Air Fryer Meatballs and Glaze – Quick and Easy Freezer Meal!

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Freezer Meal: Air Fryer Meatballs and Glaze

Today I am excited to share with you one of the best freezer meals recipes out there! This recipe is awesome because it only takes 15 minutes to prepare for the freezer and then 15 minutes to cook after freezing. This easy, homemade meatballs with a sweet glaze recipe is so tasty and simple, you are going to love it! My favorite part is that cooking these meatballs in the air fryer is four times quicker than cooking them in the oven!

How to Freeze Homemade Meatballs

This homemade meatballs recipe is one of the best freezer meals out there! Not only do the meatballs taste delicious and are full of fresh and exciting flavors, but it is so easy to assemble, freeze, and cook later! To make these tasty homemade meatballs, you need:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 4 oz evaporated milk
  • 1/3 cup oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup saltine cracker crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 pepper
  • 3/4 tsp chili powder

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Using a cookie scoop, spoon, or your hand, form the mixture into meatballs. You can make the meatballs whatever size you want, however I recommend about 1-2 tablespoons of mixture for each meatball.

To freeze the meatballs, place a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Then place the meatballs on the sheet. Next, cover the meatballs and place the cookie sheet in the freezer to freeze the meatballs. Once frozen, remove the meatballs from the freezer and store them in a Ziploc bag or container.

How to Make a Sweet Glaze for the Meatballs

The meatballs are good, but once you top them with this sweet glaze, they become amazing. The best part is that this glaze is extremely easy to make. You can either freeze the glaze ahead of time or make it the day of. To make the glaze, you will need:

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke*
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion

*Option: If you don’t have liquid smoke, you can substitute it with ½ teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce and 1 teaspoon of malt vinegar.

First, mix all the ingredients together on the stovetop over low/medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Let the glaze cool and then place the glaze in a container in the freezer. It will freeze soft and be scoopable for later.

This glaze is so easy to make, because of this I recommend making the glaze the day that you cook the meatballs. You can whip it up while the meatballs cook in the air fryer.

How to Cook Meatballs in the Air Fryer from Frozen

Once you are ready to cook your frozen meatballs in the air fryer, remove the meatballs from the freezer and preheat the air fryer at 400°F/204°C for 5 minutes. Spray the air fryer basket with avocado oil then layer the meatballs inside. Cook for 15 minutes at 350°F/177°C . At the halfway point, stir the meatballs. During the last two minutes, spoon some of the glaze over the meatballs. You will want to save some of the glaze for serving your meatballs.

Serving Suggestions

Once the meatballs register with an internal temperature of 165°F/74°C from your instant read thermometer, they are ready! Serve on top of pasta, rice, or potatoes. I tossed my pasta in olive oil and parmesan cheese then placed the meatballs on top with the remaining amount of warmed glazed, and it was so good! You can also garnish with fresh parsley.

Important Notes

This recipe makes approximately 24 meatballs, you can easily double or triple the recipe for freezing. This is a great way to make several meals at one time.

If you want to add more flavor to your meatballs, I suggest adding ½ teaspoon of Tony’s spice to the meatball mixture.

You can also cook the frozen meatballs in the oven. In a baking dish, bake at 350°F/177°C for 1 hour. Make sure to spoon the glaze over the meatballs halfway through cooking.

Final Thoughts

I love this recipe because it is really simple. Preparing freezer meals ahead of time makes dinnertime much easier. I love cooking this recipe in the air fryer because it is four times quicker than baking it in the oven! The glaze is delicious and full of great flavors. This recipe is a great hit! Share with us what you love about making these frozen meatballs!

Check out more of these awesome and easy freezer meals:

Have questions about your air fryer? Read these guides for help:

Quick and Easy Freezer Meal Meatballs and Glaze for the Air Fryer

This easy homemade meatballs with a sweet glaze recipe is tasty and simple. Prepare and freeze these meatballs and then cook them later in the air fryer!
4 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6
Adjust Servings: 6

Equipment

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 4 oz evaporated milk
  • cup oatmeal
  • cup saltine cracker crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¾ tsp chili powder

Glaze

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp liquid smoke*
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion

Instructions

Meatballs

  • Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Using a cookie scoop or spoon, form the mixture into meatballs. You can make the meatballs whatever size you want, however I recommend about 1-2 tablespoons of mixture for each meatball.
  • To freeze the meatballs, place a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
  • Place the meatballs on the sheet.
  • Cover the meatballs and place the cookie sheet in the freezer to freeze the meatballs.
  • Once frozen, remove the meatballs from the freezer and store them in a Ziploc bag or container.

Glaze

  • Mix all the ingredients together on the stovetop over low/medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Let the glaze cool and then place the glaze in a container in the freezer. It will freeze soft and be scoopable for later. You can also make the glaze the day of.

Air Fryer Instructions

  • Once you are ready to cook your frozen meatballs in the air fryer, remove the meatballs from the freezer and preheat the air fryer at 400°F/204°C for 5 minutes.
  • Spray the air fryer basket with avocado oil then layer the meatballs inside.
  • Cook for 15 minutes at 350°F/177°C.
  • At the halfway point, stir the meatballs.
  • During the last 2 minutes, spoon some of the glaze over the meatballs. You will want to save some of the glaze for serving your meatballs
  • Once the meatballs register an internal temperature of 165°F/74°C, they are ready! Serve on top of pasta tossed in olive oil and parmesan cheese. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Oven Instructions

  • Place the frozen meatballs in a baking dish.
  • Bake at 350°F/177°C for 1 hour.
  • Spoon the glaze over the meatballs halfway through cooking.

Recipe Notes

*If you don’t have liquid smoke, you can substitute it with ½ teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce and 1 teaspoon of malt vinegar.
Can also be served on top of rice or potatoes
If you want to add more flavor to your meatballs, add ½ teaspoon of Tony’s spice to the meatball mixture.

Nutrition

Calories: 374kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 18g | Sodium: 882mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 29g

Ingredients: Brown Sugar, Chili powder, Egg, Evaporated Milk, Garlic, Ground Beef, Liquid Smoke, Onion, Pepper, Salt
Meal Type: 30-Minute Meals, Main Dish, Sauces, Spreads, and Dressings, Back to School, Christmas, Easter, Fall, Spring, Summer, Winter
Categories: Meat and Poultry, Air Fryer, Make Ahead/Freezer Meal

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