Meatballs for Dinner All Week Long (on More than Pasta!)

"These fork-tender meatballs are great for kids, or atop pappardelle or wide egg noodles," Merrill Stubbs says of her appropriately-named Extra Tender Meatballs.

And while there's no disputing they are, in fact, extra-tender (thanks to two types of meat and mayonnaise), these meatballs are meant for more than just pasta. (Sorry, Merrill!) Free of potent dried herbs like oregano, they're seasoned but not limited; and since they're not baked in sauce, they can be stored easily and used in even the non-sauciest of dishes.

So, make a double batch of these meatballs at the beginning of the week...

...and eat as many as you'd like over pasta tossed with olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and black pepper. Store about 3/4 of the extra, cooled meatballs in an airtight container in the fridge—they'll last 4 days like this. As for the other 1/4, place these on a parchment-lined baking sheet and pop them into the freezer until frozen. Then, store in a freezer bag and thaw in the refrigerator the night before you want to use them.

For the next six days, turn your meatballs into something new:

  • A hearty soup. Make a batch of your favorite soup (anything non-puréed will do, such as something with pasta or lentils or cabbage) and reheat the meatballs in the soup until just warm. You're going to want 3 to 4 meatballs per person/bowl. (You could also chop up the meatballs, crisp them on the stove, and then add them on top of a smooth or chunky soup.)

  • Lettuce wraps. Instead of the chicken this recipe calls for, use meatballs. Top liberally with vinegar-y, sesame-y carrot slaw and scallions.

  • Pizza. Meatballs as a pizza topping? Meatballs as a pizza topping! Halve the meatballs (enough to amply top the pizza, but not so much you weigh down the dough), then bake as normal.

  • Sandwiches, all the sandwiches! You can, and should, make meatball subs covered in heaps of mozzarella. If you want to try something a bit different, however, add meatballs (halved or sliced) to a grilled cheese or bánh mì.

  • Pot pie. Instead of chicken or turkey, use meatballs—along with plenty of mushrooms, leeks, carrots, and peas—for a pot pie filling. Using puff pastry, instead of pie dough, gets your pot pie on the table even quicker.

  • A shakshuka-type thing. Add meatballs to spicy tomato sauce, crack a few eggs in, throw on a good sprinkling of grated Manchego cheese, bake until the eggs are set but the yolks are still jiggly, and top with chopped parsley and cilantro.

Tell us: What other-than-pasta dish do you eat meatballs with?

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Blaire
  • robin lewis
    robin lewis
  • Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm
    Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm
I fall in love with every sandwich I ever meet.


Blaire December 6, 2016
Hi, Could you substitute veal with pork? Thanks!
robin L. December 12, 2016
Good question (veal substitute, plesse?)...
Riddley G. December 12, 2016
Hi! Yes, pork is a perfectly good substitute. Merrill says so herself in the recipe's comments!
Blaire December 12, 2016
Thank you! Im in Spain and its just easier to find. :)