‘The Pioneer Woman’: Ree Drummond’s Tex Mex Meatballs Recipe Is ‘Incredibly Flavorful’

Ree Drummond loves an easy freezer-friendly meatballs recipe and her Tex Mex meatballs are a perfect example of that. The Pioneer Woman star cooks a big batch of meatballs, freezes them, then uses them later for a variety of meals.

Ree Drummond looks on smiling while wearing a pink top
Ree Drummond | Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Ree Drummond shared a ‘frugal tip’ for her easy meatballs recipe

Drummond demonstrated how to make her meatballs recipe on an episode of The Pioneer Woman dedicated to making cheap and easy meals. “I have a big old family pack of ground beef and I’m getting ready to turn it into Tex Mex meatballs,” she said. “They are incredibly flavorful, absolutely versatile. I love making them whenever I have a bunch of ground beef to use.”

She seasoned the beef with salt and pepper, then added whole milk, eggs, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, cilantro, and bread crumbs. “A little bit of a frugal tip. I’ve got some bread,” she said. “It was very, very stale, on its last leg. So I crumbled it up into tiny bits.”

Drummond explained how making meatballs and freezing them opens up a lot of future meal possibilities. “These meatballs are great because I’m going to make a big batch, cook them, and then they’ll be in the freezer for whenever I need them,” she explained. “You can use these for the most amazing dinners. You will not believe what these will turn into.”

Drummond cooked the meatballs and offered her tips for freezing

Drummond mixed everything together with her hands and used a kitchen scoop to grab portions of the meat then formed them into balls. She stuffed each meatball with a cube of pepper jack cheese. “Yes, these are cheese-filled Tex-Mex meatballs,” she said. “That’s part of why they are so delicious and so popular in the Drummond house. Cheese is the universal language in our family, for sure.”

The Food Network host placed the meatballs on sheet pans and put them in the freezer for 15 minutes “so they’re nice and firm when I cook them.”

She explained, “Freezing the meatballs for just a little bit before you cook them just helps them stay together. After you mix together that meat mixture, it’s a little bit soft. So this sort of gives you a little bit of a headstart.”

Drummond placed the meatballs in a skillet with hot oil and cooked them in several batches, 5 to 7 minutes per batch. Then she drained them on a paper towel-lined plate, allowed the meatballs to cool, and put them in the freezer.

“These are such delightful little things to have in the freezer,” she said. “When you need to warm them up and serve them, you just put them in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes and they’ll be just right.”

‘The Pioneer Woman’ star’s meatballs can be used in a number of meals

Drummond offered her three favorite ways to use the meatballs. “First, over rice,” she said. “This is easy — it’s rice, meatballs, some salsa, some sour cream, chopped cilantro, a wedge of lime. And dinner is served in no time.”

She continued, explaining how to serve the meatballs in tacos. “For this, you put shredded lettuce on a soft, warm tortilla, top it with meatballs, grated cheddar, and some pico de gallo,” Drummond explained. “Then fold it and it’s as easy as that.”

The Pioneer Woman star added, “Then, for a final idea — meatball appetizers. Pile them onto a platter, add a bowl of guacamole, some toothpicks, a bunch of cilantro for garnish, and they’re all ready for the party. These are very popular.”

The full recipe is available on the Food Network website.

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