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Home Canned Meatballs Recipe

Home Canned Meatballs Recipe

Home Canned Meatballs
Home Canned Meatballs / shutterstock

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In a culinary landscape dominated by fast food and instant meals, there’s something undeniably comforting about homemade dishes, especially those preserved through traditional methods. Among these treasures of gastronomy is the beloved meatball. Simple yet versatile, meatballs transcend cultures and cuisines, offering a hearty and satisfying bite. Today, we embark on a journey to preserve this culinary gem through the time-honored practice of home canning, ensuring that the taste of homemade goodness can be enjoyed long after it’s prepared.

Choosing the Right Ingredients: The key to delicious home canned meatballs lies in selecting the finest ingredients. Begin with high-quality ground meat, such as beef, pork, or a combination of both, ensuring a balance of lean and fatty cuts for optimal flavor and texture. Additions such as breadcrumbs, eggs, herbs, and spices not only enhance the taste but also contribute to the binding and moisture retention of the meatballs. Don’t shy away from experimenting with different flavor profiles to suit your preferences, whether it’s a classic Italian seasoning or a spicy twist with chili flakes and cumin.

The Canning Process: Canning meatballs requires careful attention to hygiene and safety to prevent the risk of foodborne illnesses. Start by preparing your canning jars and lids according to manufacturer instructions, ensuring they are clean and sterilized. Shape the meat mixture into uniform meatballs, then brown them in a skillet to enhance their flavor before transferring them to the sterilized jars. Fill the jars with the meatballs, leaving appropriate headspace, and cover them with a flavorful broth or sauce of your choice, ensuring all air bubbles are removed. Finally, process the jars in a pressure canner according to USDA guidelines to ensure proper sealing and preservation.

Preserving Memories in Every Jar: As the pressure canner hisses and the tantalizing aroma of simmering meatballs fills the kitchen, there’s a sense of satisfaction in knowing that you’re preserving more than just food. With each jar sealed, you’re capturing memories of shared meals and cherished traditions, ready to be enjoyed at a moment’s notice or shared with loved ones near and far. Whether it’s a comforting bowl of spaghetti and meatballs on a rainy day or a quick sandwich for a busy weekday lunch, the taste of home canned meatballs transcends mere sustenance, evoking a sense of warmth and nostalgia with every bite.

Here’s a simple and delicious recipe for home canned meatballs:


For the Meatballs:

  • 2 pounds ground meat (beef, pork, or a combination)
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Canning:

  • 4 cups beef or chicken broth
  • 2 cups tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Prepare the Meatballs:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground meat, breadcrumbs, eggs, minced garlic, Parmesan cheese, parsley, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper.
    • Use your hands to mix the ingredients until well combined.
    • Shape the mixture into uniform meatballs, about 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter. Set aside.
  2. Brown the Meatballs:
    • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
    • Working in batches, brown the meatballs on all sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. This step adds flavor to the meatballs.
    • Once browned, remove the meatballs from the skillet and set aside.
  3. Prepare the Sauce:
    • In the same skillet, add diced onion and minced garlic. Cook until softened and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
    • Add the beef or chicken broth and tomato sauce (or crushed tomatoes) to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    • Bring the sauce to a simmer and let it cook for 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  4. Pack the Jars:
    • Sterilize your canning jars and lids according to manufacturer instructions.
    • Carefully pack the browned meatballs into the sterilized jars, leaving about 1 inch of headspace at the top.
    • Pour the hot sauce over the meatballs, ensuring they are completely submerged in the liquid. Remove any air bubbles with a clean utensil.
  5. Canning Process:
    • Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp cloth to ensure a proper seal.
    • Place the lids on the jars and tighten the bands until fingertip tight.
    • Process the jars in a pressure canner according to USDA guidelines for your altitude. Typically, pint jars of meatballs are processed at 11 pounds of pressure for 75 minutes (for altitudes up to 1,000 feet).
    • Once the processing time is complete, turn off the heat and allow the pressure canner to depressurize naturally before opening.
  6. Enjoy Your Home Canned Meatballs:
    • Once cooled, store the canned meatballs in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.
    • To serve, simply heat the meatballs and sauce in a saucepan or microwave until warmed through.
    • Enjoy your delicious homemade meatballs as a standalone dish, with pasta, on sandwiches, or in soups and stews.

With this recipe, you can savor the flavors of homemade meatballs anytime, anywhere, preserving the taste of tradition with each jar. Happy canning and bon appétit!

In Conclusion: Home canned meatballs are more than just a convenient pantry staple; they’re a testament to the timeless art of preserving culinary traditions. By embracing the practice of home canning, we not only ensure the availability of wholesome, homemade meals but also celebrate the joys of cooking and sharing with those we hold dear. So, gather your ingredients, fire up the stove, and embark on a culinary adventure that promises to delight the senses and nourish the soul—one meatball at a time.

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