Spicy Cocktail Meatballs

I am not sure what it is about this time of year – but find myself making a lot of meatballs.  I keep thinking of things I want to make, and they all have meatballs in them – Italian Wedding Soup, Meatball Sandwiches, cocktail meatballs, etc…  My neighbors decided to have a happy hour, and asked everyone to bring an appetizer – so what did I make?  You got it – meatballs.  I found this recipe in one of Maryana Vollstedt’s cook books called The Big Book of Potluck.  She has a way of making very simple dishes that do not compromise on flavor.  I decided on this one because of the spicy sauce – I thought they would go well with the drinks they were serving.  The best part was I made the meatballs in the morning, put them on a cookie sheet and put plastic wrap on top – then baked them in the oven right before we headed over.  When the meatballs and sauce were ready, I put them into a small crock pot, and as soon as I got to their house – plugged it in.  They stayed wonderfully warm throughout the evening – and when it was time to go – there was only one left, which immediately went right into my mouth.  I think they were a big hit.



  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 to 2 drops of Tabasco sauce


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  •  1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • freshly group pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced yellow onion
  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten


To make the sauce:  In a large saucepan over medium high heat combine all ingredients.  Bring to a simmer and continue summering, uncovered, until flavors are blended, about 10 minutes.

To make the meatballs:  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well, using your hands.  Form into 1/2-inch balls and place on a baking sheet.  Bake until browned, about 10 to 12 minutes.  Add meatballs to sauce and simmer 10 minutes.  Transfer to a chafing dish to serve.

For a printer friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Spicy Cocktail Meatballs

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