This post was written in a paid partnership with Manitoba Chicken Producers. As always, all opinions are my own and I only promote products and services that I use and love.
There are some recipes that are what I like to call “meal prep powerhouses” and these Chicken Meatballs & Tomato Sauce from Manitoba Chicken Producers is one of them. They’re easy to batch cook and versatile so you can serve them in different ways once you’ve made the meatballs.
Making the Chicken Meatballs
Personally, when I make these, I make a quadruple batch. You’re already doing the work and have all the ingredients, so it doesn’t take too much extra effort to roll out more meatballs. This is a great way to get your kids involved in the kitchen too! Simple tasks like measuring, mixing and rolling can be great for young ones, while older kids could likely complete this whole recipe on their own.
To portion out the meatballs, I love using a triggered cookie scoop. This gives you a perfectly sized meatball every time. Use a larger scoop for jumbo meatballs and smaller scoop for bite-sized ones.
When rolling out the meatballs, it helps to oil your hands with cooking spray or olive oil to prevent the mixture from sticking to your fingers as you roll.
Freezing Raw Chicken Meatballs
You can freeze raw or cooked meatballs. When freezing raw meatballs, space them out on a parchment-covered sheet pan and pop them in the freezer. This step prevents them from clumping together, so you can take out as many or as little as you want for each meal. Once they’re frozen, you can transfer them to a freezer bag.
Freezing Cooked Chicken Meatballs
If you prefer to freeze cooked meatballs (this makes for a quick reheated meal), bake them on a parchment-covered sheet pan in the oven or air-fryer. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of your meatballs. To ensure they are fully cooked, use a digital meat thermometer. Ground chicken is perfectly cooked at 165⁰F. Let them cool completely, then spread them out on another parchment-covered sheet pan, again, separated so they don’t clump together. Once they’re frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag.
Sauces to Use for the Meatballs
I love that this recipe is neutrally seasoned with garlic, onion and parsley, so you can serve them with a variety of sauces and in different ways.
You can make the tomato sauce in large batches using my Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce recipe, but you can also use a store-bought shortcut jarred tomato sauce.
The best part about this recipe is that once you make the meatballs, you could serve them every week in a different sauce. Try them in alfredo or pesto sauce over pasta, or sweet & sour, teriyaki sauce or gravy over rice or your favorite grain.
Other Ways to Serve Chicken Meatballs & Tomato Sauce
If you wanted to reconstruct this recipe, try a chicken meatball sandwich. Serve the meatballs and tomato sauce on toasted garlic buttered buns with melty mozzarella and parmesan.
Alternatively, try serving them “naked” in a sheet pan meal with roasted veggies or add them to this Sheet Pan Gnocchi recipe and drizzle them with balsamic reduction.
Don’t forget to consider these for an easy appetizer. Serve bite-sized meatballs with toothpicks and your favorite dipping sauce.
Meal Prepping Chicken Meatballs
The key here is to do the work once, do the dishes once and have enough meatballs for several meals. Work smarter, not harder!
Let’s recap all the ways you can serve these chicken meatballs.
- Simmered in tomato sauce
- Tossed in fettucine alfredo
- Drizzled with pesto and pasta
- Served as a meatball sandwich with tomato sauce & mozzarella
- Baked in a sheet pan meal with roasted vegetables
- Added to sheet pan gnocchi and drizzled with balsamic reduction
- Dipped in your favorite sauce as an appetizer
One recipe, 6 ways. Take the guesswork out of planning your meals and think of new ways that you can serve the same meal component, like we did here today. Now you have 6 new meal ideas! Which one will you try first?