Meatballs Make Meals Manageable

By Mary Hunt

April 2, 2020 4 min read

Dinnertime can be hard with hectic schedules, but planning ahead and having meals ready in your freezer is a lifesaver. Registered dietitian Brenda Ponichtera offers a great idea: delicious baked meatballs, frozen and ready for multiple recipes.


This recipe produces healthy, tasty and quick meatballs to serve now or freeze for later. One batch is enough for Spaghetti and Meatballs and Swedish Meatballs. Double the recipe and store in zip-type freezer bags, and you'll have meatballs at the ready for any of your favorite recipes.

1 cup oatmeal or oat bran

1 cup fat-free milk

1/2 cup egg substitute (equal to 2 eggs)

1 tablespoon dried parsley

2 teaspoons onion powder

1 teaspoon salt (optional)

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 pounds extra-lean ground beef or ground turkey (7% fat)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Mix the first eight ingredients. Add ground meat, and mix well. Shape into 1 1/2-inch balls. Arrange on baking sheets that have been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 12 minutes or until done. Makes 48 meatballs. Servings: 12.

Serving Size: 4 meatballs

Nutritional information: 146 calories; 6 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 47 milligrams cholesterol; 85 milligrams sodium; 6 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 1 gram sugar; 17 grams protein.

Source: "Quick & Healthy Recipes and Ideas" by Brenda J. Ponichtera.


24 Baked Meatballs

1 26-ounce jar spaghetti sauce (with less than 4 grams fat per 4 ounces)

3 cups cooked whole-wheat spaghetti noodles (3 1/2 ounces dry)

Heat meatballs in sauce. Serve over spaghetti noodles. Servings: 6.

Note: One serving is a good source of fiber.

Serving Size: 4 meatballs with sauce and 1/2 cup noodles

Nutritional information: 277 calories; 9 grams total fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 47 milligrams cholesterol; 591 milligrams sodium; 28 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams dietary fiber; 8 grams sugar; 21 grams protein.


This is a family favorite and so quick to prepare! It tastes great over mashed potatoes, rice or noodles.

20 Baked Meatballs

1 14.5-ounce can fat-free, reduced-sodium beef or chicken broth

3 1/2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

Pour 1/4 of the broth in a covered container. Add flour, and shake well to prevent lumps. In a saucepan, combine remainder of broth with the flour mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a wire whisk until thickened. Add meatballs and heat. Servings: 4

VARIATION: Swedish Meatballs and Mushrooms. Add one small can of mushrooms, drained and rinsed, to the gravy when adding the meatballs.

Serving Size: 5 meatballs plus 1/2 cup sauce

Nutritional information: 214 calories; 8 grams total fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 59 milligrams cholesterol; 264 milligrams sodium; 13 grams carbohydrate; 2 grams dietary fiber; 1 gram sugar; 23 grams protein.

Source: "Quick & Healthy Recipes and Ideas" by Brenda J. Ponichtera.

To print the above recipes go to

Would you like more information? Go to for links and resources for recommended products and services in this column. Mary invites questions, comments and tips at, "Ask Mary." This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of, a lifestyle blog, and the author of the book "Debt-Proof Living."

Photo credit: MAKY_OREL at Pixabay

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