Dinner Plans: Meatballs

Prep 3 Delicious Meals From 1 Batch of Meatballs

Easy Homemade Meatballs

The Spruce

Meatballs are kid-friendly and versatile, and with one big batch, you’ll make enough for three separate meals this week. You could also make a double batch and freeze the rest to use later—keeping a stash means dinner’s always easy.

Game Plan

Prep Time: 1 hour

  1. Double the recipe and prepare the meatballs as directed.
  2. While they’re baking, make the sauce for tonight’s dinner.
  3. Use one-third of the meatballs tonight and refrigerate another third in an air-tight container.
  4. Freeze the remaining third: Place them on a baking sheet and freeze until hard, then transfer to a freezer bag.

Prep Day Spaghetti and Meatballs

Classic spaghetti and meatballs is a crowd-pleaser. All you need are a simple marinara sauce, a pound of pasta, and Italian bread. Want to go all-in? Turn that loaf into garlic bread. Want to go super-easy? Use jarred marinara sauce instead of making your own.

Simple Marinara Tomato Sauce
The Spruce

Getting Dinner on the Table

  • Once the meatballs are in the oven, start the sauce. It can simmer on a very low flame until the meatballs are ready.
  • About 15 minutes before the meatballs are done, start heating a large pot of salted water for spaghetti.
  • If you’re making garlic bread, now’s the time to get it going. It bakes at the same temperature as the meatballs.
  • Transfer meatballs to the sauce for a few minutes to allow them to soak up some of that flavor.
  • Toss the pasta with the sauce and serve with the bread, passing grated Parmesan at the table.

Teriyaki Meatball Night

Time: 25 minutes

Give your meatballs an Asian accent by reheating them in a quick teriyaki sauce, then serving with jasmine rice and stir-fried broccoli.

The Spruce / Leah Maroney

Getting Dinner on the Table

  • Get the rice going first—it needs to sit for 10 to 15 minutes once you turn off the flame.
  • Make the teriyaki sauce, then add the meatballs from the fridge. Reheat them, covered, over a low flame while you prepare the broccoli.
  • Stir-fry the broccoli last since it can overcook quickly.
  • Fluff the rice with a fork and serve topped with meatballs and sauce. Serve the broccoli on the side.

Meatball and Orzo Casserole Night

Time: 25 minutes

Is there anything better than a one-pot meal? This meatball greens and orzo casserole cooks on the stovetop, using meatballs straight from the freezer.

Meatball Orzo Casserole
The Spruce / Katie Workman 

Getting Dinner on the Table

  • Get ahead on prep day: pre-wash and chop the broccoli rabe and onion, then stow in the fridge.
  • Use any leftovers for a brown-bag lunch.

Essential Info

Here's some helpful info about meatballs:

About Dinner Plans

Making quick weeknight dinners is easier when you start with a few building blocks. Dinner Plans is a realistic roadmap to help you achieve that goal, by putting in a few hours of work (planning, shopping, and prepping) at the outset. Preparing a big batch of one ingredient (protein, vegetables, or grains) gives you the flexibility to plan a variety of meals. And who knows? You just might discover your new favorite weeknight recipe in the process!

Show everyone how together you are: Instagram your meal prep photos and tag them #thespruceeats.