20 Best Frozen Meatball Dishes

Easy Recipes Beyond Traditional Spaghetti and Meatballs

Cocktail Meatballs in a bowl

The Spruce / Rachel Riesgraf

Spaghetti and meatballs may be the first dish that comes to mind when someone mentions the word "meatballs." However, there's so much more you can do with these delicious balls of meat. From creamy pasta dishes to hearty stews, meatballs are surprisingly versatile for quick weeknight dinners and savory party appetizers.

The best part is that you can make any of these meatball recipes with precooked frozen meatballs. If you prefer to make your own instead of buying them, some of the recipes include homemade meatballs, or you can use an easy meatball recipe. They freeze just as well as the store-bought variety, and you have complete control of the ingredients.

  • 01 of 20

    Skillet Spaghetti and Meatballs

    Skillet spaghetti recipe

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

    Busy nights call for a quick dinner with minimal cleanup, and this skillet spaghetti and meatballs recipe fits the bill perfectly. It uses jarred pasta sauce, frozen meatballs, and a box of spaghetti. It's all cooked in one pan on the stovetop—even the pasta—and on the table in about 30 minutes. Top it with mozzarella and Parmesan, and add a bit of fresh basil if you like. The entire family will love it.

  • 02 of 20

    Crock Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs

    Crockpot Spaghetti and Meatballs

     The Spruce

    When you want to prep dinner early in the day, turn to your trusted crock pot. It's the ideal kitchen appliance for set-it-and-forget-it meals and makes equally delicious spaghetti and meatballs. For this one, you'll combine dry spaghetti, a jar of sauce, still-frozen meatballs, and water in the slow cooker. Turn it on, and that's it!

  • 03 of 20

    Spaghetti Meatball Carbonara

    Spaghetti Meatball Carbonara

    Fascinadora / iStock / Getty Images Plus

    Skip the marinara and try this spaghetti meatball carbonara recipe instead. Carbonara is a classic Italian pasta dish with a creamy egg-based sauce that's as delicious as its tomato counterpart. It's also just as easy to whip up and is ready in 20 minutes. Add some garlic bread and consider dinner done.

  • 04 of 20

    Crock Pot Swedish Meatballs

    Crock Pot Swedish Meatball

    The Spruce

    Swedish meatballs are another family favorite, and they're not hard to make. That's especially true if you toss them into your slow cooker. The recipe uses just a few common ingredients, including onion, garlic, and cream of mushroom soup. Serve the meatballs on top of rice, potatoes, or noodles for a fabulous cold-weather meal.

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  • 05 of 20

    Creamy Pesto Meatballs

    Pasta With Meatballs

    DimaSobko / Getty Images

    When you're ready for a change of pace, try this creamy pesto meatball recipe. It's absolutely delicious and effortless because it's made in the crock pot. The recipe uses both Alfredo and pesto sauces from a jar. Season that with bell pepper, garlic, and onion, and add your frozen meatballs. It's best served over steaming hot rice.

  • 06 of 20

    Meatball Mac and Cheese

    Meatball Alfredo


    LauriPatterson / Getty Images

    Four kinds of cheese and a jar of Alfredo sauce combine to make this meatball mac and cheese dish. It's a baked recipe of cheesy goodness and takes just minutes to prepare, so it's great for busy families. It's also an excellent choice for a premade freezer meal if you like to plan ahead.

  • 07 of 20

    Meatball Sub Sandwich

    Meatball Sandwich
    Meatball Sandwich. Vlad Fishman / Getty Images

    Skip the restaurant and make a tempting meatball sub sandwich at home. It's a quick recipe to toss together and requires just four ingredients. Use large Italian sub rolls to ensure the bread can hold the meatballs. While those toast, heat up the spaghetti sauce and meatballs, then construct the sandwiches. They're finished off with shredded cheese and baked to yummy perfection.

  • 08 of 20

    Meatball Monster Sandwiches

    Meatball Monster Sandwiches Recipe

     The Spruce

    A fun twist on meatball sliders, this recipe is sure to make kids giggle (and eat their dinner). The meatball monster sandwich recipe adds meatballs and spaghetti sauce to whole wheat buns, and olive slices become the monsters' eyes. An excellent bite for any day, this one's also a fun addition to Halloween parties.

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  • 09 of 20

    Meatball Smash Grilled Cheese

    Meatball Smash Grilled Cheese

    The Spruce / MacKenzie Smith

    If you can't decide between a meatball sub, grilled cheese, or spaghetti and meatballs, this recipe is for you. For the meatball smash grilled cheese, you will pile cooked spaghetti, marinara, small meatballs, pesto, and plenty of cheese between wheat or sourdough bread. Grilled until melty, it's not only a wonderful indulgence but also pretty fun to make.

  • 10 of 20

    Deconstructed Meatball Sandwich Casserole

    Deconstructed Meatball Sandwich


    OksanaKiian / Getty Images

    Italian meatball sandwiches are amazing, but what if you take the ingredients apart? What you have left is this delicious deconstructed meatball sandwich casserole. The recipe has you make garlic bread and tomato sauce, with the option of using frozen meatballs or making your own. Pile it all in a dish, top it with cheese, and bake it up for a great family dinner.

  • 11 of 20

    Cheesy Meatball Bombs

    meatball bombs

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    Cheesy meatball bombs are another fun alternative to a sub. Everything you love about the sandwich—from the marinara to the cheese and, of course, the meatballs—is stuffed inside refrigerated biscuits. The process of rolling out the dough to create the pockets is not tricky, either. It's a great way to enjoy familiar food, use up leftovers, and break up your dinner routine.

  • 12 of 20

    Honey Sriracha Meatballs

    Honey Sriracha Meatballs

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

    Honey Sriracha meatballs are too delicious to pass up and sure to spice up dinnertime. Use frozen meatballs, or you can make the recipe's ground turkey meatballs with garlic and scallions. The sweet and spicy sauce is what sets them apart, and it mixes up quickly. To complement the honey and Sriracha sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and ginger give it an Asian touch. Serve the meatballs over rice for a delicious meal, or share them at a party.

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  • 13 of 20

    Southern Grape Jelly Meatballs

    Grape jelly meatballs

    The Spruce

    A staple in Southern cuisine, you have to try grape jelly meatballs to understand why they're always a hit. Heat up frozen meatballs if you like, then drench them in a sauce of grape jelly, chili sauce, and Dijon mustard in the slow cooker. Within a few hours, you'll have a phenomenal appetizer recipe that is sure to turn heads at any party.

  • 14 of 20

    Cranberry Cocktail Meatballs

    Cocktail Meatballs in a bowl

    The Spruce / Rachel Riesgraf

    Another unusual appetizer option, cranberry cocktail meatballs are ideal for parties, potlucks, and just because. Skip the homemade meatballs and use frozen ones to make it even easier. It's the sauce that really counts, with its tangy blend of cranberries, mild chili sauce, brown sugar, and lemon juice. Once baked, keep the yummy morsels warm in the slow cooker.

  • 15 of 20

    Slow Cooker Beer BBQ Meatballs

    No-Fuss Beer BBQ Meatballs

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    For a slightly more traditional party bite, you can't go wrong with beer and barbecue meatballs. Drenched in a homemade barbecue sauce that features any beer you like, this slow cooker recipe is perfect for game day parties and potlucks. It also makes nearly 100 meatballs, so there's plenty for everyone.

  • 16 of 20

    Crock Pot Sweet and Sour Meatballs

    Crock Pot Sweet and Sour Meatballs

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    A tailgating favorite, you may want to make more sweet and sour meatballs than you think you'll need. The recipe's chunky sauce combines pineapple and sweet pickles with soy sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, and cornstarch. It has a wonderful tang and zest, and after one taste, everyone will be back for more.

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  • 17 of 20

    Crock Pot Meatball Soup

    Tomato Meatball Soup

    Images of Africa / Getty Images

    Meatballs are the perfect protein when you want to create a hearty homemade soup that's super simple. This crock pot meatball soup requires a few prepared ingredients, including frozen meatballs and mixed veggies. Let the meat-tomato base cook all day, toss in the last ingredients, and dinner's ready within an hour.

  • 18 of 20

    Crock Pot Meatball and Potato Stew

    Meatball and Potato Stew

    Annabelle Breakey / Getty Images

    Serving your family a good home-cooked meal is effortless with this thick and creamy recipe. The meatball and potato stew is a wholesome dish filled with a rich seasoned broth, potatoes, carrots, and meatballs. It's pure comfort food and a great meal to come home to on a cold winter day.

  • 19 of 20

    Albondigas Soup

    Albondigas Mexican Meatball Soup

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

    The Spanish word for meatball is "albondigas." There are many ways to make albondigas soup, and this recipe will inspire you to add a personal twist to the Mexican favorite. Frozen meatballs work just fine when combined with classic stew ingredients like carrots, celery, potatoes, and onion in a tomato broth. It's cooked on the stovetop and best when finished with fresh avocado, cilantro, and lime.

  • 20 of 20

    Meatball Orzo Casserole

    Meatball Orzo Casserole

    The Spruce / Katie Workman

    Orzo is tiny pasta that makes an excellent alternative to rice. In this meatball orzo casserole, you can transform them into a risotto-like platter that's surprisingly simple. Packed with broccoli, onion, and garlic, it's a complete meal in one dish, and the flavor is terrific.