Appetizer/ Freezer Friendly/ Holidays/ Recipe

Cocktail Meatballs

Cocktail meatballs are perfect for any party or gathering.

Party Sized Meatballs with a light apricot barbecue sauce glaze

Cocktail meatballs made with ground beef or ground elk meat.

We are about to enter into the official party season! Sometimes it feels like nonstop parties and get-togethers from now until New Years!  All these parties mean great party food! Are you ready? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!

These cocktail meatballs are perfect for a formal gathering or an impromptu get-together.

These cocktail meatballs are perfect for all your holiday parties

These cocktail meatballs can be made ahead of time which makes them even more perfect for the holidays!

If you are a regular reader of Beyond the Chicken Coop you know that I live in a house full of hunters (hubby and all three kids.) Which means I have freezers full of wild game. Many of my recipes are made with elk meat.

I made these meatballs with ground elk meat. Now don’t let that scare you away! You can use lean ground beef and your meatballs will be amazing too!

To save time,  use a scoop to shape the meatballs! When making these meatballs I used the smallest scoop I had, because I wanted small meatballs.

Different sized scoops used for making meatballs.

You could use a larger scoop if you wanted larger meatballs! Use whatever you have or whatever fits your need.

Meatballs ready for the oven.

These meatballs are baked. To make ahead of time you can mix and shape the meatballs, cover and refrigerate.  You could also bake, cool cover and freeze. You can add the sauce when you are ready to serve.

Cooked cocktail meatballs cooling on baking sheet.

When it’s party time, simply mix up the apricot barbecue glaze.  Add the meatballs and you are ready to go!

Cocktail meatballs with an apricot BBQ sauce

5 from 3 votes
These cocktail meatballs are perfect for all your holiday parties
Cocktail Meatballs
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 

Meatballs with apricot barbecue glaze

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cocktail Meatballs, Meatballs in apricot glaze, Party Meatballs
Servings: 70 meatballs
Calories: 37 kcal
Author: Kathy
Ingredients
Meatballs
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground elk meat or lean ground beef
  • 2 cups dried bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Sauce
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 cup apricot jam
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Instructions
Meatballs
  1. Place meat, bread crumbs and milk into a large bowl. Combine together using your hands or a large spoon.

  2. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Let mixture set for 5 minutes and mix again.

  3. Use a small scoop to create meatballs. Place meatballs on a lightly greased baking sheet. 

  4. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.

  5. Allow meatballs to cool. Remove from pan. Use right away, cover and refrigerate or place in freezer safe containers and freeze.

Sauce
  1. Add barbecue sauce, apricot jam and red pepper flakes to a saucepan. Heat over medium low heat, stirring often.

  2. Simmer sauce for 3-4 minutes. Add a portion of the meatballs at a time. Heat until meatballs are heated through. 

  3. Remove meatballs from sauce letting excess sauce fall off. Place meatballs on a baking sheet and place in a 200 degree oven to keep warm.

  4. Repeat with remaining meatballs. 

  5. Serve warm

Nutrition Facts
Cocktail Meatballs
Amount Per Serving
Calories 37 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 2%
Cholesterol 6mg 2%
Sodium 123mg 5%
Potassium 49mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 4g 1%
Sugars 1g
Protein 2g 4%
Vitamin A 0.5%
Vitamin C 0.1%
Calcium 1%
Iron 2.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Other Great Party Recipes

Crispy, Crunchy Coconut ShrimpCoconut Shrimp

Stuffed Mushrooms with sausage and cheeseStuffed Mushrooms

Puff Pastry Straws fresh from the oven and cooling on a baking rack.Puff Pastry Cheese Straws

Cocktail Meatballs are a perfect appetizer for all you holiday parties

Cocktail Meatballs are a perfect appetizer for all your holiday parties! #appetizers #holidays #meatballs

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    David @ Spiced
    October 1, 2018 at 5:09 am

    You know, I remembered that your husband and sons are hunters, but I totally forgot that they hunted elk. I’m not sure I’ve ever tasted elk…I’m intrigued! Either way, this is a great recipe for the upcoming holiday season. I feel like I’m always hunting for an easy recipe idea to take to a party…and I’m going to have to keep this one in mind! The apricot-BBQ sauce sounds like a fun one!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      October 4, 2018 at 6:15 am

      My daughter hunts too! 🙂 They hunt for just about everything around here, elk is just our favorite. It is less gamey than some of the other meat. These meatballs can always be made with ground beef too! 🙂

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    October 1, 2018 at 6:09 am

    I’m a huge fan of meatballs so you know I’m all over this one! So much flavor in one little bite! Love it, Kathy!! Pinned!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      October 4, 2018 at 6:39 am

      Thanks, Annie!!!

  • Reply
    Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
    October 1, 2018 at 9:29 am

    My husband would eat each and every one and not feel one bit bad about not sharing! They look delicious Kathy!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      October 7, 2018 at 6:20 am

      Luckily this makes a huge batch of meatballs! 🙂

  • Reply
    Dawn
    October 3, 2018 at 6:15 am

    This is definitely a recipe to keep on hand for the holidays! Love sweet and savoury combos so that apricot addition is just perfect! I bet these would disappear in a flash 🙂

    • Reply
      Kathy
      October 7, 2018 at 6:26 am

      They do! They are also great because you can do most of the work ahead of time!

  • Reply
    allie
    October 3, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    I’d love to try these cocktail meatballs with elk meat, Kathy! But alas, no elk meat in the freezer. I do however, have some ground moose. Go figure. Speaking of parties, I can’t believe we are in that holiday season already. Here. We. Go! Thanks for a great holiday recipe!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      October 7, 2018 at 6:28 am

      You can definitely make these with ground moose meat! These meatballs are very versatile – you can use your favorite type of ground meat!

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