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Amazing Cocktail Meatballs! (Sweet and Sour Meatballs)


These sweet & sour cocktail meatballs are easy to make and so delicious!

Tender juicy meatballs are simmered in a quick two ingredient sauce for the perfect sweet and sour cocktail meatball!

These will be the first thing gone, and nobody will ever believe what is in them!

cooked Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Perfect Party Appetizer

  • Cocktail meatballs are a party recipe! Serve them at every party or gathering, and watch them disappear!
  • They’re so easy to make with just three ingredients!
  • Serve these sweet and sour meatballs as an appetizer or even served over rice for a weeknight meal that your family will love!
ingredients for sweet and sour meatballs

Ingredients for Sweet & Sour Meatballs

I often make grape jelly meatballs, but did you know that you can basically choose any sweet ingredient and any tangy ingredient for a great cocktail meatball sauce?

Meatballs – You can use the recipe below for homemade meatballs, or use a bag of frozen fully cooked meatballs for an easy appetizer with almost no prep needed! You can also use the same sauce for cocktail smokies.

Sauce – The easy sauce for these sweet and sour meatballs needs just two ingredients: one sweet and one tangy.

  • Choose one sweet – apricot preserves, strawberry jam, grape jelly, or cranberry sauce.
  • Choose one tangy – ketchup, chilli sauce, bbq sauce.
adding ingredients to pot to make Sweet and Sour Meatballs

How to Make Cocktail Meatballs

What could be easier than this three-ingredient recipe?

  1. Make the meatballs (as per the recipe below) or use frozen meatballs.
  2. Mix the sauce ingredients together and heat on low in a saucepan.
  3. Add the cooked meatballs to the sauce, bring to a boil, then simmer until thickened.

Crockpot Version

These work perfectly in the Crockpot too!

  1. Just bake the meatballs as directed (or just add them frozen if you’re not making homemade)
  2. Place the sauce ingredients in the slow cooker.
  3. Add meatballs to the sauce and let heat through on high for at least 1-2 hours before serving (a bit longer if using frozen).

Once heated through meatballs can be left on low for serving.

mixing meatballs with sauce to make Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Storing Meatballs

  • Cocktail meatballs can be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen for future use.
  • They will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days and will retain their flavor in the freezer for 2-3 months.
  • Be sure to cook and reheat to a temperature of 165ºF.

More Easy Appetizers You’ll Love

Did your family love these Sweet and Sour Meatballs? If so, leave a rating and comment below!

cooked Sweet and Sour Meatballs

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Sweet and Sour Cocktail Meatballs

Sweet and sour meatballs are a delicious appetizer that can be cooked on the stove top or in the slow cooker.

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 18 minutes

Total Time 33 minutes

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.

  • If making homemade meatballs, combine ground beef, diced onion, bread crumbs, eggs, and pepper in a medium bowl. Divide the mixture into 1-inch meatballs.

  • Bake homemade meatballs for 18-20 minutes or bake frozen meatballs according to package directions.

  • In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, combine apricot preserves and barbecue sauce. Stir until the preserves start to melt.

  • Add in meatballs and bring the mixture to a boil.

  • Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the sauce is slightly thickened.

Other sauce options for meatballs:

  • 10 ounces strawberry preserves & ⅔ cup ketchup
  • 14 ounces jellied cranberry sauce & 12 ounces chili sauce

If using fully cooked meatballs, they do not need to be baked first. Simmering time may need to be increased slightly.
These meatballs will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. They will also keep in the freezer for 2-3 months.

Serving: 1meatball | Calories: 56 | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 93mg | Potassium: 99mg | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 50IU | Vitamin C: 0.8mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.6mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
cooked Sweet and Sour Meatballs with writing
Sweet and Sour Meatballs on a plate with a title
close up of Sweet and Sour Meatballs with a title
Sweet and Sour Meatballs in the pot and plated with a title


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