This past weekend I came across ground beef in five pound packages for $6.25. A few years back I would have considered that expensive but these days it is at least four dollars cheaper than what I normally pay. I did good, though, I only bought twenty pounds. I say that is good because last time I came home with about fifty. Of course, had I the money for more I would have surely gotten that much this go ’round, too! ~giggles~
Ground beef is a mainstay for the family on a budget and homemade meatballs bring you several new options for supper as well as a way to serve ground beef so those eating it don’t exactly think “ground beef again!”. Whats even better in my mind though is how this meatball recipe allows you to stretch your ground beef!
Homemade meatballs are easy to throw together and when made ahead of time and stored in the freezer, they provide a homemade convenience food with options that are only limited by your imagination.
At the end of this post, I have several recipes listed to use with these meatballs and more will be coming up on Southern Plate!
I start with five pounds of ground beef. This is going to make about a hundred meatballs but you can make many more by doubling my add ins or even adding more to your taste, I’ll put some ideas down at the bottom of this post.
Don’t worry about adding things into your meatballs, no one will ever be able to tell when they taste the finished product so your frugality will be our little secret!
To mix this up, you can use a spoon or potato masher if you like but when it comes to things like this, I use the greatest kitchen tool ever invented – my hands :).
When it’s all mixed up, shape into meatballs. I love this little cookie scooper that I picked up at the grocery store eons ago. I paid a pretty good bit for it (about six dollars) but if you’re going to make meatballs of any quantity, it really pays for itself.
I make my meatballs about one inch round.
I line all of my baking sheets with aluminum foil and only use baking sheets with a little bit of a lip on them because there will be some grease that we need to pour off once the meatballs are done. Bake at 350 for about thirty minutes. You want them to be browned and no longer pink in the center.
It’s always a good idea to take one and break it in half to check for doneness the first time you try this so that you can get a good time down pat depending on your oven.
I ended up with right at 100 meatballs. Allow them to cool and then package them in quart sized freezer bags, according to how many your family will eat during any given meal. Remember, if you have company drop by you can always get out another bag. I packaged mine in groups of twelve since Katy doesn’t eat meatballs (she is going through that chicken only phase so typical of kids her age these days). Feel free to be more generous with your servings, of course.
Now for the recipes! Weeeeee!
- 5 lbs ground beef
- 1-2 Cups Oats or cooked rice
- 2-5 eggs I use two but you can use more!
- 1 16 oz Can Tomato Sauce Can use up to 3 cups ketchup in its place
- Combine all ingredients in large bowl and mix well with hands. Scoop out and form into meatballs approximately one inch thick. Place on foil lined baking sheets that have a lip on them. Bake in batches at 350 for about thirty minutes, storing raw meat covered in the refrigerator while you wait on each batch to bake. Test a meatball to make sure the center is no longer pink. Allow to cool and store in quart sized freezer bags. Use any of the following recipes or create your own!
- Place frozen meatballs in pot and add one of the following sauces. Cook over medium heat until heated through and serve with rice, egg noodles, or other cooked pasta or grain.
- Spaghetti: Store bought Marinara Sauce or my Super Easy Spaghetti Sauce
- Easy Stroganoff: 1 Can Cream Of Mushroom Soup, 1/2 C milk, salt and pepper (I love this over egg noodles)
- Salisbury Stroganoff: 1 Can Cream Of Mushroom Soup, 1/2 C Milk, 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce (I swear only food bloggers can spell Worcestershire off the top of their heads!)
- Meatball Soup – This is one of my Mama’s favorites.
- Meatball Sub- Place heated meatballs in sub. Top with hot marinara sauce and sprinkle with Mozzarella (Great to make the day after Spaghetti and use leftover sauce)
I know you must have some great recipes to use frozen meatballs for, too. Tell me about them in the comments and please feel free to post your entire recipe if you like!
How Many Servings In A Southern Plate Recipe?
Someone asked me this past week how many people my recipes feed so I thought I’d talk a little about that and then add that question to my Frequently Asked Questions Page (soon as I find a minute).
My recipes feed a typical family of 4-6 people unless otherwise stated.
Of course, it’s difficult to give you an exact number because that is going to depend on what types of eaters you have in your home. Katy eats like a bird but Brady and Ricky eat like horses so it all evens out. We generally have enough left over from most meals for a lunch the next day (which usually ends up being mine). If we have more, I simply freeze the leftovers in individual servings to use as quick convenience lunches later. Having extra food does not mean that you are wasting food, it just means that you have a “freebie” meal sometime in the future.
If you are short on freezer space, it is definitely worth your effort to save up a little and keep your eyes peeled for a good scratch and dent deep freezer. I got my large chest deep freezer for right at $100 because the corner is banged up. It has been a great investment for our family and has saved us what we spent on it a hundred times over.
This is just a good starting point for ya. If you are cooking for two, it’s safe to always cut my recipes in half unless you like to cook extra and freeze, which I do very often.
I’d love to include exact servings and nutritional information on my recipes and posts but that would require an extra “me” and surplus money to make everything on here and measure it out ~laughs~. I’m just showing you Mama and Grandmama’s cooking and seasoning it with a little of my own to bring to you. Folks didn’t think about servings or carbs back in the day. If anyone were to ask one of my grandmothers how many servings a recipe made she’s likely answer, “Enough to feed everyone!”.
So short answer is, whenever I cook I am generally making enough to feed 4-6 people, unless otherwise stated.
On another note, I feel like I say this all the time but I also feel like I could never say it enough : Thank you. Y’all give me so much and each day is even brighter because I have such wonderful people who take time out of their lives to read my ramblings and share a few memories with me. I love how so many of y’all also take the time to comment, turning this into a real conversation and helping to make us more of a family than just some woman’s blog. I love to read your comments and cherish each and every one of them – as well as the folks who write them! Please feel free to chat with each other in comments as well. I know that I’ll often read a comment that really touches me and that must happen to you as well but sometimes folks worry that “conversing” in the comments on Southern Plate might be stepping on my toes. Well let me tell ya, I may have big feet but I keep my toes tucked in really well so y’all go on ahead and make yourself comfortable here! We’re all family and family is family is family. ~thinks that made sense to her~
One more thing, please know that when I sign off “gratefully”, I mean it with all of my heart.
P.S. Going on very little sleep this week. I’ve worked on this post late into the night and then early morning. I hope (and think) there aren’t any errors but please forgive me if there are and I’ll correct them as soon as possible!
BOUNTIFUL BASKETS ARE HERE!
For all of those who ordered Bountiful Baskets, we’ll be shipping them out by the end of this week (or as soon as the boxes come in to ship them out in!). I’ll be announcing the winner of the first Bountiful Basket shortly. Thank you!
These are just some of the Bountiful Baskets!
They all come with liners but they are not pictured.
Between Birth and Death there is a small interval called Life.
Take time to ENJOY it.
Submitted by Donna in SC. To submit your quote, please click here.
Lots of inspiration is shared and found on this quote page thanks to all of you!