Can You Freeze Spaghetti And Meatballs? [Plus Easy Thawing Instructions]

As a child, one of my first cooking lessons was how to reheat frozen spaghetti and meatballs. My mom was the queen of freezing spaghetti with meatballs, or spaghetti with any meat for that matter. Even when the weekly grocery trip was overdue, my siblings and I always knew there was spaghetti in the freezer.

Generally, it is ok to freeze spaghetti with meatballs. However, you will have the best results when you consider a few things before you freeze your spaghetti with meatballs. You will need to consider what kind of container you will store it in and how much to cook the noodles.

You also need to think about whether you want the sauce and noodles stored separately or together. With this guide, you will learn all of the best practices for freezing spaghetti and meatballs.

Together Or Separate? Freezing Leftover Spaghetti With Meatballs

Luckily you can freeze spaghetti and meatballs together or separately making it an excellent dish for anyone to try freezing. Here are a few answers to common questions about what you can freeze spaghetti with and without.

Freezing Cooked Spaghetti And Meatballs

You can freeze spaghetti and meatballs after they have already been cooked. In fact, it makes a lot more sense to freeze cooked noodles than it does to freeze uncooked noodles because uncooked noodles already have a long shelf life without the need to freeze them. When cooking your noodles for your spaghetti and meatballs, consider undercooking your noodles slightly.

The undercooked noodles continue to cook when you reheat your frozen spaghetti with meatballs. However, this isn’t necessary because noodles will likely taste great whether you undercook them or not.

Freezing Spaghetti And Meatballs With Sauce On It

People wonder if it’s best to mix spaghetti sauce in when you plan to freeze your spaghetti with meatballs or if it’s best to freeze them separately. Guess what? It doesn’t matter! You can mix your spaghetti with the meatballs and the sauce. Or, you can separate each ingredient and then freeze. Both work and both have positives and negatives.

One thing to consider is possibly wanting to use the ingredients for other dishes in the future. One day you might decide that you’d rather use your tomato sauce and meatballs for a meatball sub. You would have an incredibly hard, if not impossible, time trying to separate the already mixed ingredients.

If you want to allow yourself a little more creative freedom, consider freezing separately.

Freezing Your Spaghetti And Meatballs Together

Similar to freezing spaghetti and meatballs with sauce, you have freedom here. You can freeze your spaghetti and meatballs together or separately. Freezing separately will allow for more freedom in future cooking.

One note about freezing meatballs is that you should consider cutting large meatballs into smaller pieces before freezing your spaghetti with meatballs together. This is suggested because it will allow them to be reheated faster and more evenly. If you leave a meatball bigger than a half-inch or so, it might end up cold in the middle when you reheat it.

How To Freeze Spaghetti And Meatballs

You’re in luck if you have leftover spaghetti and meatballs that you’re trying to freeze. This dish is one of the easiest to freeze. Plus, reheating is a breeze! Even better, reheated spaghetti and meatballs taste just as delicious if you follow these steps.

1.  Cool 

Before you embark on your leftover saving journey, make sure that your spaghetti with meatballs is completely cooled to either room temperature or below. Residual moisture from the steam can increase the odds of freezer burn. You want to make sure there is no visible steam when your spaghetti is stirred.

To speed up the cooling process, feel free to pop your spaghetti with meatballs into the refrigerator to sit for a few minutes. It is ok if it gets a little colder than room temperature, it will still freeze well.

2.  Store

The most important part of freezing your spaghetti with meatballs is deciding what to store it in. To preserve flavor, consistency, and general experience, you need to choose wisely when choosing a container. The absolute best option for freezing spaghetti and meatballs is to use a vacuum sealer.

You can store spaghetti in a plastic bag, mixed or unmixed, and then vacuum seal around it. Vacuum sealing is the best way to preserve food that you want to reheat one day.

However, not everyone has a vacuum sealer, and luckily with spaghetti and meatballs, it’s not as important to have one. You can simply store your spaghetti with meatballs in a plastic sealable bag. Feel free to portion by using smaller or larger bags as you see fit. Be sure to try to remove as much air as possible from the bag before you seal and place it in the freezer.

When freezing spaghetti and meatballs with sauce, make sure you leave room in your storage container. The sauce will expand upon freezing and if your container is too full it might break.

The last option for storage is a plastic, glass, or metal container. Anything from a mason jar to a casserole dish in size can be used to freeze spaghetti with meatballs. Kind of awesome, huh?

3. Freeze

Once you have your spaghetti with meatballs in its designated container or containers, your last step is to freeze it. It’s best to use a deep freezer that is rarely opened for optimal results. However, spaghetti with meatballs is very adaptable to freezing so don’t stress about this too much.

If you used a plastic bag as your storage container, it would be wise to lay it down flat on a plate or a shelf when placing it in your freezer. This will make it easier to reheat later.

How Long Can You Freeze Spaghetti With Meatballs?

Sources say you can keep frozen spaghetti with meatballs anywhere from 2 to 6 months after freezing. From experience, it can last much longer than that and retain quality fairly well. I’ve eaten frozen spaghetti that spent a year in the freezer and it tasted great. But, it’s best to be safe and stick with eating your frozen spaghetti and meatballs within 6 months of freezing.

However, it might taste great in a year with the right conditions. No matter how long you store it, as long as your freezer stays cold the whole time, it will be safe for you to reheat and eat. That’s the beauty of the freezer!

How To Thaw Spaghetti And Meatballs?

Thawing and reheating spaghetti and meatballs is incredibly easy. There are two ways to reheat your frozen spaghetti with meatballs.

Oven

You can thaw and reheat frozen spaghetti and meatballs from frozen by placing them in an oven. Preheat your oven to 400°F and place spaghetti with meatballs in a baking dish covered with foil. Put your spaghetti into the oven and let it cook for 30 minutes. Then stir and return to oven for another 30 minutes.

Be sure to check your spaghetti periodically as it cooks for the last 30 minutes. Feel free to add some cheese or other toppings and enjoy!

Stove-Top

You can also thaw your spaghetti with meatballs overnight in the refrigerator then reheat in a pot on the stove over medium-low heat. Using this technique will allow you to add in more sauce if the spaghetti starts to look drier than you prefer.

Microwave

If you’re able to thaw your spaghetti with meatballs before reheating, you can also use the microwave to reheat it. Put spaghetti and meatballs in a microwave-safe bowl and wrap with plastic wrap. This allows for moisture to be retained in the dish rather than released. Heat for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Sometimes the microwave will cause the spaghetti with meatballs to get dry. If this happens, you can add more sauce and return to the microwave for 30 seconds. If you don’t have more sauce, you can add a small amount of water but be sure not to add too much water. It’s easier to add more water than it is to recover from adding too much water.

Final Thoughts

From storage to reheating, freezing spaghetti with meatballs is easy and adaptable. There are certain things you can do to preserve more flavor, a better consistency, and a more enjoyable experience. Nevertheless, spaghetti with meatballs is one of those dishes that hold up to just about everything.

You can freeze spaghetti noodles and meatballs along with the sauce altogether. You can freeze just meatballs and sauce with the noodles separately. Or, you can separate all of the ingredients when freezing. You can use plastic bags, metal containers, or a mason jar for storage when freezing your spaghetti and meatballs.

Moreover, you can reheat and thaw spaghetti and meatballs using various techniques, and just about all of them taste delicious. The options are endless and no matter how you choose to freeze spaghetti with meatballs, it will be easy and taste great.

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