15 February 2024

Swedish Meatballs - For Now or Later - Homemade Freezer Meals

Swedish Meatballs for Now or Later - Freezer Meals / www.delightfulrepast.com

Swedish Meatballs is one of our favorite meals, but a bit of a faff for just one or two meals for two; so I added it to my list of favorite recipes to add to my "streamlined cooking" repertoire.

It doesn't take much longer to make a double batch and divide it amongst five 3-cup lidded glass storage dishes, making five—yes, five!—meals for two to pop into the freezer for future busy-day dinners.

I served the first of my freezer stash over rice with a salad on the side. Also great with noodles or mashed potatoes. It's wonderful having homemade food with the convenience of frozen foods!

Swedish Meatballs for Now or Later - Freezer Meals / www.delightfulrepast.com

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Some of my other freezer meals are: Shepherd's Pie, Salisbury Steak, and Stuffed Shells. I'm always trying to think of meals that might freeze well.

Do try it and let me know how you like it. AND please tell me about any meals you make ahead and freeze. I like to have variety in my "frozen food section" at all times. (Ohhh, and I just realized, this is Delightful Repast's 14th blogiversary!)

Swedish Meatballs for Now or Later - Freezer Meals / www.delightfulrepast.com

Swedish Meatballs  

(Makes about 70, 10 main-dish servings) 

The Meatballs 

About 4 slices good white or sourdough bread (4 ounces/113 grams) for 1 1/2 packed cups breadcrumbs 
1/2 cup (2 3/4 ounces/80 grams) finely minced onion
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon allspice
2/3 cup (5 1/3 fluid ounces/151 ml) milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pound (16 ounces/454 grams) lean ground beef
1 pound (16 ounces/454 grams) ground pork

The Sauce 

6 tablespoons (3 ounces/85 grams) unsalted butter
6 tablespoons (1 7/8 ounces/53 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
4 cups (32 fluid ounces/946 ml) lower sodium beef broth
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried dill
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces/114 ml) heavy cream
Garnish: sour cream and chopped dill 

Use food processor to make perfect fresh breadcrumbs. Cut slices of good white or sourdough bread into four to six pieces. You only need to remove the crust if it's coated with seeds. Process until it becomes breadcrumbs. Don't worry about overdoing it; it's pretty foolproof. You should have 1 1/2 cups, fairly firmly packed. Add crumbs to a 3- to 4-quart mixing bowl. 

Cut a small piece of onion into a couple of chunks and use the food processor (no need to clean the bowl) to finely mince the onion. Sauté in oil until soft. Add to bowl. 

3 Add salt, pepper, allspice, milk, eggs and Worcestershire sauce to bowl. Mix well. Add ground beef and ground pork, and mix well. Just use one impeccably clean hand to mix, if you like. Put mixture in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before shaping meatballs.

Preheat oven to 400F/200C/Gas6. Using a #60/0.5-ounce/1 tablespoon scoop, scoop out all the meatballs (makes 70) and place them on an 18x13x1-inch half sheet pan (10 rows of 7). Then go back and roll each one into a smooth round ball and place back on the sheet. Bake for 30 about minutes. Meanwhile, make the sauce.

In 12-inch skillet, melt butter. Stir in flour, cooking and stirring to make a smooth, browned roux. Don't rush it; get the roux browned. Add beef broth and cook, stirring, until smooth and thickened. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and cream. If serving immediately, transfer meatballs to sauce and heat on low for 10 minutes.

For freezer meals: Choose your lidded glass storage containers suitable for the number of servings you need. I use five of these 3-cup lidded Pyrex dishes and put 14 meatballs in each. Divide the sauce among the dishes. Put on the lids, cool, chill, then freeze. To serve, get one out of the freezer the night before and put it in the refrigerator to thaw; heat in the microwave (lid removed) or in a small pan on the stove. Plate and garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of dill. 

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