The Best Uses For Costco's Meatballs That Aren't Spaghetti

A trip to Costco can be a treasure hunt as we look for just the right items to stock up the fridge and freezer for future meals. And while the meat department is full of really good deals, you don't want to miss out on already prepared foods that can make dinner a snap, like the frozen meatballs. Pre-made meatballs have a few advantages for quick meals — their small shape makes them fast to warm up, and they're basically portion controlled. It's time to think way out of the pasta box, too — meatballs are good for so much more than spaghetti.

The Kirkland brand meatballs are also pre-cooked, so there is no need to wonder if you've cooked them all the way through — just be sure to heat them up to the recommended warming temperature on the bag. With a little creativity, you'll be able to create everything from appetizers to sandwiches to your next family favorite dinner.

Build protein-packed sandwiches with Costco meatballs

A bag of meatballs in the freezer means that savory meatball sandwiches can be on the table in next to no time. Just slather crusty Italian bread with your favorite marinara sauce, stuff in as many thawed meatballs as will fit, and top with a combination of mozzarella and parmesan cheese. A brief bake in the oven will heat all the flavors into craveable comfort food. Try subbing out the marinara with gochujang sauce for a Korean flavor twist if you love spice.

Slicing or crumbling the meatballs makes them adaptable to all kinds of other classic sandwiches, too. Try them sliced and layered between toasted sourdough slabs for a twist on a classic meatloaf sandwich or served open-faced with mushroom gravy. Break the meatballs apart to create the meaty filling for sheet pan sliders when you've got a hungry crowd coming over — the pre-cooked meat makes this a great idea for unplanned guests.

Try Costco meatballs on pizza or in stuffed pastas

If you love Italian sausage on your pizza, consider Costco meatballs your new go-to meat lovers's pizza topping. The seasoning makes them a great flavor addition to any homemade pizza right out of the bag, either sliced or cubed up and sprinkled over the pie. Don't hesitate to upgrade a frozen pizza with a bit more meat, either. The trick is to defrost the meatballs enough to cut through them easily, but leave them a bit chilly so they'll roast on the pizza without overcooking. If you're more of a folded dough fan, the pre-made meatballs would also be perfect tucked into a homemade calzone to add a dose of hearty protein.

And as long as we're folding dough, why not use the meatballs to make an easy stuffing for meaty ravioli or tortellini the next time you make pasta? The pre-cooked meat could be combined with a bit of grated cheese for an easy option when the mood strikes.

Simmer the meatballs in your soups

Meatballs also give you a brilliant way to pack a bit of extra protein into soup. Popular deconstructed lasagna soup leans on Italian sausage for flavor and texture, but the seasoned meatballs would be a welcome substitution or addition, especially because they're so easy to prepare. Chunks of meatballs would go well in rustic Italian wedding soup or minestrone as well, whether you make them from scratch or take the opportunity to upgrade a watery store-bought can.

Frankly, your favorite boxed broth and a handful of hearty greens are all you need to turn a bag of Costco frozen meatballs into a satisfying soup. Just simmer your chosen ingredients until the meatballs are warmed through and the greens are fully wilted. Of course, you could embellish the pot with cooked beans, pasta, or any other vegetables you have on hand. Shave a bit of parmesan on top, serve with some crusty bread, and enjoy.

Make stuffed peppers easier with pre-made meatballs

Making stuffed peppers can be a lengthy process — there's all the chopping and cooking of the filling before cutting and stuffing the peppers, not to mention the final bake time. By starting with pre-cooked meatballs, you cut down on the prep time and don't have to worry about potentially undercooking the filling when it bakes. Chop or smash up a few defrosted meatballs to replace the raw beef in a standard stuffed peppers recipe, mixing it well with the veggies and other ingredients, and then bake as usual.

You could also fill the peppers with the meatballs alone for a higher-protein version of the dish. Try to press the meatballs into the peppers well to prevent air pockets, cutting them in half as needed to fit. A bit of marinara sauce from a jar poured on top of each filled pepper for baking will help keep everything moist.

Add meatballs to your sheet pan dinner

The sheet pan dinner is one of the ultimate hacks for getting a meal on the table on a busy weeknight. All of the ingredients cook together, blending flavors as they roast, and everything is ready at the same time — what more could you ask? When you substitute frozen meatballs for other raw proteins, your dinner can speed to the finish line in record time, too. In recipes with other blended meats, such as mustardy sausages baked with apples, you can simply swap in the meatballs, as the cooking time will be similar. But keep an eye out for recipes that call for longer-cooking proteins like chicken thighs or steak — you'll want to add the meatballs a little later in the cooking process to avoid drying them out.

Sheet-pan dinners are also great for using up any veggies you have on hand. For example, slice an onion or two and spread them across the sheet pan. Top the onion with your vegetables and some sliced apples if you have them, and then the meatballs. Drizzle a simple mustard-based sauce with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper over the top, and bake until the onion is soft and the meatballs are hot.