Italian Sausage Meatballs with Ground Beef Freezer Meal Recipe

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Our Italian Sausage Meatballs with Ground Beef are a mouthwatering fusion of savory Italian sausage and perfectly seasoned ground beef.
Gluten Free

Hey there, fellow foodies and meal prep enthusiasts! If you’re on the hunt for the perfect freezer meal that combines the rich flavors of Italian cuisine with the convenience of make-ahead cooking, you’re in for a treat. Get ready to dive into the delicious world of Italian Sausage Meatballs with Ground Beef Freezer Meal!

Life can be extremely hectic. When you add in all the kids’ sports and art functions, the social life of parents outside of their children, and business ventures that seem to always have a to-do list, there just isn’t time in the day to think about cooking dinner. That’s why this dish is so incredible. Not only is it super easy to prepare, but you can make it in batches and freeze meals for when you are in a pinch and just want your crockpot to do the cooking for you.  

Our Italian Sausage Meatballs with Ground Beef are a mouthwatering fusion of savory Italian sausage and perfectly seasoned ground beef. These meatballs are lovingly handcrafted and designed to be frozen, so you can prepare them in advance and have a scrumptious dinner at your fingertips whenever you need it most.

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.

Why You’ll Love This Flavorful Ground Beef and Italian Sausage Meatballs

  • Super Flavorful
  • You can make it in advance
  • Easy to prepare
  • Comfort Food
  • Kid-Friendly
Italian Sausage Meatballs with Ground Beef
Hannah Stewart
Our Italian Sausage Meatballs with Ground Beef are a mouthwatering fusion of savory Italian sausage and perfectly seasoned ground beef.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 Adults
Calories 374 kcal
  • 1 gallon freezer bag
  • 1 Slow Cooker / Crockpot
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 lb Italian sausage
  • 1 cup yellow onion
  • 1 cup apple
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 48 oz tomato sauce
For serving
  • 1 lb spaghetti noodles cook according to package before serving
Freezer Prep Directions:
  • Prepare a gallon freezer bag, labeling according to your preferred method. 
  • Preheat oven to 400F. Layer a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Mix all ingredients, except tomato sauce and pasta, together into a bowl and for 1 1/2 inch sized meatballs. (TIP: Keep a bowl of cold water next to you and dip hands in periodically while rolling meatballs to keep the mixture off your hands)
  • Lay formed meatballs on parchment paper and bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes. (Meatballs will not be 100% cooked, this bake allows them to hold their shape when in the freezer bag)
  • Allow meatballs to cool, then place in the labeled freezer bag.
  • Pour tomato sauce over meatballs into freezer bags. Remove as much air as possible and seal the bag. Freeze for 3-6 months.
Slow Cooker Directions:
  • Thaw freezer bag in fridge 12-24 hours before cooking.
  • Dump contents of gallon freezer bag into slow cooker.
  • Cook on low for 3-4 hours.
  • Cook pasta according to package and serve meatballs with the sauce over noodles.
Instant Pot Directions
  1. Dump the contents of the freezer bag into the Instant Pot, add 1/2 cup water.
  2. Set to High Pressure for 8 minutes, followed by a quick release. 
  3. Cook pasta according to package and serve meatballs with the sauce over noodles.
Dietary Adjustments
Make it Gluten-Free:
  • Use gluten-free spaghetti noodles.
Make it Dairy-Free:
  • This recipe is naturally dairy-free.


Serving: 4gCalories: 374kcalCarbohydrates: 12.5gProtein: 29.3gFat: 24.2gSaturated Fat: 6.6gTrans Fat: 24.2gCholesterol: 131mgSodium: 1285mgPotassium: 791mgFiber: 2.9gSugar: 9.1g
Keyword frozen meatballs, instant pot frozen meatballs, instant pot pasta and meatballs, meatballs with italian sausage and ground beef
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Equipment Needed To Make Make Ahead Italian Sausage Meatballs

  • Crockpot

Ingredients For Your Italian Sausage Meatballs with Ground Beef

  • 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)

How To Make A Italian Sausage Meatballs with Ground Beef Fresh (Not Frozen)


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

What to Serve with Your Italian Meatballs




Popular Substitutions & Additions

Here are three substitutions and three additions you can make to your Italian Sausage Meatballs with Ground Beef  recipe while ensuring that each ingredient can be frozen for freezer meals:


  • Ground Turkey: Substitute ground turkey for the ground beef to create a leaner version of the meatballs. This change reduces the overall fat content while still maintaining flavor and texture.
  • Sweet Italian Sausage: If you prefer a milder flavor, opt for sweet Italian sausage instead of the traditional Italian sausage. It provides a more subtle taste while still delivering the desired sausage essence.
  • Red Bell Pepper: Replace the diced apple with diced red bell pepper for a slightly different flavor profile. Red bell pepper adds sweetness and a vibrant color to the meatballs, balancing the savory components.


  • Parmesan Cheese: Add grated Parmesan cheese to the meatball mixture for an extra layer of richness and umami. About 1/4 to 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan should do the trick.
  • Spinach: Incorporate finely chopped spinach into the meatball mixture for added nutrition and a pop of green color. It’s a sneaky way to introduce more vegetables into your meal.
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: If you enjoy a bit of heat, include a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes in the meatball mixture. This will add a subtle kick of spiciness to your Italian Sausage Meatballs.

These substitutions and additions offer a variety of flavor profiles and customization options for your Italian Sausage Meatballs with Ground Beef recipe, allowing you to tailor it to your preferences and dietary choices while maintaining the freezer-friendly aspect.

How To Reheat & Store Italian Sausage Meatballs After Cooking

Best Way To Store Classic Italian Sausage Meatballs Leftover?

After you’ve cooked your Italian Sausage Meatballs, and are looking to save your leftovers for future use, allow your leftovers to cool to room temperature. This step is crucial, as it is important to prevent condensation inside your storage container.

After your leftovers have cooled, choose an air tight container that’s suitable for freezer storage. You can use a plastic container with a tight-sealing lid, or a heavy duty freezer bag. Make sure to arrange the meatballs in the container in a singer layer or separate layers with parchment paper to prevent sticking.

Seal the container tightly to keep air out and prevent freezer burn. Label and date the container with contents and date of preparation. Then either store in the freezer for longer storage, or in the fridge if you plan to consume your leftovers within a few days.

How Long Will Italian Sausage Meatballs with Ground Beef Last In the Fridge?

If you plan to consume your leftovers within a few days, you should store your leftovers in the refrigerator.

With proper cooling and storing practices in place, the Italian Sausage Meatballs will stay good in the fridge for 4-5 days. Always make sure to check for spoiled food when you get to reheat any leftovers. 

Can I Freeze Easy Italian Sausage Meatballs After Cooking?

Absolutely, when you are preparing to freeze your leftovers, make sure to follow the same procedure you would to store in the fridge. Allow leftovers too cool to room temperature, store using a resealable freezer bag that has been labeled with date and contents, and place in the freezer for 2-3 months to maintain quality.

If you are looking to use this recipe as a raw freezer meal, this is a fantastic recipe to make in batches. Simple label your freezer bag with recipe name, cooking from freezer directions and expiration date. Follow the directions from the recipe to make the meatballs, then let cool completely after cooking in the oven.

Once cool, place meatballs in a freezer bag, and pour sauce over the meatballs. Remove as much air as possible from the bag and seal. Freeze for 3-6 months.

How To Reheat Savory Italian Sausage Meatball Dish?

There are many ways to reheat your leftovers. If you are pulling out frozen leftovers, make sure to allow your leftovers to thaw overnight in the fridge. Once your meatballs have thawed, then you can use a few different methods to reheat your food.

To reheat on the stovetop, heat a skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add a small amount of tomato sauce or broth to the pan to prevent sticking. Place the thawed Italian Meatballs in the pan. Cover the pan and cook, occasionally turning the meatballs until they are heating through.

If you want to reheat in the oven, preheat the oven to 350. Place the thawed meatballs in an oven safe dish and cover them with tomato sauce or broth. Cover the dish with foil to retain the moisture. Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until heated through.

For quick reheating, use the microwave. Cover your dish with a safe lid, and reheat in 30 second intervals until desired temperature is met. Always ensure that your meat is cooked through.


Other Beef Recipes You’ll Love

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