43 Favorite Meatball Appetizer Recipes For A Party (2024)

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posted by Gina Dickson on July 30, 2023

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Do you need easy party food? Meatballs are always a hit, and they are easy to make before it’s time for guests to arrive. Browse through these meatball appetizer recipes for a party, and pick out a few saucy wonders. They’re perfect for groups and budget-friendly!

Meatballs go with more than just marinara sauce. The possibilities are endless. I’ve collected all my favorite easy meatball appetizer recipes for your next party in one place!

43 Favorite Meatball Appetizer Recipes For A Party (1)

Along with great meatball recipes, I have also included simple tips for cooking meatballs to help you make the perfect tender meatball that is full of great flavor and holds together in your sauce.

After learning how to make the perfect meatball, scroll through the list of all the best meatball recipes I could find! Tap the recipe button to learn more and print the recipe card.

🎉 Party Meatballs

When it comes to planning parties, I’ve discovered quick and easy tips that will be helpful to you. I have some great budget-friendly meatball appetizer ideas for a party, such as a baby shower, engagement party, or birthday celebration. I like to serve meatballs as a hearty appetizer.

  • Meatball appetizers are easy to keep hot and serve no matter what size of party you are having.
  • Family-friendly appetizer that both kids and adults enjoy.
  • Meatballs are a freezer-friendly party food to keep on hand for last minute gatherings!

Meatballs are also great for Game Day Party food. You can stuff them into hoagies or serve them as bite-sized treats tossed in my bacon BBQ Sauce. They also work for holiday parties or any time you expect a crowd.

💰Budget-Friendly Tip: Because meatballs are made with ground meat, you can add them to a selection of other Budget-friendly Appetizer Ideas for a party that’s easy on the wallet. You can even serve them up for delicious budget-friendly meat for your weeknight dinner’s main course dish.

Tips For Making The Best Meatballs

With a few basic tips, you can cook delicious meatballs for your next party or dinner.

🤫 What’s the secret to tender meatballs?

  1. Add Moisture with Day-Old Bread: Include day-old bread soaked in milk or water in your meatball mixture. The soft bread will create a light and tender texture to your meatballs.
  2. Avoid Overcooking: When cooking ground beef, chicken, or pork meatballs, be be sure not to overcook them. Overcooking can lead to toughness, so keep a close eye on the cooking time to ensure your meatballs remain juicy and tender.
  3. To help keep meatballs from drying out, serve them in a sauce after cooking. This not only makes them tasty but also helps retain moisture, keeping your meatballs delectably tender.

💡 What’s the trick to meatballs that don’t fall apart?

The number one thing to do is make sure you use a binder when making your meatballs. There are quite a few ways to do this including:

  • Add bread pieces soaked in milk or mix in dried bread crumbs and eggs.
  • Use crumbled Ritz crackers and egg mixture with the raw meat.
  • You can also use eggs as a binder.

🏆 Top Tip For Making Perfect Round Meatballs

: Use a cookie scoop when forming the meatballs. This helps pack them together without overhandling the meatball mixture, which makes them tough.

43 Favorite Meatball Appetizer Recipes For A Party (2)43 Favorite Meatball Appetizer Recipes For A Party (3)

How To Make Meatballs Without Eggs

Soft Eggless Meatballs

43 Favorite Meatball Appetizer Recipes For A Party (4)

Learn how to make delicious egg-free meatballs that are packed with flavor. This easy-to-follow recipe will show you the secrets to creating mouthwatering meatballs without sacrificing texture or taste. This homemade meatball recipe is a great way to stretch your grocery budget and make meal prep easy.

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Should meatballs be cooked before putting in sauce?

It is best to cook meatballs before putting them in the sauce. Browning meatballs until golden brown in a frying pan is best to add color to the outside of the meat, seal the juices, and also help them keep their shape. It also helps separate grease before putting the meatball in the sauce. After they’re browned, finishcooking themin the sauce.

This method gives the meatballs a light, crunchy outside, and a juicy, tender inside. It also infuses a flavor from the meatballs into the sauce.

Is it better to bake or pan-fry meatballs?

Pan fry or baking meatballs are both good ways to cook them. However, baking them allows any excess grease to be drained off.

How do I keep meatballs soft after cooking?

There’s no one way to achieve tender meatballs, but here are some tricks I’ve used, especially when they will be kept hot for an extended period of time.

  • Add moisture when making the meatballs. This could be from veggies, barbecue sauces, or a little bit of ice water.
  • Don’t over-mix or pack them into balls too tightly.
  • Keep the meatballs larger than an inch in diameter. Smaller than an inch tends to dry out when cooking.
  • Pan-fry the outside of your meatballs first before adding to the sauce. This seals in the juices and keeps the inside tender.
  • Use a timer to prevent overcooking overcook the meatballs.
  • Use a mixture of meat with some fat. I like to use 30% high-fat meat to 70% lean ground beef for a soft meatball.

🧊 Can I cook frozen meatballs?

Yes, you can cook frozen meatballs. The big advantage of frozen meatballs is most are already cooked so they just need to be heated.

Cook them in a preheated oven at 350° F. Place the number offrozen meatballsyou want in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from the baking sheet and toss them into your sauce.

🏆 TOP TIP: Be sure not to have the meatballs too close together; there should be an inch or more space between them to allow air to circulate around them, which heats and browns them at the same time.

Should I thaw meatballs before going in a crockpot?

No, it’s not necessary. You can put frozen meatballs directly into your crockpot. It’s best to have them on the bottom so they will get the most heat.

Add the rest of your ingredients on top and follow the cooking time in the recipe.

How To Serve Meatballs At A Party

The trick to serving effortless meatballs at your next party is to make them ahead of time and, when the party starts, learn how to keep them warm throughout the party.

🔥 What’s the best way to keep party meatballs hot?

  • Stovetop: keepthemwarmover very low heat for up to 1 hour
  • Crockpot: After you have cooked the meatballs in sauce, transfer to a crockpot and set the temperature to a warm setting. They will keep for several hours. It is good to stir every hour to keep the sauce from sticking to the slow cooker.
  • Chafing dish: An affordable option for large parties to keep food warm is a chafing dish. Another perk is they make cleaning up after the party a breeze.

24 Piece Party Serving Kit Includes Chafing Kits and Serving Utensils

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What To Serve With co*cktail Meatballs

co*cktail meatballs go well with a wide variety of party foods. Here are some ideas:

  1. Dipping sauces: co*cktail meatballs go great with a number of dipping sauces, including honey mustard, sweet chili sauce, Bacon Barbecue Sauce, Taco Bell Baja Sauce, Copycat Taco Bell Red Sauce, and marinara sauce. Serve plain meatballs and create a dip bar for your guests.
  2. Finger foods: co*cktail meatballs can be served with other finger foods such as Spicy Pimento Cheese and crackers, vegetables and dip, deviled eggs, or stuffed mushrooms.
  3. Salads: A fresh salad can balance out the richness of the sauced meatballs. Try a simple Green Jacket Salad with a vinaigrette dressing, a Homemade Caesar Salad, or a pasta salad.
  4. Rice or noodles: Serve your meatballs over Instant Pot Coconut Rice or stir in Easy Asian Noodles.
  5. Bread: Make a meatball sub bar for your party guests! Offer a selection of bread rolls for guests to make mini sandwiches with their meatballs. Options could include small rolls, pita bread, naan bread, or Garlic Cheesy Pull Apart Bread.
  6. Skewers: If you are serving your meatballs on skewers, you could also include other skewered items, such as grilled veggies, fruit, or The Whole Sha-Bang Shrimp.

Remember, have fun, and get creative with your sides. Enjoy!

Crockpot Meatballs For A Party

Creamy Rich Meatballs and Gravy Recipe (Easy Slow Cooker)

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Learn how to make tender meatballs with abundant rich flavorful gravy using a slow cooker. This step-by-step recipe will teach you how to create a delicious appetizer or satisfying meatballs and creamy gravy sauce meal sure to impress your family and friends.

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Saucy Sweet and Sour Meatballs Recipe; Easy Slow Cooker

43 Favorite Meatball Appetizer Recipes For A Party (8)

These sweet and sour meatballs are a mouth-watering combination of tender meatballs, juicy pineapple chunks, and colorful bell peppers, all simmered in a delicious blend of sweet BBQ and teriyaki sauce. Preparing them is a breeze; it only requires 10 minutes of prep time, and your slow cooker takes care of the rest. You can serve these delicious Hawaiian meatballs as a main dish over rice or as a simple appetizer at your next party.

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3 Ingredient Sauce Ideas For Easy Crockpot Meatballs

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When you need an easy appetizer, all you have to do is grab some frozen meatballs and pick your sauce combination. The best part is it will take youless than 5 minutesto prepthese saucy meatballs.

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Traditional Meatballs With A Twist

If you’re looking for classic flavors that appeal to a wide variety of people then look no further. These meatballs make the perfect appetizer to serve large groups. They’re guaranteed to be a hit!

Here you will find meatballs in barbecue sauce, marinara sauce, buffalo sauce, and the famous grape jelly meatballs!

Homemade BBQ Meatballs Recipe Easy Slow Cooker

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This easy BBQ meatballs recipe guarantees juicy, tender hand-rolled meatballs covered in a homemade smokey barbeque sauce and then simmered in a slow cooker. Perfect for easy entertaining or an easy home-cooked weeknight dinner.

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Buffalo Turkey Meatballs

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Buffalo Air Fryer Turkey Meatballs are the perfect quick snack or appetizer that you can make ahead and freeze in large batches. Then when you need a quick party snack just place them in your air fryer and bake. Sauce them up mild, medium, or extra hot.

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BBQ Chicken Meatballs

These BBQ Chicken Meatballs are one of my favorite easy party appetizers, but they also make a delicious dinner when served with a veggie side!

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BEST Grape Jelly Meatballs

Grape Jelly Meatballs can be served as a main course or an appetizer for game days! These crockpot grape jelly meatballs are easy to make and loved by all!

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Whole30 Swedish Meatballs

These Whole30 Swedish Meatballs are hearty, savory, and so flavorful! The gravy is smooth and creamy.

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Smokey BBQ Meatballs

Homemade pork and beef meatballs take this traditional meatball recipe to an unbelievable smoky BBQ treat! These co*cktail meatballs are perfect for parties or a delicious dinner.

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Quick Meatball Recipes

Let’s face it, sometimes we get pressed for time but that’s when it’s time to reach for kitchen tools that make life easier! The slow cooker meatballs are great because you can set them up and let them cook for hours with very little attention.

The Instant Pot is great for cooking your favorite homemade meatballs recipe quickly and much easier than other methods! Or reach for the air fryer for smaller groups or to use when the oven is full of other appetizers.

Discover old favorites but also some exciting new ways to serve meatballs for any special occasion.

Crockpot Meatballs with Blackberry Chili Sauce by Cook in Canuck

Crockpot meatballs are fantastic for holiday and game day parties. The sweet and slightly spicy blackberry chili sauce adds a ton of flavor to these light meatballs!

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Slow Cooker Cranberry Meatballs

These Cranberry Meatballs are the perfect appetizer for your next get together! Make delicious party meatballs in a tangy sauce in just 10 minutes with 6 simple ingredients!

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Coca Cola Crockpot Meatballs

You're going to love these savory and delicious 3-ingredient crockpot Coca-Cola® meatballs! They're perfect for game day and always a crowd pleaser!

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Instant Pot Blackberry Jalapeño BBQ Meatballs

Instant Pot Blackberry Jalapeño BBQ Meatballs, an easy, sweet and spicy co*cktail meatball appetizer for holiday parties or game day.

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Instant Pot Easy Korean Meatballs

Glazed Korean meatballs are easy to prepare and take minutes to cook! In recent years Korean food become some of our favorite dinner time meals.

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Instant Pot co*cktail Meatballs Recipe

An easy recipe for instant pot co*cktail meatballs. Delicious homemade meatballs cooked in a rich sticky sauce are juicy and flavorful. These pressure cooker co*cktail meatballs are ready for serving in 30 minutes!

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Air Fryer Taco Meatballs

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These low carb Taco Meatballs are absolutely bursting with taco flavor! They’re quick and easy to make thanks since they’re cooked in the air fryer!

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International Flavors

Give your easy co*cktail meatballs a makeover by making them with an international flair! In many instances, it’s just a simple swap of a meatball sauce recipe that’s needed to change it up.

There are lots of ways to incorporate more diverse flavors into your party menu! Let’s look at a few ways that are some of my favorites!

Sweet Ginger Sesame Meatballs

43 Favorite Meatball Appetizer Recipes For A Party (23)

These Sweet Sesame Ginger Meatballs are an Asian-style turkey meatball that can be served as an appetizer or on a bed of rice for a complete meal!

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Delicious Meatball Parmesan Bites

Meatball Parmesan Bites. Tender meatballs infused with garlic, breadcrumbs, and parmesan, bathed in red sauce and topped with melted cheese.

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Mediterranean Meatballs With Dill Pesto

These Mediterranean meatballs are filled with feta, spinach and other herbs and seasonings. Serve with a fresh dill pesto for maximum flavor!

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Easy Greek Meatballs (Keftedes)

Juicy, tender Greek meatballs that are bursting with flavours of oregano, mint, parsley and red onion. This a super easy and delicious recipe.

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Mini Indian Meatballs with Curry Coconut Sauce

Mini Indian Meatballs with Curry Coconut Sauce. With Indian spices added like turmeric and fresh mint, served in a delicious sauce.

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Mexican Meatballs With Avocado-Crema Sauce

These tender, succulent Mexican meatballs come with just the right kick of spice and a decadent avocado-crema sauce for your dipping pleasure.

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Tsukune (Japanese Grilled Chicken Meatballs

Tsukune, Japanese grilled chicken meatballs, with keto teriyaki sauce is sweet, salty, and absolutely delicious! This is the best low carb Tsukune recipe!

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Sweet Gochujang Meatballs Appetizer

Sweet Gochujang Meatballs appetizer using frozen mini co*cktail meatballs with garlicky maple gochujang sauce. Recipe for Instant pot, Regular and slow cooker.

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Party co*cktail Meatballs

If you’re looking for unique ways to serve up meatballs, then stop here! These are a little extra special, which makes them perfect for a fancier gathering. They’ll still work for football parties, too but they may involve a bit more work than some of the other meatball recipes!

Mini Spaghetti Nests and Italian Meatballs Appetizer

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These Mini Spaghetti Nests and Italian Meatball Appetizers are made with creamy Alfredo angel hair pasta & Italian-style meatballs.

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Crockpot Gluten Free BBQ Turkey Meatballs

These gluten free Slow Cooker BBQ Turkey Meatballs are easy to make. They’re baked and then tossed in a tangy barbeque sauce!

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Bourbon Meatballs Appetizer

This bourbon meatballs appetizer recipe is so delicious, you will want to eat them for a meal and not just for an appetizer! Succulent and tasty!

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Easy Meatball Bites in Crescent Dough

These are the easiest and tastiest dough wrapped meatball bites around! Adults and kid alike will marvel at how delicious these are to enjoy!

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Raspberry Black Bean Meatball Skillet

A spin off of a popular appetizer, this Raspberry Black Bean dip meatball skillet will definitely become your next go-to meal!

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Sticky Honey Sriracha Meatballs

These Sticky Honey Sriracha Meatballs combine staple pantry ingredients for the perfect weeknight family meal everyone will love.

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Meatballs Made Without Beef

While beef or a combination of meats are most commonly used for meatballs, there are other meats you can shape into meatballs!

Cheesy Baked Chicken Parmesan Meatballs Recipe

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This Cheesy Baked Chicken Parmesan Meatballs recipe is a delightful twist on the classic dish. These flavorful meatballs combine ground chicken, Parmesan cheese, and Italian seasonings, all nestled in a rich marinara sauce topped with melted mozzarella cheese. Perfect for a family meal or when entertaining guests. These classic parm meatballs are sure to become a family favorite.

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Eggplant and Beef Meatballs Recipe

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Your family will applaud your dinner when you make this delicious Eggplant and Beef Meatballs Recipe.

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Smoked BBQ Turkey Meatballs

These BBQ Turkey Meatballs are small but pack a ton of flavor. Easily prepped in one bowl, they’re perfect as part of a weeknight dinner or as party food.

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Brie-Stuffed Turkey Meatballs

These Brie-Stuffed Meatballs are incredibly moist turkey meatballs with a delightful brie cheese surprise in the middle!

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Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

These buffalo chicken meatballs are the BEST! I add a secret ingredient to the hot sauce making them super delicious and packed with flavor!

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Low Carb Keto Buffalo Chicken Meatballs Recipe

See how to make buffalo chicken meatballs with just 6 ingredients! This easy low carb keto buffalo chicken meatballs recipe is a mashup of wings + meatballs, with only 10 minutes prep.

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Chicken Cordon Bleu Meatballs + Sour Cream Dip

Chicken Cordon Bleu Meatballs! Finely chopped ham and Swiss cheese add tons of flavor to this low carb appetizer or ground chicken entrée.

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Greek Turkey Meatballs

These baked Greek Turkey Meatballs are loaded with flavor and include feta cheese & sundried tomatoes baked right in. Serve with homemade tzatziki.

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Baked Asian Turkey Meatballs Recipe

Learn how to make Asian turkey meatballs that are full of flavor, with 10-minute prep!

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Vegan co*cktail Meatballs

These vegan meatballs make the perfect party food when you’re expecting vegans or vegetarians at a party! They’re tasty enough to appeal to everyone attending, but a great way to cater to friends and family who don’t eat meat.

Meaty Vegan TVP Meatballs

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Vegan tvp meatballs that are meaty, flavorful & meat eaters approved. They are also quick & easy to make.

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Vegan Swedish Meatballs

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These delicious Vegan Swedish Meatballs are reminiscent of the classic IKEA version. They are perfectly textured and seasoned with warm spices. Then they are smothered in a rich and creamy gravy that is the epitome of comfort.

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Canning Meatballs

Would you like to have homemade meatballs stocked in your pantry for a quick and effortless party food? This simple canning meatballs in broth guide provides easy-to-follow steps on how to can meatballs safely.

Easy Step-By-Step Guide For Canning Meatballs In Broth

This simple canning meatballs in broth guide provides easy-to-follow steps on how to can meatballs safely.

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What To Serve With Meatballs For Dinner

You can easily make any of these meatball recipes and serve them as a main course for dinner. Here are a few side suggestions to make your menu a complete meal when serving meatballs.

  • Potatoes: Mashed Potatoes Without Butter are great with meatball sauce poured over them. They would also be good over roasted potatoes or Baked Potatoes In An Air Fryer.
  • Rice: For a quick side to put the sauce over, make Instant Pot Coconut Rice.
  • Noodles: You can serve the meatballs and their sauce over spaghetti noodles, udon, egg noodles, or any of your favorite kinds of pasta.
  • Bread: Serve meatballs in a sub roll or with Beer Bread. For a keto option, serve them over a Wonder Bread Chaffle.
  • Veggies: Grilled Corn On The Cob, green beans, Crock Pot Asparagus, steamed broccoli, Green Jacket Salad or Fuji Apple Salad Recipe.

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  1. 43 Favorite Meatball Appetizer Recipes For A Party (49)

    Addie Reply

    This is so helpful for entertaining! Thank you!

Appetizers + Snacks Recipe Roundups

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