Classic Cocktail Meatballs: the easy and tasty recipe

Total time: 30 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 15 people
By Cookist
Ground beef
1 pound
Bread crumbs
3 tbsp
small onion, finely chopped
Grated Parmesan
1/2 cup
Garlic, minced
1 tbsp
Chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup
Brown sugar
3 tbsp
3 tbsp
Soya sauce
1 tbsp
Worcestershire Sauce
2 tsp

Classic Cocktail Meatballs are a crowd-pleasing favorite. Who doesn’t love a sweet, spicy meatball? It’s easy to prepare ahead of time and is quick enough so that you can make a large batch for your next cocktail hour or party. Unlike other cocktail meatball recipes, this meatballs have a meaty flavor mixed with a rich, sweet and spicy. They are baked until golden brown but are still moist (thanks to the sauce!). You need high-quality ground beef, eggs, and seasonings. To make the sweet and spicy sauce (which can also be served on the side), you only need a handful of ingredients: ketchup, water, sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. Serve these at your next party, and your guest will leave super happy!

How to make Classic Cocktail Meatballs

Classic Cocktail Meatballs take only a few minutes to prepare. First, the meatball mixture is mixed together: ground beef, breadcrumbs, a chopped onion, 2 eggs, grated parmesan, minced garlic, and fresh parsley. While the meatballs are baking, the sauce is prepared. Ketchup, brown sugar, water, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce is prepared. Once out of the oven, the meatballs are placed in the sauce to finish cooking.

Tips for the Best Cocktail Meatballs

– To make sure that all the meatballs are equally sized, use an ice cream scoop!

– To make Classic Cocktail Meatballs in a crockpot, place the meatballs with the sauce in the crockpot and simmer on low for an hour. They can also be made in an Instant Pot, which saves a lot of time!

– To make the meatballs in an Airfryer, place them in the air fryer basket (without touching) and cook at 400°F for about 5-6 minutes until browned. Flip and continue to air fry 5-6 more minutes, until browned and internal temperature is more than 165°F.

– If you want gluten-free meatballs, look out for gluten-free breadcrumbs, you will find this in specialty health stores.

– If you use frozen meatballs, you will need to increase the cooking time.

– Make the sauce spicier by adding a pinch of cayenne paper to the meatballs and the sauce.


Cocktail Meatball Sauce Variations

For a sweet and sour sauce cook equal amounts of grape jelly and sweet chili sauce, and a dash of vinegar together, until thickened. For sweeter sauces, you can also mix cranberry sauce with chili sauce, or barbecue sauce with apricot jam.

For Italian meatballs, add fresh herbs (like basil and oregano) to the meatball mixture. For the sauce, create a tomato-based sauce. Finish off with parmesan.

How to store Cocktail Meatballs

These Cocktail Meatballs will keep well in the fridge for up to 4 days. They can also be frozen, see our tips below.

Can you freeze Classic Cocktail Meatballs?

These Classic Cocktail Meatballs are perfect for the freezer. Simply place the cooked (and cooled) meatballs in a sealable plastic bag and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge and reheat in the oven or microwave.

The uncooked meatballs can also be frozen. Place the meatballs on a baking tray and place them in the freezer. Once frozen, transfer them to an airtight container and store for up to 3 months.



Put all ingredients in one bowl.


Mix them very good with your hands until the mixture is homogenous.


Make small (one bite) meatballs.


Place them in a baking tray lined with parchment paper.


Bake in a pre-heated oven at 220 C until golden-brown.


Meanwhile, make the sauce in one big saucepan by combining all ingredients and cook it for approximately 10 minutes.


When meatballs are baked put them in sauce and cook for few minutes.


It is now time to serve these tasty bites with a few toothpicks.


The sweet and spicy sauce can be poured into a dipping bowl and be served on the side.

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