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40+ Delicious Meatball Appetizers

When looking for a quick and easy recipes for party food, that will feed a crowd with minimal effort, I always choose meatball appetizers. They are hearty, filling, and when made in the slow cooker, they are the easiest party food around. Pick out one of these delicious recipes for your next party!

collage of meatball pictures

Meatball Appetizers

When looking for a quick and easy recipes for party food, that will feed a crowd with minimal effort, I always choose meatball appetizers.

They are hearty, filling, and when made in the slow cooker, they are the easiest party food around. Pick out one of these delicious recipes for your next party!

Crockpot Meatballs make the perfect appetizers. They are a great option when you are struggling to find something to serve and most only require minimal prep. Just toss in the cooked meatballs, add the sauce and you are good to go.

Cut the prep with precooked frozen meatballs you find at the market.

Check out these meatball appetizer recipes for the best ways to bring frozen meatballs to the next level. Perfect for parties, tailgating, or any occasion where you are getting together with friends and family.

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close up of baked meatballs

Tips for Meatball Appetizers

Planning on serving meatballs at your next get together? Here are some tips for making your recipe perfect!

How to Make Homemade Meatballs for Appetizers

Use ground beef or pork for meatballs as they will make the juiciest ones. If you are using ground turkey or chicken, be sure to add some fat to the mixture or they will be dry. Combine the ingredients, place meatballs on a baking sheet in a single layer.

If you start with lean ground beef or meat you will need to add moisture to them by adding milk, bread crumbs, or another meat with more fat in it. Like sausage.

When baking the meatballs, be sure to leave a little space between each one so they can sear on all sides and keep in their juices. Cool and freeze until ready to use. Bake until the internal temperature reaches 145F. If making them from poultry, be sure they reach 165F.

Here are some recipes for homemade frozen meatballs, air fryer meatballs, and a gluten free option too.

Do I need to thaw the meatballs before adding to my slow cooker?

The beauty of a crock pot recipe is that you can add frozen meatballs directly to it. Simply add in the sauce ingredients and give them a stir.

Do I need to cook the meatballs first?

Most of the meatballs you find in the frozen foods section of the grocery store are precooked. If they are not, or if you are making them homemade, be sure to cook them before adding to the slow cooker.

How to Keep Cocktail Meatballs Warm During a Party

If you are making slow cooker meatball appetizers, simply turn the temperature to either low or the warm setting on your crockpot.

Cooking them a different way? You can add the meatballs and sauce to a chafing dish or place in a pot on the stove top. If you are hosting an outdoor party, place them in a disposable aluminum pan and place on indirect heat on your grill or smoker.

toothpick holding a meatball

Beef Meatball Appetizers

1. Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Not your traditional recipe with Russian dressing and apricot preserves but you must try it! Perfectly sweet and sour with a dash of Worcestershire sauce to balance it all out.

white slow cooker with meatballs, sauce, and a wood spoon

2. Grape Jelly Meatballs

A great recipe because it has just 3 ingredients. It’s one of the easiest appetizers around. Grab some frozen meatballs from the grocery store.

bbq meatballs on a toothpick

3. BBQ Meatballs

Made with bbq sauce and a homemade steak seasoning, these are rich and delicious!

mini cheeseburger meatballs on a toothpick

4. Bacon Cheeseburger Meatballs

Smaller than sliders these mini bacon cheeseburger meatballs are super cute and fun for a kid’s party or backyard gathering.

Don’t they just scream summer?!?

cranberry jalapeno meatballs

5. Cranberry Jalapeno Meatballs

Spicy Cranberry Jalapeno Meatballs are the perfect party appetizer with tons of flavor! Sweet, spicy, tangy, and delicious!

three cocktail appetizers on a white plate with forks

6. Honey Mustard Meatballs

The perfect blend of smoky bbq sauce, sweet honey, and tangy Dijon mustard. Topped with pickled mustard seeds, these are a unique party meatball!

italian meatballs

7. Italian Meatballs

These flavorful, moist meatballs come together in minutes and are oven baked for a quick dinner. Homemade Italian Meatballs are always satisfying and well received.

small white bowl with meatballs and sesame seeds

Pork Meatball Appetizers

8. Hawaiian Meatballs

Also known as Waikiki meatballs, the sweet pineapple and fragrant ginger make the perfect sauce for meatballs. Serve with some steamed rice and sliced green onions.

black pot with meatballs and sesame seeds in it

9. Teriyaki Meatballs

Sweet and tangy with a sticky glaze that will have you licking your fingers. Top with sliced green onions and toasted sesame seeds for even more flavor and texture.

For more insider tips & tricks, and a candid behind the scenes look follow me on social media! Check use out on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter (yes, people still use Twitter, LOL!)

Crock Pot Nashville Hot Chicken Meatballs

Chicken Meatball Appetizers

10. Nashville Hot Chicken Meatballs

Easier to make than fried chicken, these meatballs are slow simmered in hot and spicy butter sauce. Serve with pickle slices to keep the heat to a minimum.

spoon sauce on meatballs and rice

11. Firecracker Meatballs

The next time you’re looking for delicious dinners, try this recipe for low carb spicy meatballs that everyone will love. 

close up of meatball on a stick

12. French Onion Meatballs

The instant pot is the king when making these. The caramelized onions only add to the richness of the dish. Topped with cheese and they only get better.

fork with lamb meatball and tzatziki sauce

13. Lamb Meatballs

Take a trip to the Mediterranean with these easy lamb meatballs. The sauce alone is worth the trip!

Reuben Meatballs in a skillet and one on a fork

14. Reuben Meatballs

These are perfect for a St. Patrick’s day get together! Serve on rye toasts for even more flavor.

More Meatball Recipes

Green Chile Meatballs with Cheese Sauce
Green Chile Meatballs with Cheese Sauce are an easy ground beef meatball appetizer with a spicy kick that can be kept warm in the slow cooker!
Check out this recipe
Jalapeno Popper Meatballs
Jalapeno Popper Meatballs are full of jalapeno, bacon, cheddar cheese, and cream cheese. Served over salsa, they make a fantastic spicy appetizer or meal.
Check out this recipe
Meatloaf Meatballs {Bite Sized Appetizers!}
Meatloaf Meatballs are bite sized appetizers that have all the flavor you love in a classic meatloaf recipe smothered in a tasty sauce!
Check out this recipe
Ranch Meatballs
Dry ranch seasoning, ground beef and breadcrumbs come together to form the best Ranch Meatballs! Perfectly tender, juicy, zesty and delicious!
Check out this recipe
BBQ Bacon Wrapped Meatballs
Do you have an easy appetizer recipe that everyone requests for potlucks and Sunday football viewing parties? I have two: Texas Caviar and this bacon wrapped meatball recipe.
Check out this recipe
Porcupine Meatballs
Porcupine meatballs require only 6 ingredients. Make these saucy tomato meatballs, that are held together with rice in less than 30 minutes!
Check out this recipe
Slow Cooker Bourbon Meatballs
These flavor-packed Slow Cooker Bourbon Meatballs will be a hit at your next gathering. Just 5 minutes prep time is all that’s needed!
Check out this recipe
Honey Garlic Crockpot Meatballs
These Honey Garlic Crockpot Meatballs can be served as an appetizer or a main meal!
Check out this recipe
Instant Pot Cranberry Meatballs
These meatballs in the Instant Pot are one of the quickest, easiest cocktail meatballs I’ve ever made. So good too!
Check out this recipe
“Stuffed Pepper” Meatballs
The flavors of traditional stuffed peppers, in a jiffy!
Check out this recipe
Schweddy Balls
The are bite sized cocktail meatballs with cranberry and chili sauce, warmed to perfection in the slow cooker, and are quickly eaten at any holiday party or game day gathering.
Check out this recipe
Slow Cooker Pineapple BBQ Meatballs
This Slow Cooker Pineapple BBQ Meatball recipe is a family favorite. This recipe is both sweet and tangy that will leave you to want more.
Check out this recipe
Coca-Cola Meatballs
Coca-Cola Meatballs are comforting, rich, tangy and saucy – my family’s favorite dinner choice!
Check out this recipe
Easy Baked Mexican Meatballs
These Easy Baked Mexican Meatballs are packed with roasted poblanos and cilantro, and served in thickened enchilada sauce!
Check out this recipe
Slow Cooker Red Curry Meatballs
Beef meatballs simmered in a red curry coconut sauce. Serve with rice or as a slow cooker party appetizer.
Check out this recipe
Italian Meatballs – Tender and Juicy
These homemade Italian meatballs are soft, tender & melt-in-your-mouth delicious! They're made with ground beef and breadcrumbs then baked in the oven.
Check out this recipe
Easy Swedish Meatballs in a Creamy Sauce
This recipe for easy, homemade Swedish Meatballs in a rich, creamy sauce is one of our favorite comfort foods! These really are the best Swedish meatballs in a simple gravy sauce that is made from scratch that I've ever had!
Check out this recipe
Iowa Ham Balls
Not your average meatballs, these Iowa Ham Balls are a regional favorite made with leftover ham in a sticky sweet sauce!
Check out this recipe
Asian Meatballs: Chinese Pork Meatballs (Char Siew style)
Chinese Pork meatballs: Char Seiw like charring on the edges with flavors hitting notes of sweet and salty in each that are ideal for delicious Asian meatball appetizers in about 20 minutes.
Check out this recipe
Chipotle Pork Meatballs
The unique flavors of the Italian sausage mixed with crushed gingersnaps create fun and tasty appetizer.
Check out this recipe
Chicken Meatballs in Cajun Cream Sauce
This simple chicken meatball recipe makes the best golden brown, juicy homemade meatballs that are perfect served as an appetizer or a main dish.
Check out this recipe
Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
These cocktail meatballs are sure to be a hit at your next party! They are an inventive way to switch up the classic chicken wing appetizer!
Check out this recipe
Teriyaki Chicken Meatball Kabobs
With fresh pineapple, red and green peppers, red onions, Teriyaki Ginger Chicken Meatballs and the most delicious homemade Teriyaki sauce your lips have tasted!
Check out this recipe
Sticky Thai Meatballs – Paleo & Low FODMAP
Baked Thai Meatballs packed with fresh flavors and paired with a simple chili sauce. Low FODMAP, Paleo and SCD approved.
Check out this recipe
Chicken Marsala Meatballs
Skip the tedious skillet meat and whip up this classic Italian dish but with meatballs instead!
Check out this recipe
General Tso Chicken Meatballs
If you are a fan of the popular Chinese take out classic, you will love these General Tso Chicken Meatballs! We have provided both a regular and low carb option. Skip the take out, these are easy.
Check out this recipe
Coconut Curry Chicken Meatballs (with Video)
Let’s kick off the year right with these healthy Coconut Curry Chicken Meatballs. This curry chicken recipe is so damn good, and it’s a Whole30 dinner recipe that makes incredible leftovers.
Check out this recipe
BBQ Chicken Meatballs
These BBQ Chicken Meatballs are one of my favorite easy party appetizers, but they also make a delicious dinner when served with a couple veggie sides!
Check out this recipe
Greek Meatballs (Keftedes)
These Greek Meatballs (aka Keftedes) are made with ground beef and lamb or pork mixed with fresh garlic, feta cheese, other herbs and spices, then cooked to tender, savory perfection.
Check out this recipe
Tropical Turkey Meatballs
Tropical Turkey Meatballs are a perfect appetizer on their own or serve them in a piece of flatbread to make them more of a full meal item. Light and tender, flavored with hints of mango and mild heat of habanero chiles.
Check out this recipe
Grilled Bratwurst & Kraut Meatball Kabobs – best home or tailgate grilling!
These Grilled Bratwurst & Kraut Meatball Kabobs combine the flavors of grilled brats with peppers, onions and kraut with lean ground beef meatballs.
Check out this recipe
Slow-Cooker Moroccan Turkey Meatballs
The combo of dried apricots, warm spices, and rich tomato sauce is perfectly balanced with the tart pop of pomegranate seeds.
Check out this recipe
Pastrami Meatballs
These might look like ordinary meatballs, but they have a secret weapon inside: The finely diced pastrami mixed into the meat mixture doesn’t just add incredible flavor to the meatballs, but it keeps them extremely moist and soft. They’re like no meatballs you’ve ever had before!
Check out this recipe
Crock Pot Apple Cocktail Meatballs
These Apple Cocktail Meatballs are an easy party food appetizer that’s made in the slow cooker and loaded with flavors that will tantalize your taste buds!
Check out this recipe

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Each of the party meatballs make for easy appetizers or an easy main dish for am busy week night. Make them ahead of time, serve in a crockpot where they will stay warm throughout the entire get together. If they last that long.

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