Nutritious Freezer Meal Carnival: Easy Meatballs & Marinara (& Gluten-Free!)

Yesterday, Carey asked a timely question (since today is the Nutritious Freezer Meal Carnival at Passionate Homemaking!): 

Do you have any recipes for freezer meals that need no pre-cooking? I like these recipes as they take even less time and they are easier to do with a big group. I’d love the hear from you on this.

My favorite “no cook” freezer recipe is meatballs!  When my youngest sister was born, my dad took it upon himself to literally fill their freezer with meatballs.  He kept an assortment of sauces on hand (Teriyaki, Marinara, or Sweet & Sour) for different serving options.  He used bottled sauces, but I have enjoyed making up large batches of homemade marinara sauce to have on hand. This summer, I canned jars of sauce, but I have also frozen it in the past. 
I have successfully made this recipe with tofu in years past, but since I’m no longer eating soy, I just make the meatballs with meat.  It is based on the recipe from the book “Frozen Assets.” Meatballs are easily enjoyed as a main dish, served with rice and a vegetable, mixed in with pasta or soups, or served on sandwich buns. 
Easy Meatballs 
(& Gluten-Free!) 
1 lb. Ground Turkey or Beef* (We prefer free-range meats.) 
2 Tbl. Coconut Flour
2 Eggs
1 Tbl. chopped Parsley
1 tsp. Sea Salt
1/2 tsp. dried Basil
1/2 tsp. dried Oregano
1 Garlic Clove, minced
2 Tbl. Ketchup, optional
Palm or Coconut Oil
Mix together all ingredients, minus the oil. Combine well, and shape into 1″ meatballs.  Oil a cookie sheet, and place meatballs onto the pan. (Lay them in a single layer, without touching each other.) Place in the freezer until solid, then put the meatballs in freezer bags or containers.  Seal and freeze.  This recipe makes enough for one family dinner, but it can easily be multiplied for large groups or multiple meals! 

To serve, thaw out meatballs in the refrigerator about a day ahead of time. Then saute in a large skillet with palm or coconut oil (until cooked through) , and serve with sauce.  Or, bake the meatballs with sauce in a casserole dish at 375*F for 20-30 min (until cooked through). 
Marinara Sauce
4 1/2 cups organic Diced Tomatoes, with juice
1/2 cup Olive Oil
4 cloves Garlic, minced
3 Tbl. fresh minced Basil
1 tsp. dried Oregano
2 Tbl. Sucanat or Rapadura
Sea Salt & Pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together, crushing tomatoes.  If freezing, pour into freezer bags or containers.  Before serving, thaw and heat until boiling. Reduce heat, and simmer for 25-30 min, until thickened. Taste, and adjust seasonings as desired. Perfect over pastas or hot sandwiches! This recipe serves 4-6, but is easily multiplied for larger batches. 
Visit Passionate Homemaking for more nourishing freezer meal ideas! Visit Tammy’s Recipes for more Kitchen Tip Tuesday ideas! 
*Food Safety Note: Make sure to use meats that haven’t been previously frozen, if you are going to freeze the meatballs uncooked!  (Or, if you prefer, cook the meatballs before freezing; then, just thaw, then heat through and serve.) 
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