Apricot Glazed Cocktail Meatballs
These sweet and sour Apricot Glazed Cocktail Meatballs were a hit at my recent book club gathering. Homemade meatballs were cooked in a sassy sauce with loads of flavor! They flew off the table!
Apricot Glazed Cocktail Meatballs
When any appetizer buffet has cocktail meatballs, the picky hubby is certain to pile a few on his plate. I don’t know why it took so long for me to make a batch. It was time to host my book club and I needed a variety of hearty offerings since it was dinner for most of the group. These saucy numbers fit the bill!
Both my book club and husband gave these rave reviews. I made just half a batch and though I’ve tried many cocktail meatballs throughout the years, this sauce stood out!
Tips for Making Cocktail Meatballs
If you’re like me and want to make homemade meatballs, I have a few tips for streamlining the process. Since a full batch makes about 80 meatballs, feel free to cut this recipe in half.
- You can use store-bought meatballs or make them from scratch. If you make them from scratch, do it days ahead of time and keep them in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag. Let them defrost in the fridge the night before your event.
- I baked them up on a rimmed baking sheet, allowed them to cool, then placed them in a freezer bag, removed the excess air and popped them in the freezer.
- PRO-Tip: To keep the meatballs a consistent size, use a cookie disher/scoop. Then roll between your palms to make them into nicely shaped spheres.
- The sauce can also be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days (or the freezer for up to a month). Just gently reheat them together before serving.
- You could also reheat the cocktail meatballs in a crockpot, but that will most likely take a couple of hours. It’s hands-off time, though.
- To warm and serve, you can use your slow cooker or crockpot. Putting a bowl on a warming tray also helps keep these apricot glazed cocktail meatballs toasty hot.
- If you can’t find apricot preserves, any sweet jam or jelly works well. The sweetness balances the savory ingredients for the most delicious experience.
Other dishes I served my book club include sliders made with my pulled pork and topped with coleslaw, homemade queso dip, ginger cookies, flourless brownies, a Kahlua caramel baked Brie, plus a cheese tray. And during the holidays, if you have an extra can of jellied cranberry sauce, try these tasty Cranberry Baked Meatballs.
For the Meatballs:
- 4 slices white sandwich bread, ground into crumbs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 egg yolks
- 3 pounds meatloaf mix (equal parts ground beef, ground pork and ground veal)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the Sauce:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 28 ounces canned tomato sauce
- 2 1/2 cup apricot preserves (I used Bonne Maman)
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- To make the meatballs, mix the bread crumbs, milk, and egg yolks in a large bowl with a fork until well combined. Add the meat mixture, garlic, pepper, and salt. Mix until incorporated.
- Form the mixture into 1 1/4 inch meatballs. Bake meatballs on 2 rimmed cookie sheets until cooked through, 12-15 minutes. Switch and rotate the sheets halfway through.
- Let the meatballs cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until firm. If freezing, throw meatballs into a large Ziploc bag and freeze for up to 1 month.
- To make the sauce, heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the tomato sauce, preserves, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and red pepper flakes. Bring to boil.
- Reduce heat to med-low and simmer until the sauce is thickened, about 15 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. If freezing, transfer to a large airtight container and freeze for up to one month.
- If meatballs and sauce are frozen, defrost meatballs and sauce in the fridge overnight before you want to serve them.
- Add sauce and meatballs to a large saucepan and gently reheat until hot. You can also place them in a crockpot on low for 2 hours to heat.
Adapted from ATK.
You can also use 3+ pounds of premade/frozen meatballs. Yields 80 meatballs
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 279Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 740mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 2gSugar: 25gProtein: 12g