36 Best Meatball Appetizers That Are Party Must-Haves

Homemade meatballs are a party favorite for many reasons. Not only do they offer unparalleled convenience, but their versatility in terms of flavor and texture makes them a crowd-pleaser. The ease of preparation is another major selling point – simply mix, shape, and bake for a delicious outcome.

One of the best things about meatballs is their adaptability to various party settings. For a more low-key gathering, consider serving them as an appetizer with toothpicks for easy snacking. Alternatively, you can create a mini meatball buffet with a variety of dipping sauces and let your guests get creative.

Cheesy Italian Meatball Sub Dip


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A delightful fusion of flavors and textures is achieved when tender Italian meatballs are smothered in a rich, tomato-based sauce infused with the savory taste of melted mozzarella. This impressive appetizer is elevated by serving it with crispy crostini, offering a unique spin on the classic meatball sub perfect for special occasions or game day gatherings.

To amplify the cheesy goodness, incorporate shredded mozzarella into your meatball mixture, allowing its creamy essence to permeate each bite. The pungency of garlic adds a depth of flavor that complements the sweetness of the tomato sauce and the savory undertones of the meatballs.

The pièce de résistance is achieved when spoonfuls of ricotta are folded into the marinara sauce, accompanied by cooked meatballs. A sprinkle of mozzarella on top followed by a trip to the oven allows the cheese to melt and turn a golden brown hue, resulting in a dish that’s sure to impress.

Hoisin Meatballs


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Indulge in the harmonious fusion of flavors as succulent beef meatballs are smothered in a rich hoisin sauce, perfectly balanced by sweet, savory, and umami notes. To elevate your meatballs’ flavor profile, simply combine basic pantry staples like tamarind paste, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger from your local grocery store. The subtle nuttiness of sesame oil adds depth to the dish without overpowering the other flavors. Meanwhile, a sweet and tangy glaze can be crafted by blending hoisin sauce with rice vinegar, honey, and sesame oil. Serve these delectable meatballs alongside refreshing carrots, crunchy cucumber, and scallions for an irresistible Asian-inspired appetizer that’s sure to delight.

Greek Meatballs


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Savor the delight of these mouthwatering keftedes, boasting a satisfying crunch on the outside and tender juiciness within. As an ideal accompaniment to pita bread and a refreshing Greek salad, they’re sure to impress. For added moisture and depth of flavor, incorporate ground pork into your meatball mixture alongside beef. The pungency of onion and the pizzazz of garlic will further elevate this savory delight. To infuse your creation with an authentic Hellenic flair, sprinkle in some parsley for a burst of freshness, or add a pinch of Greek oregano for an unmistakable taste of Greece. If you’re feeling particularly festive, why not stir in some Ouzo to imbue your keftedes with the essence of this iconic spirit?

Buffalo Turkey Meatballs


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Elevate the traditional buffalo chicken experience by transforming it into a mouthwatering turkey meatball sensation. The addition of fresh garlic and crunchy diced celery infuses the meatballs with a delightful texture and flavor profile, while seasonings like garlic powder, onion powder, dried dill, salt, and pepper add depth to the dish. Simply smother the meatballs in hot sauce and let them simmer to perfection in your crockpot until they’re fall-apart tender. Finish them off by pouring an extra dose of spicy goodness over the top before serving.

Meatball Pita Pockets


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Transform leftover ingredients into scrumptious pita pockets that will delight your taste buds. Repurpose cooked Italian meatballs from a previous meal, as they pair perfectly with the compact pita bread. To create these bite-sized appetizers, combine the meatballs with sliced tomato and cucumber for a refreshing contrast in textures. Top it all off with a drizzle of rich Caesar dressing, infusing each bite with its signature flavor.

Hot Pepper Jelly Smoked Meatballs


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Transform the flavor profile of bite-sized meatballs by wrapping them in crispy, salty bacon and smoking them to perfection. If you don’t have access to a smoker, you can easily replicate the effect with your oven. To begin, wrap each meatball in thin slices of bacon, taking care not to overstuff them. A well-balanced BBQ rub is an excellent addition to the mixture. Once wrapped, season the meatballs as desired and place them on your smoker or in your oven. As they cook, the bacon will crisp up beautifully and infuse the meatballs with its savory goodness.Once the meatballs are cooked through, brush them with a sweet and spicy hot pepper jelly for an added layer of flavor. BBQ sauce is also a delicious option if you prefer. Allow the jelly to heat and stick to the meatballs for a few minutes before serving. This appetizer is sure to be a crowd-pleaser, and its smoky flavor will leave your guests wanting more. For additional inspiration, check out our selection of smoked appetizer recipes.

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs


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Elevate the classic buffalo chicken wings experience by incorporating a delectable twist: buffalo-flavored meatballs that pack a double punch of spicy goodness. To infuse your meatballs with an abundance of flavor, combine salt, garlic powder, and onion powder with a drizzle of buffalo sauce. Once cooked to perfection, toss the meatballs in a rich buffalo sauce and finish with a sprinkle of crumbled blue cheese for a harmonious blend of flavors.

Sweet and Sour Ground Pork Meatballs


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Indulge in the harmonious fusion of Asian-inspired flavors as you savor these delectable meatballs infused with the pungency of garlic and the warmth of ginger. The sweet and sour sauce adds a delightful depth to each savory bite.

To prepare, season your meatballs with a medley of aromatic ingredients, including fresh ginger, pungent garlic, sautéed onions, and fragrant parsley. A splash of ketchup lends a subtle tanginess, elevating the overall flavor profile.

The sauce itself is a masterful blend of sweet and savory elements: rich ketchup, tangy apple cider vinegar, spicy mustard, and umami-rich soy sauce. The perfect balance is achieved through the addition of brown sugar and honey, which provides a satisfying sweetness.

To complete this mouthwatering dish, place your cooked meatballs in a slow cooker alongside caramelized onions, bell peppers, and pineapple chunks. Pour the delectable sauce over the top, allowing the flavors to meld together as the vegetables tenderize. The result is an irresistible party appetizer that will leave your guests clamoring for more.

Slow Cooker Enchilada Meatballs


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Indulge in a mouthwatering Tex-Mex treat with slow cooker enchilada meatballs that are surprisingly simple to prepare. This delightful appetizer bursts with flavor, courtesy of a harmonious blend of pre-made frozen meatballs, rich enchilada sauce, and the savory notes of green chiles and taco seasoning. As the dish nears its prime serving time, add a dollop of creamy sour cream and sprinkle shredded cheese for an irresistible combination. Serve hot when the cheese is velvety smooth and the aroma is tantalizingly inviting.

Lamb Meatballs


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Indulge in the rich flavors of homemade lamb meatballs that are as tender as they are delectable. These bite-sized morsels elevate any gathering, particularly when served alongside a medley of Greek appetizers. To infuse your meatballs with an authentic taste, combine ground coriander, cumin, cinnamon, and mint, along with the pungency of grated onion and garlic, which also adds a delightful texture. Once your meatballs are formed, sear them in a skillet until they reach a golden brown perfection.

Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped Cheeseburger Bites


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Imagine sinking your teeth into a savory, cheesy delight that captures the essence of a classic cheeseburger. The combination of gooey cheddar, juicy beef, and crispy bacon creates an irresistible flavor profile in every bite. To recreate this mouthwatering experience at home, start by seasoning ground beef with salt and pepper, then add an egg and breadcrumbs to help bind your meatballs together. Take it to the next level by inserting a cheddar cube into each rolled meatball before wrapping them in crispy bacon strips. For the ultimate finishing touch, cook your cheeseburger bites to perfection in an air fryer until they’re golden brown on the outside. Just before serving, sprinkle with sesame seeds for added crunch and visual appeal.

Chicken Sausage Meatballs


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Juicy, flavorful, and versatile, these chicken sausage meatballs are perfect for any occasion. Serve them with a tangy dipping sauce for a satisfying appetizer that’s sure to please. To take it to the next level, add some fresh parsley, chopped onion, garlic, and parmesan to your mixture – just be sure to remove the sausage from its casing first. And if you really want to make these meatballs stand out, try adding some sun-dried tomatoes for a burst of savory flavor.

Pepperoni Meatballs


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Indulge in the delightful fusion of classic flavors with these bite-sized pepperoni meatballs. A twist on a timeless favorite, they pack all the punch of a traditional pepperoni pizza into a compact package. The secret to their tender texture? Blitzing up pepperoni to ensure each morsel stays juicy and flavorful.

The earthy essence of mushrooms, combined with the pungency of onion and garlic, creates a rich tapestry of flavors that’s elevated by the subtle warmth of Italian herbs and paprika. Whether you’re searching for show-stopping hot appetizers or just a satisfying snack, these pepperoni meatballs are sure to hit the spot.

Buffalo Cauliflower Meatballs


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Looking to spice up your meal routine? Look no further than this buffalo cauliflower recipe, perfect for those on a veggie diet seeking a meatball alternative. The secret lies in using cauliflower rice as the foundation and almond flour to achieve a silky texture. Season with garlic powder, salt, and black pepper for added depth of flavor. But the real kicker is when you toss these ‘meatballs’ in buffalo sauce – it’s a game-changer! This twist on traditional meatballs is sure to satisfy your cravings while keeping it plant-based.

Chicken Zucchini Meatballs


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This innovative recipe skillfully merges the essence of zucchini fritters and chicken meatballs, offering a creative way to incorporate additional nutrients. The addition of zucchini to traditional chicken meatballs not only enhances their moisture and juiciness but also provides a burst of freshness. Meanwhile, the subtle crunch and depth of flavor imparted by chopped onion further elevate the overall experience. A trifecta of fresh parsley, dried oregano, and ground cumin coalesces to deliver a rich and complex taste profile. Serve these delectable morsels with your preferred dipping sauce for an unforgettable culinary encounter.

Mini Taco Meatballs


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Indulge in the rich flavors of a taco, reimagined in succulent beef meatballs. The unmistakable taste comes from incorporating taco seasoning into the mix. To add depth and texture, include diced yellow onion alongside the savory goodness. Fresh cilantro brings an herbaceous note that complements the bold flavors. For an authentic finish, blend shredded cheese directly into the meatball mixture, allowing its creamy essence to meld with the beefy goodness.

Swedish Meatball Appetizers

One of Sweden’s most iconic culinary exports, Swedish meatballs have gained worldwide popularity, and it’s easy to see why – they’re incredibly versatile, accommodating a range of dietary preferences. Whether you’re a devoted carnivore or prefer plant-based options, there are mouth-watering meatball recipes tailored to suit every taste.

Swedish Meatballs


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Savor the rich flavors of this effortless meatball appetizer recipe, where tender morsels are smothered in a decadent creamy gravy. The key to its succulence lies in the harmonious blend of ground pork and beef, infused with aromatic spices like allspice, nutmeg, oregano, salt, and pepper. A sprinkle of fresh parmesan cheese adds a delightful nuance, elevating each bite to new heights.

Meanwhile, the creamy sauce that accompanies these meatballs is a masterclass in balancing flavors. By combining beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, and sour cream, you’ll create a velvety texture that’s both indulgent and irresistible. And then, there’s the secret ingredient: chicken bouillon, which adds an unexpected depth to the dish, making it truly unforgettable.

Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs


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Indulge in the rich flavors of Sweden by preparing mouthwatering meatballs using your slow cooker. This set-it-and-forget recipe is a game-changer! To give your meatballs an unmistakable Swedish twist, combine garlic powder, onion powder, nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon for added depth. Before adding them to the slow cooker pot, take the extra step of browning the meatballs to lock in those juices. Next, create a delectable sauce by combining beef stock, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Then, add a dollop of sour cream and heavy cream towards the end of cooking time for an added layer of creaminess.

Mini Swedish Meatballs


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Indulge in the tender delight of mini meatballs infused with a surprise component that ensures their unparalleled softness. The essence of allspice and nutmeg provides an unparalleled depth of flavor, while sautéed garlic and onion add an irresistible richness to each bite. To achieve this textural magic, incorporate the game-changing secret: white bread soaked in milk, which effortlessly keeps your meatballs juicy. Pair these delectable morsels with a homemade creamy gravy sauce for a match made in culinary heaven.

Vegan Swedish Meatballs


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These plant-based meatballs boast a tender, juicy texture and a well-balanced flavor profile that’s reminiscent of their meaty counterparts. The use of fresh onions and garlic lends a satisfying crunch and a depth of savory flavor, while the subtle spices – including nutmeg, allspice, and ground white pepper – evoke the classic Swedish-style taste. A tangy, umami note is added by the combination of Worcestershire sauce and Dijon mustard, which works in harmony with the rich, creamy coconut milk-based sauce infused with vegan butter. Finally, a boost of savory flavor comes from Better than Bouillon’s No Beef Base, resulting in a meatball that’s surprisingly close to its traditional counterpart.

Keto Swedish Meatballs


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For a truly authentic taste of Swedish meatballs on a ketogenic diet, combine ground beef with warming spices and crushed pork rinds instead of traditional breadcrumbs. The latter trick ensures the meatballs remain low-carb and keto-friendly. To maintain moisture, add heavy cream to the mix. Next, season your creations with allspice, nutmeg, sea salt, black pepper, and minced onion for a depth of flavor. When it comes to sauce, opt for butter and heavy cream, then thicken with cream cheese for a rich, keto-approved condiment. Finally, add beef bone broth to give the dish an unmistakable beefy essence.

Homemade Swedish Meatballs


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Indulge in tender beef meatballs that have been masterfully cooked to perfection and served alongside a decadent, creamy sauce. The secret to their rich flavor lies in the harmonious blend of spices, including dried parsley, allspice, nutmeg, dried onion, and garlic powder, which imbue each bite with depth and complexity. A hint of tanginess is expertly introduced by Worcestershire sauce and mustard, elevating the overall taste experience. To create a luscious, velvety sauce, an effortless roux serves as the foundation, while sour cream contributes to its smooth texture and beef broth adds a rich, satisfying flavor dimension. For added uniqueness, a touch of lingonberry preserve adds a thrilling twist. With this finger-licking good recipe, you’ll be well-equipped to impress your party guests with one of the most sought-after appetizers.

BBQ Meatball Appetizers

The harmonious union of BBQ flavors and meatballs is a match made in culinary heaven. Explore the diverse array of mouthwatering recipes that bring together the richness of BBQ and the savory delight of meatballs.

BBQ Meatballs


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Elevate traditional cocktail meatballs with a fusion of tangy BBQ sauce and creamy Italian dressing. The secret lies in combining bold flavors – rich BBQ seasoning, pungent garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper to create savory meatballs. To add an extra layer of depth, sprinkle some grated Parmesan for a cheesy twist. Meanwhile, the BBQ-Italian dressing hybrid is surprisingly simple to prepare. Merely mix the two condiments until well combined, then use some to bake your meatballs and drizzle the remaining sauce over them once they’re cooked.

Asian Pork Meatballs with Sweet Asian BBQ Sauce


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Elevate your appetizer game by infusing the flavors of Asia into tender pork meatballs smothered in a rich BBQ sauce. To add depth to your meatballs, combine minced garlic and ginger, green onions, and black pepper for an aromatic boost. Soy sauce brings forth the essence of Asia, while mayonnaise ensures they remain soft and juicy.

BBQ Turkey Meatballs


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Transform traditional BBQ meatballs into a healthier, yet equally flavorful option by utilizing ground turkey as the base ingredient. The absence of added preservatives in this leaner protein source will not compromise on taste, thanks to the expertly balanced blend of spices. A pinch of garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper injects a depth of savory flavor into each meatball. For an added layer of complexity, Italian seasoning contributes its distinct herby undertones. To elevate this dish further, combine tomato, Worcestershire, and sriracha sauce to create a richly tangy BBQ sauce that perfectly complements the turkey-based meatballs.

BBQ Bacon Wrapped Meatballs


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Savoring the perfect harmony of textures and flavors, meatballs wrapped in crispy bacon and smothered in sweet and tangy BBQ sauce make for an irresistible appetizer. To elevate this mouthwatering dish, infuse your meatballs with a medley of aromas from minced onion, fresh garlic, sea salt, and ground black pepper. For added depth, incorporate seasoned bread crumbs with notes of Italian herbs.

The secret to maintaining the meatballs’ tender juiciness lies in the strategic use of evaporated milk. This creamy ingredient ensures that the meatballs remain succulent and flavorful throughout the cooking process.

As you near the halfway mark, give your meatballs a rich and velvety treatment by basting them with your favorite BBQ sauce. Then, finish them off with an additional drizzle of this sweet and sticky condiment just before serving.

Cranberry BBQ Meatballs


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Transforming these succulent BBQ meatballs into an unforgettable culinary experience is as simple as elevating them with a sweet and tangy cranberry sauce. To create the perfect blend, combine ground beef and mild country sausage for your meatballs’ foundation. Add depth with sautéed diced onion, a pinch of ground black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder to awaken the senses. The addition of oats not only enhances texture but also serves as a binding agent, holding the mixture together seamlessly.

Meanwhile, crafting the cranberry BBQ sauce is a breeze. Combine chili sauce, cranberry sauce, and brown sugar in a pot, allowing the mixture to reduce and thicken to perfection. As you near the end of cooking time for your meatballs, add this delectable sauce to give them an unparalleled flavor boost.

BBQ Meatballs


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Indulge in the simplicity of this mouth-watering BBQ meatball recipe, which requires minimal effort and yields delectable results. The key to its speed is utilizing store-bought frozen meatballs, which can be effortlessly added to your slow cooker. Combine them with a sweet and tangy mixture of grape jelly and BBQ sauce, then let the magic unfold as they cook until warm throughout. Finish the dish with a flourish by garnishing it with fresh green onions before serving.

Slow Cooker BBQ Meatballs


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Indulge in the ease of a mouthwatering BBQ crockpot meatball recipe that requires minimal effort and cooking time. For a shortcut, opt for frozen meatballs, or take the extra step to create them from scratch if you prefer.To prepare this delectable dish, combine your chosen meatballs with grape jelly and BBQ sauce in the crockpot. Allow them to cook until they’re warmed through and the sauce has thickened to perfection, giving off a satisfying bubble.Maximize the potential of your slow cooker by trying out these other scrumptious crockpot appetizers that are sure to please.

BBQ Chicken Meatballs


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Indulge in the mouthwatering combination of flavors and textures found in these effortless BBQ chicken meatballs. A blend of cumin, paprika, Green Goddess seasoning, parsley, and minced garlic infuses each bite with depth and richness. The slight tanginess from Dijon mustard provides a delightful contrast, while the crunch of red onion adds visual appeal. To create this savory delight, combine cooked meatballs with a sauce made by whisking together BBQ sauce, sriracha, water, and salt in the same skillet used for cooking. Once combined, thoroughly coat the meatballs before serving.

Instant Pot BBQ Sweet Meatballs


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Indulge in these scrumptious Instant Pot BBQ meatballs, ready in under ten minutes – making them an ideal choice for a spontaneous appetizer or snack. The key to this recipe’s ease lies in using frozen meatballs of your preference, paired with your go-to BBQ sauce and grape jelly. Simply cook the meatballs in your Instant Pot until they’re done, then set them aside. Next, sauté the BBQ sauce and grape jelly mixture until it reaches a smooth and thickened consistency. Finally, stir in the cooked meatballs and serve – voila! A delectable treat that’s sure to please.

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