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Using frozen meatballs in spaghetti

I just picked up some frozen meatballs from Trader Joes and I'm wondering what is the best way to add them to my spaghetti. Should I pan fry them first or just add them to the sauce as is and let them cook?

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  1. Definitely pan fry them first. I've been known to throw them in from time to time - the kiddos love them and I just don't have the time to make them from scratch during the week.

    Costco has pretty good ones as well.

      1. Dissenting opinion here: I never pan fry my meatballs. Sometimes I freeze my own, then add them to the sauce as it simmers.

        1. Aren't they already cooked? I can see pan-frying them before they are cooked, but why would you need to pan-fry them if they are cooked already?

          I always just heat cooked frozen meatballs in sauce.

          1. i would just throw in the sauce.

            1. Definately pan fry them, it seems to add a crust that flavors the sauce.

              1. Gosh, because they are already cooked I just have simmered them in sauce.

                1. If they're cooked already just toss them in the sauce. Even then, it's awful pan frying frozen food; the moisture never goes away and it makes all sorts of messes.

                  1. mariannas, how did you fix them? are they good? does tj have more than one type of meatball?

                    1. My frozen meatballs are fully cooked. I heat them in the oven in an iron skillet. If they were uncooked, I would do the same, but for a longer time. I wouldn't cook a meatball in the sauce, because it might be underdone.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: GH1618

                        I do the same thing, my biggest cast iron frying pan in the oven. No splatters, they get a nice brown crust, then I drop them into the sauce to simmer and blend flavors.

                      2. When I buy commercial frozen turkey meatballs, I thaw them first in the microwave, then just toss them into pasta sauce to heat through. They're already cooked, so pan-frying is pretty much a waste of time & will most likely just make them tough.