Cocktail Meatballs with Bourbon and preserves are a perfect appetizer to bring some sweet heat to your party. Easy to make homemade or substitute with frozen, these meatballs will be gone from your tray in minutes with people begging for seconds.
Tested over and over again, this cocktail meatball recipe makes the grade.
How to make Meatballs
Changes are you are making these meatballs for a party and specifically for an appetizer. I know that it can be overwhelming to cook for a lot of people but aside from these meatballs you can easily provide some other awesome snacks.
My favorites for a party include Cowboy Caviar, Christmas Tree Pull Apart Bread or even whipping up this awesome Hawaiian Coleslaw as a side. If you are trying something healthy, no problem I am that too. This caprese salad is sure to make your mouth water or dish up a side of NO GUILT with roasted butternut squash.
To get get started, you first need your meatball ingredients!
Tip: If you use more of an extra lean ground beef or even a ground sirloin, you will have less grease to drain.
Seasoning tip: Use Lipton Onion Packet within your beef mixture for extra flavor
Sweet Meatball Sauce
You will love this meatball sauce because its not too spice nor is it too sweet. The perfect blend to make everyone at your party say MORE PLEASE!
Instead of making jelly meatballs, the combined flavors of the sauce and preserves as a perfect balance.
- 1/2 cup peach preserves
- 1/2 cup orange marmalade
- 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
- 1/2 cup whiskey or bourbon
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- splash of hot sauce
Cocktail Meatballs Recipe
This takes about 20-30 minutes to make to do it homemade.
Place 2 tablespoons oil into a skillet and heat until hot.
Mix ground beef, onions, bread crumbs together.
Season with salt and pepper.
I find the best way to mix it all evenly is with your hands!
Use a 1 tablespoon portion scoop to scoop the meat into balls.
Place meatballs into hot oil and cook, rotating evenly until all sides are browned, about 8-10 minutes.
Remove from pan and drain on paper towel.
Drain pan of grease.
Add peach and orange preserves to pan, barbecue sauce, whiskey, brown sugar, molasses and splash of hot sauce.
Many people prefer grape jelly and that is fine too, but personally I like the preserves.
Heat over medium heat and continue to cook as it bubbles and boils.
Cook for 3-5 minutes or until liquid is reduced.
Reduce heat to low and return meatballs to pan.
Stir well to evenly coat with sauce and heat on medium low until hot.
Makes about 2 dozen meatballs.
Tip: Little Smokies also go well with this sauce if you want to add to your appetizer tray!
Can you use Frozen Meatballs?
Frozen meatballs are fine and quicker.
I personally prefer things homemade but when you have a party, sometimes you are limited on how much time you can balance in the kitchen. Heat your frozen meatballs through or thaw and then add them to the sauce to coat.
Make sure you use PLAIN meatballs, not Italian seasoned!
Print Cocktail Meatball Recipe below:
If you make these meatballs, I’d love your feedback!
Please come back and rate this recipe and leave me your own personal changes and suggestions. You can also always tag me with #SaltySideDish so I can see the recipes on your table!