What are the best meatball appetizer recipes that immediately come to mind?
You might be thinking about that next traditional Swedish meatball meal that you’ve got planned, or that meatball sub-combination you adore.
However, the world of meatball appetizers is vast and there are plenty of options that you can try that are sure to excite your audience.
Meatball appetizers come in a wide variety of styles and there are many different types of inspiration from around the world; from Asian meatballs to home-grown Hawaiian meatballs.
But one thing they all have in common is that they are flavorful, fancy, and filling.
Here is a comprehensive list of our delicious meatball appetizers that are worth experimenting with at your next event.
1. Easy Lil Smokies & Meatball Appetizer
This is a protein-rich meal that is perfect for when you want to diversify your meats beyond just a meatball.
These are simple to make and with a little bit of barbecue sauce and chili sauce, you can stick these in a crock pot or slow cooker and let them do all the work.
These are a super option with an intense spicy flavor that will keep you coming back for more.
2. Cocktail Meatball (Sweet And Sour Sauce)
This option is for those that want an Instagram-ready finish as the presentations on these are mouth-watering to look at.
These are based on a sweet and sour sauce that is cranberry based and enhances the flavor of the meatball more than a simple recipe.
It’s a party classic and we’ll go down a storm with adults and children alike.
3. Slow Cooker Bourbon Meatballs
For those that are craving a smokey finish to their meatballs, why not try this slow cooker bourbon and meatball dish that has a deliciously savory finish.
The honey and molasses are what set this rust apart, and they also have this subtle sweetness to them that seems to work fantastically well with the bourbon and chili sauce.
4. Crockpot Meatballs With Grape Jelly Sauce
Do you know what tastes the best? An appetizer that is super easy to make, which is what these crockpot meatballs with grape jelly sauce deliver.
This option is great for those that have never tried crockpot meatballs and are looking for a recipe with some interesting ingredients.
Throw everything into a slow cooker and enjoy once cooked.
5. Greek Meatballs (Keftedes)
We adore Greek food, and we’re glad this keftedes-inspired dish was devised, as they are crispy and addictive.
You can have these as part of a mezze platter, and if you’re looking for a side dish with these then try some pita bread, olives, tomatoes, and cucumbers, for a healthy combination.
6. Devilled Appetizer Meatballs
We don’t think there’s anything more mouth-watering than seeing some meatballs covered in a lovely, sticky sauce.
These devilish meatballs are perfect as appetizers for a wide range of tastes, and as they sit in a wonderful soy and tomato glaze, you won’t be able to take your eyes off of these small bites of delight.
7. Meatball Sliders
We love a messy appetizer as you know that the effort of having to eat them is well worth the means, and these meatball sliders are a cheesy mess that will excite you with every last bite.
They are fun and moreish, making them the perfect treats for guests with an Italian twist. Make sure to make plenty of these as this will likely go quick.
8. Teriyaki Meatballs
We love taking inspiration from other cultures and parts of the world, which are a great option for those that want to expand their horizons.
They are specifically coated in a sweet and savory sauce that can be ready to eat in under 30 minutes, making them an easy option for fast-paced events that require a quick rotation of food.
9. Easy Italian Meatball Appetizer
Bagged frozen meatballs may seem like a cop-out, but they are incredibly versatile and can make simple and delicious appetizers with not too much effort.
Here’s a great option that will pair well with a glass of wine, as it includes jarred pasta sauce and some sliced fresh mozzarella for a meatball-inspired dish of delight.
10. Swedish Meatballs
It didn’t feel right to omit these classically popular appetizers from my list.
Swedish meatballs, which are famous for being devised by the home furnishing store IKEA, are well worth the time and effort, as they contain the best of the best with pork beef and breadcrumbs as their base ingredients.
Simple but effective.
11. Slow Cooker Honey Buffalo Meatballs
We love buffalo meatballs as they are always the perfect combination of tender and juicy.
These are tantalizingly addictive so be wearing them as you indulge in the sweet taste of hot sauce and honey that the crowd will go wild for.
Give these a go and watch as they get demolished in a matter of minutes.
12. Appetizer Meatballs With Only 4 Ingredients
Sweet and sticky meatballs do not need to take a lot of time to prepare.
This is why we have decided to include this simple recipe that serves a whole host of guests, as they only require 20 minutes of your time to prepare them and even less time to worry about the ingredients.
13. Sticky Thai Meatballs
Sticky and messy meatballs are part of the process of enjoying this delightful appetizer, so you shouldn’t miss out on these Asian-inspired meatballs that have incredibly sweet and savory tastes down to the expertly crafted source.
They also have a bit of a kick so if you love a bit of spice, then they go down the storm.
14. Mongolian Meatballs
Staying with our Asian-inspired meatballs, we wanted to offer another favorite from a land that has recipes full of flavor and imagination.
This will appeal to those that enjoy their Mongolian beef as a stir-fry, but we recommend you give these meatballs a try as they are just as delicious and should be shared amongst friends and family.
15. Bourbon Meatballs Appetizer
We know an underrated way to make an appetizer even more delicious is to add a little bit of alcohol.
This bourbon meatballs recipe will fit the bill as they are created using a delicious bourbon sauce and the flavors of the meatballs will complement the moistness of the bourbon.
You can even serve this as a dish for dinner.
16. Tangy Glazed Meatballs
Time to get creative in the kitchen as these juicy meatballs can be made using ketchup, steak sauce, chili source, hot pepper sauce, and for that tangy flavor you can add some mango chutney.
This gives us an interesting contrast between the meat and tanginess of the chutney that is well worth the time and effort.
17. Italian Meatball Pull Apart Bread
We felt inspired to add something that is a little bit different, Which is why this Italian meatball pull-apart bread recipe could be your next best hit at your dinner events or game day.
You will need to include biscuits, garlic butter, and marinara for a fun and interesting take on delicious appetizers.
18. Meatball Marinara Poppers Appetizer
Staying with a marinara theme for the moment, this marinara Popper appetizer is topped with a delicious sauce that is simple to make and full of interesting flavors.
This might be the best option as a holiday appetizer as they are portable and can be combined with a variety of different sauces.
19. Hawaiian Meatballs
Here’s something that is a little closer to home and takes a classic appetizer and gives them a nice tropical twist.
These include a number of other ingredients such as pineapple to make them truly remarkable and an original flavor that is simply unforgettable.
They are spicy, saucy, and can turn the heat up with awesome flavor.
20. Sweet And Spicy Korean Meatballs
There are a number of fabulous dishes that you can find that originated from Korea, which is why we’ve decided to include this awesome sweet and spicy meatball recipe made from lean beef, and flavored with garlic and sriracha.
The glazed spicy apricot combination is mouth-watering and super yummy.
21. Cajun Appetizer Meatballs
This is another super meatball appetizer that will be suitable for those that enjoy a kick in their meals.
You can make these ahead of time and also freeze them in resealable plastic bags, and when you’re ready to crack them open, you can add the sauce and get them heated.
This makes them an awesome traveling appetizer for when you are on the road.
22. Mini-Meatball Subs
If you enjoyed the meatball slider recipe that we featured earlier, then you might want to try these mini meatball subs which are the next step in your journey to a delicious homemade appetizer.
You can use spaghetti sauce to give you some variety in your options, and if you like a cheesy mess then you’ve got a lot of delicious treats waiting for you.
23. Turkey Meatballs
Meatballs don’t need to be specifically designated for beef or pork, and we love to try a leaner alternative that is suitable for those looking to keep an eye on their waistline.
Although turkey meatballs contain less fat, these remain moist and juicy, meaning that you’re not going to compromise on flavor.
Pair these with a sauce of your choice.
24. Cranberry Orange Meatballs
You can also make meatball appetizers as part of a festive time of the year, and these cranberry orange meatballs are the perfect holiday treats as a chance to have a little nibble before the big meal is finished.
They also make a great last-minute appetizer in case of a food emergency that the entire family can enjoy.
25. Banh Mi Meatballs With Napa Cabbage Lettuce Cups
We wouldn’t judge you if you wanted to try a super fancy people appetizer that is the perfect low-carb option for your keto friends.
It’s a great alternative to the classic meatball sub that doesn’t compromise on flavor and it’s just satisfying to bite into.
If you want something with a unique flavor then these are your go-to choice.
Finding the right appetizer for your events can feel like a daunting task, but with our list of unique and interesting meatball combinations above, this should now be an easier task, which means you concentrate on cooking rather than researching.
We recommend that you make a shortlist of appetizers that suit your personal preferences and the audience you are going to be cooking for, and then you can commit to making these dishes beforehand through experiments, or simply making them on the day and dishing them out to your guests.
There should be something for everyone here, and with a wild rite of different places of the world, you’re sure to be talked about in the town with your delicious and enjoyable treats.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can You Determine Whether A Meatball Is Cooked All The Way Through Without Breaking Them Open?
With the recipes listed above, the cooking instruction will give you the ideal cooking time which will mean that they are going to be cooked all the way through.
However, there are a number of other methods to help determine whether your meatball is perfectly done.
One such method is to take its temperature by using an instant-read thermometer. You are looking for an internal temperature that is around 160 degrees Fahrenheit in the center of the meatball.
Some methods are not helpful at all, such as the touch methods which are not ideal for ground products.
Can You Cook Raw Meatballs In Sauce?
Yes, you can, and the only issue you ran into is that meatballs are very fragile until they are fully cooked.
One issue that you may run into is that if you are cooking meatballs from raw in sauce, the sauce will overcook before the meatball has had the chance to cook all the way through, which means you run the risk of burning your sauce.
The issue is that the oils and grease will release as they cook which will create a much more oily sauce.
How Long Can You Leave Cooked Meatballs In The Refrigerator Before They Go Bad?
The typical recommendation for refrigeration of cooked ground beef and cooked ground pork is around 3 to 5 days.
If you have cooked ground turkey meatballs or Poultry, then we recommend only leaving them in the refrigerator for around 3 to 4 days at maximum.
To ensure that your meatballs are still safe to eat, it is worth looking over them just to ensure there are no issues with them, and to do a quick sniff test to ensure that they have not gone off.
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