This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Carando®. All opinions are entirely my own.
Have you ever tried batch cooking? If you have, you know that it’s a great way to save time and serve your family delicious meals with less stress.
Years ago, when I only had two children, I used to batch cook about twice a month and it was amazing. When I became a single mom, that convenience went out the window but I have always wanted to go back to it. Now, I finally have the time once again to batch cook and I’m loving it!
Today, I’m going to share three meals with you that I made with meatballs. Prep time is less than an hour. One recipe is made in the slow cooker and the other two are made in the oven. The two oven meals can be dinners or lunches, whichever you prefer.
When Inspiration Hit
I was shopping at my local Giant Eagle this past Sunday, and I was in the fresh meat deli section when I spotted Carando Abruzzese Italian Style Meatballs.
I chose them because there is no MSG, they’re gluten-free, have no fillers, and are made from premium pork. Look at that picture above. Aren’t they beautiful?
Carando Meatballs Sicilian is the other flavor option and next time, those will be the ones I’ll try.
Now, back to my shopping. I bought five packages of the Carando Abruzzese Italian Style Meatballs and the other ingredients I needed for my batch cooking extravaganza. Right now, you can save $1 on Carando Meatball products by heading here.
First, cook the meatballs according to the directions on the package (super easy process…less than 20 minutes total) and then keep them away from your family.
My husband and one of my sons insisted on tasting the meatballs before I started allocating them for recipes, so I gave in and let them have one each, and I needed a taste as well, just because. The taste was wonderful with a depth of flavor that I knew would enhance my recipes.
I used four packages of meatballs to make three meals for 5 people. You can adjust the amount you need accordingly, but you can always save any leftover meatballs for another meal or even freeze to use in the future.
Batch Cooking – Meal Number One
Slow Cooker Spaghetti Casserole
24 baked Carando Abruzzese Meatballs
1 medium onion chopped
1 (24-ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
½ cup butter
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
½ cup milk
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 (16-ounce) box of spaghetti, broken in half
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1. Melt butter in a large skillet; add onions and sauté until onions are tender. Whisk in flour until smooth.
2. Add evaporated milk and regular milk cooking over medium heat whisking constantly until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese.
3. Place half of the meatballs on the bottom of a lightly greased slow cooker pot. Cover with one-third of the spaghetti sauce. Top with one-half of the spaghetti. Pour half of the white sauce over the spaghetti noodles. Top with ½ of the cheddar cheese. Repeat layers once.
4. Cover and cook on low heat for 4 hours.
5. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
- 24 baked Carando Abruzzese Meatballs
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 (24-ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
- ½ cup milk
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 (16-ounce) box of spaghetti, broken in half
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Melt butter in a large skillet; add onions and sauté until onions are tender. Whisk in flour until smooth.
- Add evaporated milk and regular milk cooking over medium heat whisking constantly until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese.
- Place half of the meatballs on the bottom of a lightly greased slow cooker pot. Cover with one-third of the spaghetti sauce. Top with one half of the spaghetti. Pour half of the white sauce over the spaghetti noodles. Top with ½ of the cheddar cheese. Repeat layers once.
- Cover and cook on low heat for 4 hours.
- Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Batch Cooking – Meal Number Two
12 baked Carando Abruzzese Meatballs cut in half
1 can refrigerated thin pizza crust (the type that’s in a tube)
½ cup spaghetti sauce
1 cup mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese to sprinkle over sauce
1. Unroll pizza dough and press into a 10 x 15-inch cookie sheet.
2. Top with spaghetti sauce.
3. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
4. Top with meatballs.
5. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
Bake according to directions on pizza crust package.
Batch Cooking – Meal Number Three
1 loaf French bread cut into sixths and then cut in half
½ cup spaghetti sauce
12 baked Carando Abruzzese Meatballs
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1. Place bread on cookie sheet, open, and cover with spaghetti sauce.
2. Top with meatballs and cheese.
3. Close bread and bake at 375 degrees until cheese is melted, roughly 5 to 8 minutes.
And there you have it! Three meals that all started with one session of batch cooking using Carando Abruzzese Meatballs. I’m thinking ahead now to entertaining and I’ll be buying and making Carando Abruzzese Meatballs to have on hand for appetizers and more easy weeknight family meals.