How long do meatballs last in the fridge?

In this article, we will answer the question “How long do meatballs last in the fridge?”, how to store meatballs, how to defrost meatballs, how to reheat meatballs, and how to make meatballs.

How long do meatballs last in the fridge?

If stored properly, cooked or uncooked metaballs last 3-4 days in the fridge. Once cooked, let the meatballs come down to room temperature. Packing away warm meatballs and storing them in the refrigerator threatens the safety of the meatballs. 

To expedite the cooling, place the meatballs in a wide-mouthed container. Refrigerate within 2 hours of cooking. Do not leave the meatballs on the counter for more than 2 hours. If the outside temperature is over 90F, 1 hour is the maximum the meatballs can sit out. 

Toss the metaballs after 304 days of refrigeration. This is the maximum number of days the meatballs remain safe under correct storage conditions. Note that refrigeration temperatures only slow the proliferation of spoilage and harmful bacteria. It does not entirely stop the bacteria from growing. 

How to store meatballs? 

In the fridge 

Once cool, transfer the cooked meatballs, with or without sauce, to a Tupperware container. Make sure the container has a tight seal. 

Place the container near the back of the fridge, or wherever the ice tray is located inside your fridge. Because this is the coolest spot in a fridge where temperature fluctuations are minimal.

In the freezer 

Place the meatballs on a tray such that they are at an equal distance from each other. Flash freeze the meatballs. When the meatballs are frozen solid, put them in an air-tight container or a freezer-safe bag. 

The latter is a more space-friendly option. This method of freezing will ensure the meatballs do not stick to each other while freezing. If you opt for a freezer bag, make sure to squeeze out as much air as possible from the bag. 

Then label the bag and chuck it into the freezer. The same method is viable for both, meatballs with sauce and without sauce. 

How to defrost meatballs?

Always defrost the meatballs in the fridge overnight. Although time-consuming, it is the safest method. If you are strapped for time, consider defrosting meatballs in the microwave or a bowl full of cold water. 

For the latter method, make sure to put the meatballs in a leakproof freezer bag. For microwaving, use a microwave-safe dish or plate. Splash the meatballs with some water before defrosting in the microwave so that they heat up evenly and do not dry out. 

How to reheat meatballs?

If the meatballs were frozen without the sauce, throw them into the sauce while it is cooking. The meatballs will defrost while the sauce cooks. 

Reheat the meatballs with sauce on the stovetop over medium heat. Add a splash of water or meat stock to prevent the sauce from drying out. Alternatively, reheat the meatballs in the oven at 350 degrees until piping hot.

How to make meatballs?


  • 1/2 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground meat, such as beef, pork, turkey, chicken, or veal, or a mix
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion (or grated on the large holes of a box grater)
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced


  • Mixing bowls
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Grater
  • Rimmed baking sheet


  1. Stir the breadcrumbs in milk. While the breadcrumbs soak up the milk, mix egg, salt, pepper, Parmesan, and parsley in a mixing bowl.
  1. Mix the ground meat into the egg mixture until everything is thoroughly combined. Then mix in the onions, garlic, and soaked breadcrumbs.
  1. Take 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture and form it into a 1 1/2-inch meatball. Continue making the meatballs and place them on a rimmed baking sheet.
  1. Let the meatballs broil for 20 to 25 minutes, or roast at 400°F for 25 to 30 minutes. Check the doneness by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the meatballs. The meatballs are done if it reads 165F. The meatballs look nice and brown when cooked.
  1. Alternatively, you can cook the meatballs in your preferred sauce for about 30-35 minutes or until the thermometer reads 165F.


In this article, we answered the question “How long do meatballs last in the fridge?”, how to store meatballs, how to defrost meatballs, how to reheat meatballs, and how to make meatballs.


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