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Cocktail Meatballs

Cocktail Meatballs are the ultimate appetizer for holidays, parties and get togethers with friends! These Italian Sausage Meatballs are super simple and can be smoked, grilled or baked in the oven. 

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Smoked Cocktail Meatballs with appetizer picks

Cocktail Meatballs

Meatballs are actually really simple to make and they are always a hit on the appetizer menu. A great make ahead party snack that your guests will love!

Just take me to the recipe! Scroll on down to the bottom for a the easy printable recipe card. Otherwise, read on for step by step photos and directions. 

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Text overlay with Cocktail Meatballs

Meatballs are a huge favorite at our house with everyone but me. Well that is until we put them on the grill and added a little wood smoke. Now, I’m hooked! The texture is amazing and the flavor of these meatballs are incredible. 

We used our homemade Mustard BBQ Sauce that is really simple to make. However, you can use your favorite honey mustard or barbecue sauce in this recipe. 

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How to Make Cocktail Meatballs:

Mixing bowl with Italian Sausage, onions and eggs for meatballs

  • Place Italian sausage, diced onion and eggs to a bowl.

meatball mixture in a bowl

  • Mix together with your hands or a wooden spoon until combined. 
  • parmesan cheese in meatball mixtureAdd finely grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Mix until thoroughly combined. 

Mustard BBQ Sauce in meatball mixture

Meatballs on a sheet pan

  • Form into 1 1/2 inch balls – we used our OXO cookie scoop
  • Place on a baking sheet about 1/2 inch apart. 
  • Prepare grill or smoker to 300° or oven to 325°.

smoking cocktail meatballs on a sheet pan

  • Cook meatballs for 30-45 minutes to one hour or until internal temperature reaches 160° with a meat thermometer.

Platter of meatballs with party picks

  • Use party picks inserted into meatballs and place on a serving platter. 

Meatballs are delicious served hot off of the grill or at room temperature. 

This recipe can be halved for a smaller batch.

Can you freeze meatballs?

Meatballs can be frozen raw or cooked.

To freeze raw meatballs: Place on a sheet pan and place in the freezer for 2 hours or until frozen. Remove from sheet pan and place in a zip top freezer bag. Will keep for 3-4 months frozen. 

To cook, place on a baking sheet and cook at 350° for 30-40 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160°.

To freeze cooked meatballs: Place cooled meatballs on a baking sheet and freeze for 2 hours. Remove from baking sheet and place in a zip top freezer bag. Freeze for 1-2 months. 

To reheat, place on a baking sheet and cook at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160°.

Cocktail party appetizer meatballs on a white platter

Meatballs are the perfect make ahead dinner or appetizer. It’s so easy to make a double batch of meatballs and put half in the freezer for busy weeknights or last minute entertaining. Honey Garlic Meatballs are always a hit. 

My family loves meatball hoagies and the combination of Italian sausage with the Mustard BBQ Sauce is crazy- good. We plan to make sub sandwiches with these meatballs topped with melted Swiss cheese. I’m starving just thinking about it. 

Meatball appetizers on a platter with party picks

Easy Appetizers for Parties

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Yield: 40 meatballls

Cocktail Meatballs

Sausage Meatballs on party picks

Cocktail Meatballs are the ultimate appetizer for holidays, parties and get togethers with friends! These Italian Sausage Meatballs are super simple and can be smoked, grilled or baked in the oven. 

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

Add Italian sausage to a bowl with diced onion and eggs. Mix well with your hands or a wooden spoon.

Add grated Parmesan and mix well.

Mix in Mustard BBQ Sauce.

Use a medium sized cookie scoop to make 1 1/2 inch balls.

Place on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart.

Prepare grill fire to 300° or preheat oven to 325°.

Cook meatballs for 30-45 minutes or until internal temperature is 160°.

Serve with cocktail picks on a platter.

Notes

Honey mustard or your favorite barbecue sauce can be substituted for the Mustard BBQ Sauce.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 377Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 1027mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 21g

Nutritional calculations are estimated and may not be accurate.

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