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Freezer Meal Italian Sausage Meatballs with Ground Beef

Gluten Free

Italian Sausage Meatballs

I love meatballs with Italian sausage and ground beef! This freezer meal is amazing and is a sweet Italian sausage meatball recipe with a secret ingredient. But ground beef has been hard to find in stores due to COVID-19. Since ground turkey has seemed available in the plenty, I thought I would come up with a recipe to use it up, and sweet Italian meatballs were born.

Or at least my version using ground turkey or ground beef.

Meatballs seemed like a good idea because of mixing ground Italian sausage into the ground turkey.

With a little love and seasoning, these Italian meatballs with Italian sausage and ground beef came out to be the best meatballs ever!

These old fashioned Italian meatballs are savory and sweet. The sausage gives amazing flavor, its always great to mix meats for more complexity when making meatballs or meatloaf.

First these Italian meatballs bake in the oven and then this gluten free meatball recipe go into the slow cooker. When you’re ready for something delicious, take the frozen gluten free meatballs out and pop them into the crockpot. Dinner is done!

Why you will love this Sweet Italian Meatball freezer meal.

  • Only takes a few minutes
  • Reduces food waste
  • Save money
  • Easy healthy snack
  • Always have strawberries on hand.
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Instant pot frozen meatballs | frozen meatballs | instant pot pasta and meatballs | Italian sausage meatballs and pasta | best Italian meatball recipe ever | meatballs with Italian sausage and ground beef

Ingredients you will need for this gluten free Italian sausage meatballs recipe.

  • ground beef (or turkey)
  • Italian sausage
  • yellow onion
  • apple
  • egg
  • Italian seasoning
  • garlic cloves (or garlic powder)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • tomato sauce

Want me to let you in on the secret to juicy healthy meatballs?!

FRUIT! Hear me out, this sounds crazy but diced fruit is the secret to a juicy and flavorful meatballs. I tried a curry meatball recipe once that added pear. I thought…this is crazy! But after trying it I now add in an apple or pear to all my meatball recipes.

I created this gluten free Italian meatball recipe to include apples and let me tell you it is by far the best Italian meatball recipe ever! Using lean ground beef helps keep the fat level just right when combining ground beef with italian sausage.

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Here is my curry meatball recipe using pear if you’re interested in giving that a try as well. These beat Swedish meatballs by far and are a great unique dish for a crowd.

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What kind of meat can I use?

You can, but if you only use Italian sausage for this recipe, it may be too heavy in the fat content. I always recommend using a lower fat content meat when mixing ground sausage into your meatball mixture.

What to serve with Sweet Italian Meatball recipe?

So many wonderful options when you are enjoying meatballs for dinner. Here are just a couple ways you can enjoy them!

  1. Plain (Appetizer/Main Dish)
  2. Meatball Sub
  3. Spaghetti and Meatballs
  4. Meatballs over rice
  5. Meatballs in fried rice
  6. Meatballs and veggies
  7. Meatballs with sauerkraut
  8. And so much more!

Serve with your favorite side dish, I love to try serving with a great Caesar salad on the side or a fresh slaw. Having a different texture is so pleasing and tasty. Roasted veggies are also amazing!

How do you make this Sweet Italian Meatball Recipe? 👇  

Sweet Italian Meatballs

Try making meatballs with Italian sausage andground beef for a sweet Italian meatballs. These homemade frozen meatballs aregreat in the instant pot or slow cooker.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: frozen meatballs, instant pot frozen meatballs, instant pot pasta and meatballs, meatballs with italian sausage and ground beef
Servings: 8 Adults
Calories: 374kcal
Author: Hannah Stewart

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Ground Turkey (or Ground Beef)
  • 1 lb Italian Sausage (casings removed)
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup apple, diced
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 4 cup basil tomato sauce (Optional: Use whatever red pasta sauce you have on hand)

Instructions

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Mix together all ingredients, except tomato sauce, in large bowl. This is the fun part, using your hands and mix until everything is well combined and ready to become meatballs!
  • Form into golf ball sized meatballs. Tip: Keep a bowl of water near you and use to keep your hands wet while you form the meatballs. This helps keep your hands from getting stick and keeps them clean while you form the meatballs.
  • Set rolled meatballs onto parchment covered baking sheet and cook in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes.
  • Add meatballs into slow cooker and pour sauce over meatballs.
  • Cook in slow cooker on low 2-4 hours or high 1-2 hours.
  • All ready! Serve over pasta, rice, or even all on their own! (Optional: garnish with fresh parsley and mozzarella cheese).

Freezer Directions:

  • Label Freezer bag with Recipe name, cooking from freezer directions and expiration date (todays date plus three months).
  • Follow directions above up to make meatballs then let cool completely after cooking in oven. (Make sure meatballs are completely cool before placing into a labeled gallon freezer bag).
  • Label gallon freezer bag with recipe name, cooking from frozen directions, and expiration date (three months plus today's date).
  • Pour sauce over meatballs into freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible and seal bag. Freeze for up to three months.

Slow Cooker Cooking from Frozen Directions:

  • If desired, Thaw overnight in fridge or in the morning in water (meal may not be 100% thawed but that is ok).
  • Dump contents of gallon freezer bag into slow cooker.
  • Cook on low 4-6 hours or high 2-4 hours. (If completely frozen check for donness, may have to add 30 minutes cook time.)
  • Then stir and serve! (Optional: Garnish with fresh parsley and mozzarella cheese).

Instant Pot Cooking from Frozen Directions:

  • If desired, Thaw overnight in fridge or in the morning in water (meal may not be 100% thawed but that is ok).
  • Dump contents of gallon freezer bag into instant pot
  • Secure the lid and be sure it is sealed. Pressure cook on high for 10 minutes.
  • NPR for 10 minutes then quick release. Enjoy!

Freezing Meatball FAQ’s

Don’t forget to pin this recipe and save for later! 👇

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