Go Back

Make Ahead Meatballs

adapted from a recipe from the now-cancelled The Chew
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion peeled, halved, sliced 1/3-inch thick
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound Swiss chard trimmed, stems and leaves sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 cups coarse fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled, grated on a microplane
  • 2 tablespoons fresh marjoram chopped, or 2 teaspoons dried
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat a large saute pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, and Swiss chard and cover and cook for 5 minutes or until chard softens. Season with salt. Uncover, stir and cook, for 8 or 9 minutes longer, until chard is very tender. Set aside to cool. When cool, chop well and drain any excess liquid. (I often do this step in advance, especially if my produce box threatens to overtake my kitchen - the MUCH smaller cooked amount is easy to refrigerate or freeze).
  • In a small saute pan over medium heat, add the breadcrumbs and toast until deep brown but not burned. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add the chopped Swiss chard, beef, toasted breadcrumbs, milk, eggs, garlic, marjoram, salt, and pepper, and mix lightly with your hands until just combined. Form into golf-sized meatballs.
  • To cook now: Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until well browned, turning with tongs if necessary.
  • To cook later: Freeze meatballs on a baking sheet. Once firm, remove and place in a sealable bag or container. When ready to cook, remove desired number of meatballs from the freezer, and bake at 400 degrees on a lightly greased baking sheet for about 30 minutes, or until well browned, turning with tongs if necessary.


Serve with marinara sauce, on a sandwich, in chili sauce, or any other way you like!