reheating meatballs

3 Best Ways To Reheat Meatballs Without Drying Them Out

Meatballs are the true representative of comfort foods. This classic dish is tasty, full of flavors, and fulfilling. You can enjoy them with various side dishes and with or without gravy. Everyone certainly gets their favorite way.

The great thing about meatballs is that they can be prepared with various meats, such as beef, pork, turkey, chicken, lamb, and even fish. No wonder this dish has its local adaptation in every cuisine across the world.

If you want to have this wonderful dish during the week, it makes sense to prepare a big batch on the weekend and keep some for later. This way, you can pull off a tasty meal on your busy weekdays.

So, how do you reheat meatballs, so they taste as flavorful as ever?

We got you covered! We have compiled three easy ways to warm up meatballs for your quick meals any time of the day, so keep reading!

How To Reheat Meatballs Safely

As with other foods, you have a few options on how you want to reheat leftover meatballs. You can quickly heat them in an oven, microwave, or skillet.

For frozen pieces, you can thaw them out in the fridge or directly heat them in a skillet. No matter which reheating method you choose, it is crucial to reheat them to a safe temperature of 165 F to kill harmful bacteria. (*)

How To Heat Up Meatballs In A Microwave

Reheating leftovers in a microwave is always the fastest and most straightforward option. Although it doesn’t always work out for every leftover, luckily, meatballs can be warmed up pretty well in a microwave.

This method works perfectly for a small or single portion. One last thing, if the balls are large, don’t hesitate to cut them into half, so they can be heated up thoroughly to the center.

Here is how to heat meatballs in a microwave.

  • 1. Cut them into half or pieces if they are too big.
  • 2. Place them in a microwave-safe container. If they were in an aluminum foil bowl, transfer them to a bowl or a plate. Keep in mind that aluminum foil is never microwave-safe.
  • 3. Cover with a damp paper towel to help retain the moisture.
  • 4. Microwave for 1 to 2 minutes on medium power.
  • 5. Check whether they are fully warmed up. If not, continue reheating for 10 to 15 seconds intervals until they are thoroughly heated to 165 F.
  • 6. Finally, take them out and serve!

How To Reheat Meatballs On A Stovetop

Reheating on a stovetop is perfect if you want to serve the dish with gravy or sauce. It takes longer than microwaving, but it is certainly worth the wait.

You can also reheat frozen meatballs without thawing them in advance. If the gravy/ sauce becomes less thick because of excess water from the melted ice, add more gravy and seasoning to taste.

Here is how you should do it:

  • 1. In a large pan, combine meatballs and gravy.
  • 2. Cook over low heat until thoroughly warmed up for about 10 to 15 minutes. For a larger portion, add more cooking time. Just be careful not to overcook them, subsequently dry them out.
  • 3. Serve!

How To Reheat Frozen Meatballs In An Oven

Your oven is an excellent choice to reheat meatballs without gravy or sauce.

  • 1. Preheat your oven to 300 to 350 F.
  • 2. Place the pieces in a single layer on an oven-safe dish.
  • 3. Cover with aluminum foil to trap moisture inside, so the meat won’t dry out.
  • 4. Bake for approximately 10 to 15 minutes for small portions. Cook longer for reheating more pieces.
  • 5. Once ready, take them out and serve!


Can you reheat meatballs twice?

Yes. As long as they are properly stored, they can be reheated as many times as you need. Just a side note, the flavor, and texture won’t be the same because the quality degrades after reheating. Thus, it is best to heat up only as much as you need to preserve the delicious taste. (*)

Can you leave meatballs in the sauce overnight?

No. Meatballs are perishable food and should be kept refrigerated within 1 to 2 hours after cooking. Otherwise, harmful bacteria will grow and make the dish unsafe to eat. (*)

Can I eat 6-day old meatballs?

Leftover meatballs are generally safe to eat for 3 to 4 days if properly refrigerated. Some harmful bacteria can thrive and grow at a slower rate in the refrigerator. They don’t necessarily alter the taste, smell, and look of your food. So, if leftovers have been sitting for too long in the fridge, it is best to throw them out. (*)

Can you freeze meatballs?

Absolutely yes. Pack the meatballs in a freezer-safe container or a heavy-duty freezer bag. Expel as much air as possible out of the bag, seal it tightly, label the package, and freeze for up to 3 to 4 months for the best quality.

Take Away Messages

Meatballs are typical family dishes adored by kids and adults. It is common to prepare them in bulk and store them for future meals.

When it comes to reheating meatballs, you have a few options depending on the portions and how you want to serve them – with or without sauce or gravy.

Regardless of the reheating technique, make sure they are thoroughly reheated to 165 F. Check our detailed instructions on how you can reheat meatballs safely and keep them juicy and tasty!

See more: What To Serve With Meatballs

*image by serezniy/depositphotos

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