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How To Cook Frozen Meatballs

READY in MINUTES! Scrumptious, delicious and tasty, quick little frozen meatballs are the way to go for an easy homemade dinner in minutes! How to Cook Frozen Meatballs.

These little meatballs can be baked in an oven, heated in a toaster oven, cooked in a crockpot, made on the stovetop, zipped in a microwave and even made into a delicious dish in the pressure cooker or instapot.

Close up of meatballs in tomato sauce glistening over spaghetti in a silver bowl

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Why This Recipe Works

  • EASY!!
  • Meatballs work in a lot of dishes!
  • FAST!!
  • Packed with flavor and ready to improve any dish!

Here’s How It Is Done


Remove the meatballs from their package. Space out in a single layer on a baking sheet so that the heat can circulate between them. This is already cooked ground beef.

baking sheet covered in aluminum foil with frozen meatballs on it

Frozen meatballs on baking sheet


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake in the oven or toaster oven until done! (It will be about 20- 30 minutes).

baking sheet with baked meatballs lined up like soldiers

Meatballs baked for 20 minutes

If You Prefer Your Frozen Meatballs In A Sauce…


Prepare your cooking dish with the sauce.

Saucepan with crushed tomatoes in it, red napkin

Sauce ready for meatballs

STEP 2.  

Add the frozen meatballs.

Frozen meatballs being stirred into the sauce

Stir those babies in!


Heat until everything is heated through! (or use a crockpot on low for 4-6 hours).

Orange sauce pan full of meatballs and tomato sauce

Heat through for perfect frozen meatballs!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Do I Have to Defrost the Meatballs Before I Cook With Them? 

  • Not necessarily! If you are heating the meatballs in a sauce, then simply cook till the sauce is heated through and bubbling well and the meatballs will be done too!
  • If you need a very QUICK sauce, then it’s best to defrost first.

How Do I Cook Frozen Meatballs For Spaghetti?

EASY!  Once your sauce is made, simply slide the meatballs into the sauce (it’s fine if they are still frozen) and simmer for at least 20 minutes.

How To Cook Frozen Meatballs in BBQ Sauce, Tomato Sauce or in Spaghetti Sauce?

  • First prepare your sauce ( BBQ, Tomato or Spaghetti sauce),
  • Place it in the container that you will cook it in.
  • Put the number of meatballs you want to use in the sauce and
  • Then heat for at least 20 minutes.
  • If you are making this dish in the crockpot, then set it on low and allow to heat for 4-6 hours.

How To Cook Frozen Meatballs on the Stove Top in a Skillet

  • Add 2 Tbs of oil to the pan.
  • Place the number of meatballs in the pan you wish to use. Allow space between meatballs and don’t crowd them.
  • Heat over medium low heat, flipping them often, until heated through (about 10-15 minutes).

How To Cook Frozen Meatballs in a Microwave

  • Place the number of meatballs you want to use in a microwave safe dish.
  • Include 1 Tbs of water and cover with plastic wrap.
  • Heat on high for 1 minute.
  • Check to see if meatballs are heated through.
  • If not, repeat for 30 secs and continue at 30 second intervals until heated through.

How To Cook Frozen Meatballs in a Pressure Cooker or in an Instapot.

*** Frozen meatballs are already cooked and so this type of cooking isn’t neccessary, but if you really want to cook in the pressure cooker or instapot, then…

  • If JUST cooking the meatballs alone:  Put meatballs into the pressure cooker or instapot with ¼ cup of water. Bring to pressure and cook for 5 minutes. Allow to naturally release.
  • If USING a sauce:  Place meatballs into the pressure cooker or instapot with the sauce. Bring to pressure and cook for 8 minutes. Allow to release naturally.

How to Cook Frozen Meatballs in a Crockpot or Slow Cooker.

  • If using without a sauce:  Place the number of meatballs in the crockpot that you want to use. Add ½ cup of water or chicken stock. Heat on low for 4-6 hours.
  • If using with a sauce (like tomato, spaghetti, gravy or BBQ), put the sauce into the crockpot and then pour in the number of frozen meatballs you want to use. Set the Crockpot on low and allow to cook for 4-6 hours.

How Long to Cook Frozen Meatballs in the Crock pot

Frozen meatballs thaw and cook in about 4-6 hours on low. If thawed or the crockpot is on high, then they will be done in about 2 hours.

How To Cook Frozen Meatballs in the Oven

  • Preheat the oven to 350.
  • Set the number of frozen meatballs you want to use on a baking sheet with plenty of space between and in a single layer.
  • Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Remove and use as desired.

What can I Serve with Frozen Meatballs?

Tips and Tricks for Frozen Meatballs.

  • Frozen meatballs are already fully cooked and all you really need to do is to warm them up.
  • You can mix frozen meatballs with all kinds of sauces! Experiment with BBQ, Mushroom gravy, Spaghetti Sauce, Marinara.
  • Frozen Meatballs can be served over any type of starchy dish like pasta, rice or even mashed potatoes!
  • Some ways to use meatballs:  Pasta and meatballs, meatball hoagies, meatball sliders, meatballs and rice, let your imagination run wild!!

PRO TIP:  They taste best with a little char on the edges, so if you can bake them on some aluminum foil first and increase the char, you’ll get a better flavor.

If you enjoyed THIS recipe, you might also enjoy…

Blow Your Mind Meatballs

Honey Chipotle Meatballs

Southern Baked Spaghetti

Tennessee Whiskey Meatball Sliders  

How to Make Food!

Or ANY Of these Main Dishes

Silver dish of spaghetti and meatballs, silverware and extra bowls in background

How to Cook Frozen Meatballs


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meatballs on spaghetti in a dish

How To Cook Frozen Meatballs

This quick and easy 30 minutes dinner will have you gleaming as the STAR of dinner and only you will know how easy it was!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to cook frozen meatballs
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 224kcal


  • 40 Precooked Frozen Meatballs
  • 2 15 oz cans of San Marzano Crushed Tomatoes
  • 2 6 oz cans of Tomato Paste
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbs Itallian Herbs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper


  • Place the meatballs and all the rest of the ingredients in a 3 quart sauce pan on the stove top over medium heat.
  • Cook for 30 minutes.
  • Serve over your choice of cooked pasta.


  • The meatballs are already fully cooked, so all you are really doing is heating them up! They can thaw and heat up in the sauce as it cooks!
  • If you prefer to use a jarred sauce, simply follow these same instructions and instead of adding the tomatoes, paste and seasonings, simply add your own preferred jarred sauce.
  • This recipe is terrific over spaghetti, but for fun try some of the other types of pasta like Penne or Bow Tie!
PRO TIP: These meatballs taste BEST with a little char on them. For added flavor, bake them on an aluminum foil covered pan in the oven for 20 minutes first! Perfect!


Nutrition Facts
How To Cook Frozen Meatballs
Amount Per Serving
Calories 224 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 5g25%
Cholesterol 50mg17%
Sodium 640mg27%
Potassium 606mg17%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 505IU10%
Vitamin C 12.3mg15%
Calcium 39mg4%
Iron 2.1mg12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @loavesanddishes or tag #loavesanddishes!

A Verse To Share

Apparently, Solomon felt like I do about Spring! 

Song of Solomon 2:11-12

For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.


Recipe Rating

Robin H

Saturday 16th of April 2022

I was looking for a recipe for baking frozen meatballs, and was happy to find yours. Since I couldn't be there, I enlisted my husband (it was that easy; he rarely cooks). He used 3-20 oz bags Trader Joe's Frozen Mini Meatballs. Even though he crowded them onto one approx 14 X 11" stone bakeware, not quite fitting all in one layer, after baking in a 350 oven for 30 minutes. Despite the tight quarters, they were great..even without sauce. I found the baked meatballs to have a much better texture than other methods, and were so good even without sauce. As you suggested, heated a good quality bottled sauce separately (1-32oz, plus 2-24oz), and added the baked meatballs to it. Served with Rotini pasta, vegetable, and salad. What a wonderful recipe for a nice quick dinner. Can't wait to check out your other recipes! Thanks.

Wendi Spraker

Tuesday 19th of April 2022

I'm so glad you loved it!

Sharon Lucas

Thursday 11th of February 2021

Needed to know how to cook my frozen meatballs and this gave me all the information I needed quickly and with so many options! I absolutely am grateful and love this site and especially the Song of Solomon quote😉Thanks so much for saving my skin lol

Wendi Spraker

Saturday 13th of February 2021

Hi Sharon, I'm glad you found just what you needed!

Marguerite K Gipson

Thursday 3rd of October 2019

It is an Instant Pot, which is the brand name. There is no instan pot as you put it in your blog.

Mama Maggie's Kitchen

Wednesday 3rd of April 2019

My mouth is watering. I wish this were in front of me.


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