24 grams of carbs and 3 grams of sugar from agave syrup should be considered. 

Bove’s All Natural Italian Style Beef Meatballs

boves meatballs

Made only with real ingredients like garlic, onions, and cheese. They’re a deliciously healthy alternative to other meatballs packed with additives and preservatives that can be hard to pronounce. 

You can tell this is a quality product by the fact that it’s made with only four ingredients. These are all high-quality products, and they’re better for you overall than traditional beef meatballs (especially when you consider how many calories are in those).  

Bove uses high-quality beef as their base, which is one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat. Not only do they avoid the unnecessary fillers and additives found in many meatballs, but we also use no gluten or soy. They also eliminate all the additives that are normally found in a store-bought tomato sauce (such as sugar and MSG), so you know that what you’re getting is a healthy and delicious product that will last for years to come.

TASTE OF HOME

Frozen meatballs are a great option for so many dishes. Whether you need to make an easy Italian meal in a hurry, or want to use them as an appetizer in your cooker, the sky is the limit when it comes to frozen meatballs. 

Here’s just a few of the wonderful recipes I found that use frozen meatballs: 

Classic Spaghetti With Meatballs

You will notice that this recipe is a bit more involved than the store-bought variety. It’s well worth it, though! Our made-from-scratch sauce and freshly cooked meatballs are to die for, and they both go so well with spaghetti noodles. 

Find the recipe here.

Crock Pot Swedish Meatballs

The Spruce

Swedish meatballs really are a glorious thing. Part of the joy of Swedish meatballs is that you can throw them into your slow cooker, and then just come back about 8 hours later when they’re ready to go for dinner. 

Find the recipe here.

Creamy Pesto Meatballs

DimaSobko / Getty Images

Crock-pot recipes are easy to make and can accommodate many different ingredients. The recipe below uses pesto and Alfredo sauce from a jar on a bed of steaming rice. It is best served over the rice. 

Find the recipe here.

Crock Pot Meatball Soup

Images of Africa / Getty Images

Beef and beef broth are the main ingredients of this hearty, nutritious homemade soup. It takes less than an hour to make meatball soup in your crock pot. Simply combine all ingredients in the slow cooker and cook for 8 hours on high or 4-6 hours on low. 

Find the recipe here.

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