Whether it’s a snack, a side dish, or the main course of your meal, meatballs are a great choice because they they are easy to make at home and at the same time delicious. There is no such thing as too many meatballs because you can freeze them for later.
What is the best way to reheat meatballs? The best way to reheat meatballs is by using the stovebut oven and the instant pot They are also good alternatives. If you feel like something different, you can also use the microwave wave air fryer.
The best ways to reheat meatballs
The classic meatballs are made with minced meat, eggs, breadcrumbs, and a few herbs and seasonings. Each house has its own recipe and they are all delicious, especially if you have an Italian nonna.
Although they look similar, they should not be confused with falafel, which is another type of ball-shaped snack in Middle Eastern cuisine that can be considered a vegetarian alternative to meatballs.
In the Italian tradition, leftover meatballs are expected because you can make a big batch at once and then freeze some to cook later in the week or month. But you can also let the cooked meatballs rest in the fridge to reheat them the next day.
The main thing to consider when reheating homemade meatballs is whether or not they have sauce, in fact meatballs with sauce require gentler reheating.
So if you’re not sure how to reheat meatballs, don’t worry because we’ve put together a list of the 5 best ways to reheat meatballs, starting with the best.
How to reheat meatballs on the stove
The stovetop is the best way to reheat fully cooked meatballs and sauce, but it’s also a great way to reheat frozen meatballs. Basically, the stovetop is the method to go when you’re not sure how to reheat meatballs, because the results are terrific anyway.
The secret to reheating meatballs on the stovetop lies in how gentle this cooking method is for both the meatballs and the sauce.
For the same reason, this method is actually slower compared to the other ways that we will explain below, so arm yourself with a little patience.
If you’re going to reheat frozen meatballs, the first thing you should do is take them out of the freezer a few hours ahead of time. Alternatively, you can use the microwave to defrost them quickly.
Here are the steps to reheat meatballs in the kitchen:
- Prepare a nonstick skillet of the right size for your meatballs. It would be better if there was a bit of space between the meatballs, but the pan doesn’t have to be too big.
- It is not necessary to preheat the pan, but if you prefer to do so, then preheat it on low heat for a couple of minutes, no more.
- Pour the meatballs and their sauce into the pan.
- Cook over low heat, being careful to move the meatballs regularly and stir the sauce at the same time.
- (Optional) Cover the pan with a lid.
- This method will require at least 20 minutes. If the sauce starts to boil, lower the heat and continue reheating until the meatballs are fully cooked.
- Turn off the heat and serve.
Although it is the slowest method, it is also the one that will guarantee the best results, as it ensures that the meatballs are heated through, keeping the sauce as delicious as when you first made it.
How to reheat meatballs in the oven
Don’t have time to keep an eye on your meatballs and continually stir the sauce? You can reheat meatballs without sauce in the oven, but keep in mind that this method will also take some time.
For obvious reasons, you can’t reheat meatballs with sauce or gravy in the oven, so this method is limited to certain recipes. However, it ensures that your meatballs are heated through very gradually, which is the best way to achieve the perfect result and flavor.
Here are the steps to reheat meatballs in the oven:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Extremely high temperatures risk turning the outer shell of your meatballs into a burnt crust.
- Place the meatballs on a baking sheet or in a casserole dish. Leave some space between them and don’t stack them on top of each other, as they should cook evenly on all sides.
- Cover them with aluminum foil to prevent them from drying out.
- Put them in the oven and let them heat up slowly for about 15 minutes. The more meatballs you put in at a time, the longer the cooking time will be. 15 minutes should be enough for a small batch.
- (Optional) After 7-8 minutes, open the oven and move the meatballs around so they reheat evenly.
- After 15 minutes, do a taste test to see if they’ve heated up well. If you have a kitchen thermometer, you can check the internal temperature of the meatballs. They should be 165 degrees, especially if you’re reheating chicken meatballs.
- Keep them in the oven longer if the internal temperature is too low or you think they haven’t reheated enough, but check every 3-5 minutes as they could burn quickly.
- Take them out and serve them.
Do you only need to prepare a very small portion and reheating meatballs in the oven seems like a waste of time and electricity? If you have an Instant Pot, you can try using one of the various reheating options this kitchen appliance offers.
How to Reheat Meatballs in the Instant Pot
Instant Pots are becoming more and more popular among cookers, because they are not only designed for pressure cooking, but they can offer a wide variety of functions and therefore help you cook, heat, sauté, steam and reheat your food.
With your Instant Pot, you can also reheat frozen meatballs right from the freezer. As? Well basically it’s like cooking them from scratch.
Here are the steps to reheat meatballs in the Instant Pot:
- If you are reheating uncooked frozen meatballs, pour all the necessary ingredients into the pot. If you are reheating cooked meatballs, pour the meatballs and sauce into the pot.
- Add ¾ cup of water.
- Mix everything so that the sauce covers the meatballs.
- Cover the Instant Pot with the lid (glass is best).
- Press the steam button.
- Put the pressure on High for 5 minutes.
- Do the quick release, open the lid and serve.
As you can see, reheating meatballs in the Instant Pot is really quick and easy, so it’s the ideal method when you’re in a hurry, or if you suddenly have guests over and want to treat them to a fabulous appetizer, for example.
How to reheat meatballs in the air fryer
Air frying isn’t the first thing you think of when you want to reheat meatballs, nor is it the most conventional method. But if you don’t have an Instant Pot and you’re running late, this is a good method that works.
You can’t reheat meatballs with gravy in the air fryer, but any other type of meatball is fine. You can use your air fryer or the microwave option if you have a 4-in-1 appliance.
Here are the steps to reheat meatballs in the air fryer:
- Preheat air fryer to 350-400 degrees for 5 minutes.
- Place the meatballs in the air fryer basket, making sure there is little space between them so they heat evenly.
- Cook for 7-10 minutes at 350-400 degrees.
- (Optional) Cook another 2 minutes if you want to give it a crispy finish.
- (Optional) Heat the sauce separately on the stove and pour it over the meatballs.
- Place them on a platter and enjoy.
You may not believe it, but you can really get great results by reheating meatballs in the air fryer, so if you are short on time you can give it a try. After all, when you’re out of options, the air fryer will always be a better option than the microwave.
How to reheat meatballs in the microwave
Can meatballs be reheated in the microwave? Of course. But should you? Well, let’s say that if you are in a hurry and the alternative is not to eat, the microwave can be a good option.
Not that the microwave ruins the meatballs, but there are many other options that would probably give you better and more appetizing results. But if you don’t care about the details and just want to reheat your meatballs quickly, the microwave is the method for you!
Here are the steps to reheat meatballs in the microwave:
- Cut the meatballs into small pieces, so they heat more evenly inside and out. Unless you have an inverter microwave, this is a necessary step.
- Place them on a microwave-safe plate.
- (Optional) If you are reheating the meatballs without sauce, cover them with a damp cloth to prevent them from drying out.
- For the medium 1000 watt microwave, reheat on medium heat for about 1 minute.
- Check if they have reheated well to the bottom. If not, keep heating over medium heat until done.
- Take them out and serve them.
Can the meatballs be reheated?
Not only can you reheat the meatballs, but you have plenty of options to make your dish delicious and flavorful again.
When you want to reheat the meatballs with sauce, your best options are the stove and the Instant Pot, to preserve the sauce and all its flavor. In general, the best way to reheat meatballs is in a skillet on the stovetop, because it’s slow and mild on both the meat and the sauce.
To reheat meatballs without sauce, in addition to the two previous options, you can also use the oven and the air fryer. The oven is by far the best way to reheat dumplings without sauce.
When you’re in a pinch or really hungry, the fastest way to reheat meatballs is to use the microwave. If you’re reheating meatballs without sauce, cover them with a damp cloth so they don’t get too dry.
So there you go, now you know the best ways to reheat meatballs, ranked from slowest to fastest. You just have to choose the one you like best and prepare a fantastic meal for you and your family.