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Holiday Appetizer Meatballs

These beefy meatballs are a perennial favorite at our holiday parties. You won't believe how easy these holiday appetizers are to make. —Pat Waymire, Yellow Springs, Ohio
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Bake: 50 min.
  • Makes
    about 3 dozen


  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • SAUCE:
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper


  • In a small bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 1-in. balls.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, brown meatballs; drain. Place in a 2-1/2-qt. baking dish. Combine the sauce ingredients. Pour over meatballs. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 50-60 minutes or until meatballs are no longer pink.
Nutrition Facts
2 each: 84 calories, 4g fat (1g saturated fat), 29mg cholesterol, 245mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 0 fiber), 6g protein.

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  • Naomie
    Dec 18, 2019

    To Skyjester, yes different vinegars will easily work. Will change the flavor profile slightly - certainly worth whipping up a batch to try out. If you want something a bit different, here is a recipe I have been using for decades and always gobbled up. 1/3 cup brown sugar, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/2 cup red wine, one 8 ounce can of tomato sauce, 1/8 teaspoon garlic salt (I use fresh minced garlic and a lot of it as my group loves it) - combine all ingredients in saucepan. Bring to boiling while stirring. Reduce heat and simmer gently uncovered for about 20 minutes. Sauce will thicken. When your meatballs are cooked, toss them into the pool Enjoy. I place in a crockpot and let people help themselves. For parties I use 3 pounds of meat which makes about 100 meatballs and triple the sauce recipe. Never a meatball left.

  • Skyjester
    Oct 14, 2019

    Anyone experimented with different vinegars for this sauce? We're wondering about apple cider and red wine types instead of regular white. Is one best for this recipe?

  • Psalm127-3
    Dec 20, 2018

    Please tell me what 1/2 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce does when making 3 doz meatballs (or any thing 1/8,1/4,1/2 t does to any recipe) I’m always stymied when I read such small amounts.

  • shannondobos
    Dec 15, 2016

    Love! These meatballs are very moist and have great flavor. I substituted brown sugar. This recipe is a keeper! They work well in a slow cooker too :)

  • Angel182009
    Oct 8, 2015

    I've been on the hunt for a good meatball recipe and this one was pretty good! It has great flavor.

  • k-davies
    Jun 29, 2015

    "Amazing" 30,YES"30"yrs. I've been using this recipe. NOT ONE PERSON ever had a dislike. It got to the point I wanted it to be my special recipe,but every week....someone would request I make them for a party etc. That's when I gave up and just printed off the recipe when ever I made it!!! But mind u.I double up on the sauce, other wise I find it to dry. Guess that's my dirty secret!

  • AABF
    Jan 25, 2014

    I added oatmeal too, and garlic p.,onion p., more w.sauce, a good 2 tsp. and a squeeze of mustard. Also 2 tsp. cocktail sauce to the meat mix. I'm not wild about B sauce, so I made, 2TBL.Ketsup, 1TBL. Maple syrup, 2tsp. cocktail sauce garlic and onion powder and pepper!!

  • Billco
    Nov 23, 2013

    These are very good. I replaced the sugar with brown sugar. Made the flavor very rich.

  • Xena7751
    Feb 3, 2013

    Yum! These were so good. To make them lower carb, I used Splenda instead of sugar and it was really good. I put them into a slow cooker and it make them so good.

  • jmkasprak
    May 1, 2012

    I've made this recipe several times since I found in last fall, and we just love it. Yesterday, since I was only making a half batch, I just added the sauce to the skillet, covered it and cooked on low until the meatballs were done.