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Can I freeze leftover Swedish meatballs?

Yes, you can absolutely freeze leftover Swedish meatballs. Freezing is a great way to preserve leftover meatballs and make them last longer.

Should you freeze leftover Swedish meatballs?

Freezing leftover Swedish meatballs is highly recommended. It allows you to:

  • Prevent waste – Freezing leftovers prevents having to throw away uneaten meatballs that would otherwise spoil within 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
  • Save time – Having frozen meatballs on hand means you can quickly reheat them for meals or snacks instead of having to make them from scratch.
  • Lock in flavor – Freezing helps retain the flavor of homemade meatballs.
  • Extend shelf life – Properly frozen, leftover meatballs can be kept frozen for 2-3 months.

So if you have leftover meatballs that you won’t be able to eat within 3-4 days, freezing them makes good sense.

How to freeze Swedish meatballs

Follow these simple steps for freezing Swedish meatballs:

  1. Let the cooked meatballs cool completely – Meatballs need to be completely cooled before freezing, otherwise they will freeze into a solid block.
  2. Portion into freezer bags – Place individual meatballs or portions of meatballs in freezer bags or airtight containers. This prevents them from freezing together in a clump.
  3. Remove air – Squeeze out as much air as possible and seal the freezer bags.
  4. Label and date – Label the bags with contents and freeze-by date (2-3 months from freezing date).
  5. Freeze flat – Lay the bags flat in a single layer in the freezer. This allows them to freeze faster.
  6. Once frozen, you can stack the bags or store upright to save space.

Tips for best results

  • Freeze meatballs in single layers on a baking sheet first, then transfer to bags. This prevents them from freezing together in a block.
  • Undercook meatballs slightly before freezing. They will finish cooking when reheated.
  • Use freezer-grade storage bags which are thicker and prevent freezer burn.
  • For longer shelf life, double wrap bags or place in rigid airtight freezer containers.
  • Avoid overfilling bags, leave some headspace for expansion during freezing.

How to reheat frozen Swedish meatballs

There are several easy ways to reheat your frozen Swedish meatballs:

  • Oven – Place frozen meatballs on a baking sheet and bake at 400°F for 15-20 minutes until heated through.
  • Skillet – Add a bit of oil or butter to a non-stick skillet and cook frozen meatballs over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  • Microwave – Microwave frozen meatballs on a microwave-safe dish in 30 second increments, until heated through.
  • Slow cooker – Add frozen meatballs to a slow cooker with sauce ingredients and cook on Low setting for 3-4 hours.
  • Steam – Add frozen meatballs to a steamer basket and steam for 8-10 minutes until heated through.

Check that meatballs are piping hot and cooked through. Meatballs may be drier after reheating, so serve with gravy or sauce.

Can you refreeze thawed Swedish meatballs?

It is not recommended to refreeze thawed or previously frozen meatballs. Refreezing can dry out the texture and impact the flavor and quality of meatballs.

However, if the meatballs were thawed in the refrigerator (not left out at room temperature), then refreezing is possible with some precautions:

  • Refreeze within 1-2 days of thawing if the meatballs were kept properly chilled in the refrigerator.
  • Refreeze in an airtight freezer bag or container, removing as much air as possible.
  • Refreeze quickly – do not leave thawed meatballs at room temperature.
  • Label bag with new freeze date and use within 2 months.
  • When reheating, cook thoroughly to 165°F internal temperature.

Ideally thawed meatballs are best to cook and eat immediately. Only refreeze if absolutely necessary.

Storage chart for Swedish meatballs

Storage Method Shelf Life
Refrigerator (freshly cooked) 3-4 days
Freezer (airtight bag) 2-3 months
Thawed and refrigerated 1-2 days


Freezing is an easy, convenient way to preserve leftover homemade Swedish meatballs. With proper freezing methods, portioning, and storage, frozen meatballs can retain their taste and texture for 2-3 months. Thawed meatballs should be consumed within 1-2 days and reheated fully to 165°F before eating. Following these guidelines will allow you to cut down on waste and always have tasty Swedish meatballs ready to enjoy!