Thursday, September 25, 2008

More Meatballs!

I have a full week's worth of ideas for fast and frugal dinners using my meatballs.

Spaghetti and Meatballs
Empty frozen pack of meatballs into heating spaghetti sauce. (I don't tend to heat (canned) spaghetti sauce very long or at very high temperatures, so I usually microwave the meatballs in the opened bag for 2 minutes before placing the meatballs into the sauce.)

Meatball Minestrone
This truly doesn't even need a recipe, consider it a suggestion.
Combine like amounts of water and beef broth in stockpot. Bring to boil, add favorite pasta (I frequently use spaghetti that has been broken into short pieces but it would be fun to use shaped pasta, as well) when about 5 minuted remains on pasta cook-time, add favorite frozen vegetables, when water returns to a boil, add a pack of meatballs. Feel free to add additional seasonings to taste.

BBQ Meatball Sandwiches
I love to use my crock pot for cooking. Usually, I'm running late for work and need something super fast to throw together. This is a family favorite!
Prep crockpot with non-stick cooking spray. Dump in a couple packages of frozen meatballs, mix your favorite BBQ sauce with a small amount of water, pour over meatballs.
Cook on low for 4 hours.
Place on favorite bun and top with favorite cheese.

Meatball Grinders
Same as above, but use spaghetti sauce instead.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Place meatballs in microwave-safe container. Heat (covered) for a minute ot two, then turn meatballs and heat another minute or two if necessary (you know the power of your microwave best, it aslo depends how many meatballs you are preparing at once). Add sweet and sour sauce, heat additional 45 seconds.
Arrange creatively on a plate, then spear meatballs with a toothpick and serve as appetizers, or
to prepare as a meal, cook oriental-mix vegetables seperately, combine with meatballs, add sweet and sour sauce, microwave for additional minute, then serve with rice.

Swedish Meatballs
It might be kind of a cheat, but I'm going to mention my Swedish Meatball recipe again.

No drippings? Heat meatballs for 2 minutes in microwave (they don't have to be heated all the way through). To skillet, add about 2 TBSP. of vegetable oil, mash a (thawed) meatball or two into hot oil then follow the recipe as I have listed, I generally make this with two to three frozen packs of meatballs.

Meatball Stroganoff
Heat meatballs. In oiled or sprayed skillet, mix 1 can cream of mushroom soup with 1/2 cup sour cream, add small can (or freshly sliced, if preferred) mushrooms. Add meatballs and stir frequently until mixture is heated through. Serve over cooked noodles, rice, or baked potatoes.
(If you don't care for mushrooms, they can be omitted and you can substitute cream of celery soup).

Cheesy Broccoli Meatballs
Heat meatballs. Cook broccoli until fork-tender. Combine in soup pan or microwave-safe container. Pour can of cream of cheese soup over mixture, stir. Heat evenly. Serve over cooked noodles, rice, or baked potatoes.

There you have it, eight easy meals. Lots more possibilities exist. Clearly, you wouldn't want to make all eight meals in a row, as there are similarities (spaghetti and meatballs, marinara meatball grinders, etc.) But I hope I gave you some ideas. Some I've never tried (cheesy broccoli meatballs and meatballs stroganoff), so you may need to adjust thickness by adding milk, but you have a basic starting point. So go on, eat some meatballs!

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