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May 8, 2008 03:44 AM

Will Spaghetti and Meatballs Freeze Well?

Any hints on doing this? Going to be cooking for my father-in-law and I know he loves this. I'm just not sure that this won't be mush when it is microwaved. Oh, yes it has to be microwaved to work for him.

Thank you!

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  1. Meatballs freeze well, as does spaghetti sauce. Cooked spaghetti, not so much. Is it possible just to let him microwave the meatballs and boil the spaghetti himself? Or if you're serving, to boil it yourself on the day?

    3 Replies
    1. re: Kagey

      He's 92 and seriously never cooked anything. We've got the microwaving thing down with him and I just don't want to have him boiling things. My mother-in-law recently died. So I'm trying to keep his freezer filled and he really appreciates this. Other then the non cooking issues....he still golfs 18 holes and goes into his law practice 3 times a week and out to dinner with friends. We should all make it to 92 and be like him! I'm just trying to make as many things that he loves to have on hand in his freezer.

      1. re: DaisyM

        In your shoes, I might actually try undercooking the pasta before freezing. The truth is, cooked spaghetti is edible. It's just not going to have the ideal texture. But I wonder if it would come out better if it weren't all the way done in the first place. Might be worth a try.

        1. re: Kagey

          i agree. it won't be ideal texture, will be ok, imo. test it out yourself.

          boiling water for pasta is not such an easy deal for such an elderly person, either.

    2. I would suggest that you freeze the meatballs and the sauce. As for the pasta, he can cook that directly in the microwave in some water. My mom always uses the microwave for cooking potatoes, pasta, noodles, etc. Another idea is one of those pasta cookers that you fill with boiling water and it cooks the pasta for you. He could boil the water in a tea kettle or in the microwave then add to the cooker. They are very inexpensive at the stores now that the rush is over. There are also electric devices that heat up the water for you too.

      Hope this helps

      1 Reply
      1. re: Smileelisa

        How about lasagne instead? That freezes and microwaves just fine.

      2. im not sure this would work, as i have never tried it but you might be able to freeze it all together in a vacuum sealed bag, like from a seal a meal

        just thinking outloud here

        4 Replies
        1. re: thew

          I have saved leftover pasta this way rather than throw it out. It may not be quite as good as freshly made, but workable. I would undercook it and vacuum seal it with the sauce and meatballs.

          1. re: karykat

            i think this would be best, too!

            1. re: alkapal

              I make instant meals that I freeze all the time. Barely cook the spaghetti and it comes out fine. I put a serving of the sauce in a food saver bag first and freeze that. Then put the barely cooked spaghetti in a colander and let it drain dry. Then put a serving in the bag on top of the frozen sauce and vacuum seal. Then freeze. 5-10 minutes in the microwave with the top of the bag snipped and it's ready. The steam from the sauce heating cooks the spaghetti a bit more and it comes out fine. Also it stays good in the freezer for 6-8 months. My freezer at work is full of all kinds of vacuum sealed meals like this.

        2. There are gadgets out there specifically for cooking pasta in microwaves. I've seen them at Walmart and Bed bath and Beyond. Never used one but it could solve the cooking pasta separately problem.

          3 Replies
          1. re: morwen

            I think I'll go with the lasagne idea. Thank you!

            1. re: DaisyM

              I make a lot of pasta "casseroles" (for lack of a better word) to keep in my freezer and pull out for my kids to eat during the week.

              Things like baked ziti or penne with ground beef or turkey sausage. Sometimes I add broccoli or peas. There are lots of variations that I've done. I freeze them in portions that will be a dinner for my 2 kids. It works really well.

              I don't have my recipes/list in front of me, but if you want some specific ideas, I'd be happy to post them.

            2. re: morwen

              those micro pasta makers seem like they'd give you a really starchy pasta!

              plus, at age 92, handling a large hot container of water when removing from the micro is not a good idea...

              per valerie, i agree that the short pastas do better than long if freezing..

            3. That is really good idea about penne with ground beef! That will really work. Yes, I don't want him to deal with boiling water. I just shudder at the thought of what might happen. You don't realize that when someone has NEVER cooked...even microwaving is a foreign concept. I don't even want to tell you the problems we had with him not throwing out food in the fridge that was no longer good. He never dealt with it before and seriously didn't know. My husband is a gastroenterologist and almost had a heart attack when he saw the expiration dates on stuff he was still eating!

              1 Reply
              1. re: DaisyM

                my mom is 86. a depression kid. they hold on to food! and being elderly, they don't have the energy to deal with -- typically -- cooking for one. then they eat junk food when they get up from their nap, and aren't hungry for supper.....and this can lead to malnutrition.

                you are doing a good thing in freezing the meals....just have to double check that he is actually eating them.