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Appetizer Meatballs?

I'm attending a pot luck dinner on Saturday and I was told to bring an appetizer meatball. I've never been a fan of Swedish meatballs etc., but I'm willing to make some if there isn't something better, something different,out there in the way of appetizer meatballs. Any kind of different tasty recipes are welcome. Many thanks!

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  1. I'd do some sort of middle-eastern lamb/mutton meatballs/kebabs (kofta).

    1. I made these once and they were like Christmas in a crock pot, basically meatballs made with stuffing in a cranberry sauce

      I also like skewered meatballs with artichokes and tomatoes grilled

      1. I'm not a huge fan but a few years back, my sister showed up at a party of mine with a crockpot filled with meatballs and equal parts Heinz chili sauce and grape jelly. I can't tell you how quickly those things disappeared.

        1 Reply
        1. re: southernitalian

          I made them for the first time in December and they also disappeared. I have to say, I was not a believer but I thought they were pretty good!

          I have never made these scallion meatballs with soy-ginger glaze but I think they sound good...


        2. Ooh, I got it, I got it: Buffalo chicken meatballs! I haven't made them appetizer-sized yet, but they are mighty tasty! :)

          2 Replies
          1. re: kattyeyes

            Sounds different! What would you put in the meatballs?

            1. re: krisrishere

              Grated carrots, celery and onion; minced garlic, fresh parsley if you've got it.

          2. There are thousands of options other than swedish . . . .

            I'm a huge fan of a traditional italian meatball in a very herb-y tomato sauce. Depending on the type of party you could even serve them with little buns and some cheese for sort of a meatball slider (I know a little low brow for CH but they are so tasty)

            2 Replies
            1. re: thimes

              I agree on the Italian.
              You can also use Italian sausage meat in part, or main ingredient, of the meatball. Ifn you do this, a tiny meatball (rather than cue-ball size) is a classier presentation, but more of a pain in the ass to make....

              BTW, ain't no such thing as "low brow for CH"

              1. re: porker

                I saw Giada make meatballs like this over the weekend. Going to try them myself!

            2. If you're into BBQ you could do Moinkballs - store bought meatballs wrapped with bacon and your choice of sauces, grilled low for an hour, to crisp the bacon. These disappear at an alarming rate at our get togethers. The toothpick that keeps the bacon on them is the handle. 1/3 slice of bacon fits well around them.

              10 Replies
              1. re: Nanzi

                oh my...this is going on my superbowl party menu!

                  1. re: Nanzi

                    A bacon-wrapped meatball that gets barbecued is a wonderful thing, but surely they will be better if one does not use "store bought meatballs?"

                    1. re: MGZ

                      homemade is always better, I agree.

                      But sometimes for a large party you have to cut a few corners.

                      If you're not a stickler for shape, you can always make the meat mixture and use a small ice cream scoop to make the meatballs. If you just accept the shape as it is, you don't even have to roll the scoop to make it round.

                      If you scoop them onto a sheet pan, you can drizzle with olive oil and bake in a hot oven, it makes it even faster. They just end up with flat bottoms but if they taste great no one will be upset. And you can do a lot very fast.

                      1. re: thimes

                        Cutting corners? With food? Blasphemy!

                      2. re: MGZ

                        Im an admitted meatball snob, but the only store-bought meatballs I find acceptable are the Kirkland meatballs from Costco... believe it or not. Tastes great and doesn't have that artificial meatball taste if you know what I mean.

                        1. re: carriesn

                          I know this is blasphemy around here but I agree completely. The Kirkland Italian Style meatballs are fantastic, better than anything I've made myself and, perhaps shockingly, better than most I've had in restaurants as well. Great flavor and texture.

                          After having these I swore I'd never make them from scratch again. Of course, I haven't actually kept that promise, but I haven't yet made one as good.

                          I'm going to try those bacon-wrapped bundles of hot love this weekend. I may just do them in the oven.

                          1. re: acgold7

                            I use the Kirkland as well. I usually do a sauce that is half BBQ sauce and half jellied cranberry sauce. They are super popular and disappear quickly.

                            1. re: acgold7

                              many restaurants buy sysco-type meatballs and they are terrible. like hockey pucks.

                      3. Do a search for spanish albondigas. There are two typical sauces, tomato and almond. Both are delicious.

                        1. We recently enjoyed a terayaki chicken ball on skewers that was heavenly. The chicken balls were mini sized, 4 to a stick. Tightly compacted and very tasty.

                          Lamb balls with fresh mint and chopped onion; served with a toum garlic or yogurt sauce works nicely too.

                          1. My daughter-in-law has made an interesting meatball appetizer with Schwan's products. The recipe is on their website

                            You can probably make it with other kinds of store bought ingredients. It was different and popular.
                            For ease, however, I would vote for meatballs in the chili sauce and grape jelly. Long time favorite with lots of people.

                            1. There's a recipe on chow that I used for a friend's party ( I was the out-of-town guest who helped cook), and her friends thought I was her caterer and wanted to hire me, based on the meatballs alone. They also make a good gyro.


                              the only thing I do different is that I use ground beef and lamb half-and-half. Then after baking, I slide them into a crockpot on low to stay warm, with the sauce on the side.

                              1. Meat balls in bbq sauce is good or you could do sausage balls.

                                Here are the links to 2 simple recipes:


                                And then there is a more complex recipe by Emeril for Boudin sausage balls:


                                1. my most popular meatballs are lamb. lots of lemon zest, mint and parsley in the mix, as well as sesame seeds for texture. served with a lemon yogurt dipping sauce.

                                  1. I make turkey meatballs, and since they're baked, very simple for a crowd and low-fat, to boot. They're supposed to be served with a (canned) cranberry sauce, but you can make homemade or some other version. If you're interested, I'll post the recipe.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: pine time

                                      Edited: my suggestion was too close to Swedish. :)

                                        1. re: pine time

                                          Thanks for the idea Pine! I'm going to make turkey meatballs with a cranberry bbq sauce. Should be delicious!

                                        2. My favourite meatballs are: (1) in almond sauce from new Claudia Roden book - http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recip... and (2) spinach meatballs from Gina's blog - http://www.skinnytaste.com/2010/06/sk...

                                          1. There is a fantastic recipe for lamb meatballs with mint and zucchini in Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home cookbook. They are VERY good.

                                            1. These Thai inspired meatballs are very good and different. I actually use ground turkey, lime rather than orange zest and use fish sauce rather than the soy sauce. It really doesn't need a dipping sauce, though I have served them with the traditional spring roll dipping sauce.


                                              1. Just to add one more idea that's different and very delicious, these pork meatballs in almond-saffron sauce are excellent: http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recip...

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                  This is Claudia Roden's recipe that I mentioned up-thread - I make it with veal and it is delicious.

                                                  1. re: herby

                                                    Oops, you're right. Missed that, sorry. I made them with pork ,and they were very good. Pretty garlicky---I might cut back next time (and I LOVE garlic, but these were pungent).

                                                2. just ran across this fabulous-sounding turkey meatball, with feta, ricotta, lentils….and a yogurt dipping sauce. http://www.thekitchn.com/winning-appe...

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                    that looks excellent. i just so happen to have all ingredients on hand.

                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                      i got very excited when i saw the recipe. ;-).

                                                      not everyone around me understands. LOL.