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31 Best Meatball Appetizers That Are Party Must-Haves

There is a reason why homemade meatballs are one of the favorite party appetizer options. They’re quick and easy to make. These meatball appetizers are also easy to serve!

Just pop a cocktail stick in each one, making this great appetizer easy to pick up at your next party!

What comes to mind when you think of a meatball appetizer? Perhaps Swedish meatballs, sour meatballs, or glazed Hawaiian meatballs.

However, there are many options for juicy meatballs far beyond these!

You can make delicious meatballs with any type of meat that comes in a ground form. Pork, chicken, turkey, beef – even plant-based ground.

Add a different taste each time by switching up your seasonings. Make the best meatball recipes mild, spicy, herby, savory, and even sweet by serving them with grape jelly!

meatball appetizers

What to Serve with Meatballs at a Party?

You may be wondering what to serve with your amazing meatball appetizers. One of the easiest options is a dipping sauce – or a sauce that you’ve cooked them in.

BBQ sauce is perfect! Or a creamy gravy sauce for Swedish meatballs.

You could also try crunchy veg sticks – think carrots, bell peppers, and cucumber. Crisp lettuce leaves work as a vessel for your meatballs!

Different types of bread are a great option, too. Mini pita pockets, toasted garlic bread, and crunchy crostini are all good ideas.

However you serve these meatball appetizer recipes, you’re sure to make your guests happy with these delicious meatball appetizers before your main dish!

Easy Meatball Appetizers

You want easy recipes when you’re preparing for a party. We’ve got you covered with this selection of favorite meatball appetizers!

1. Cheesy Italian Meatball Sub Dip

cheesy Italian meatball sub dip


A rich tomatoey, cheesy sauce surrounds mini Italian meatballs. Serve this easy appetizer with crostini, and it’s a fun twist on a meatball sub for special occasions or game day!

Put shredded mozzarella in your meatball mixture for a cheesy taste throughout your dip. Use garlic to add flavor, too.

Add spoonfuls of ricotta to the marinara sauce with your cooked meatballs. Sprinkle mozzarella on top and bake until the cheese is gooey and golden!

2. Hoisin Meatballs

hoisin meatballs


Spicy, savory, and umami seasoned beef meatballs are coated in a sweet hoisin sauce!

Add flavor to your meatballs with basic ingredients like tamarind paste, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger from the grocery store. Sesame oil delivers a mild nutty taste.

Make your tasty glaze with hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, honey, and sesame oil. Serve your meatballs with crunchy carrots, cucumber, and scallions for a delicious Asian-inspired appetizer.

3. Greek Meatballs

Greek meatballs


This keftedes are delicious – crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside! They make the perfect appetizer served alongside pita bread and Greek salad.

Use a combination of ground pork and beef to make your meatballs. The pork makes them extra juicy and flavorful! Add onion and garlic, too.

Parsley adds freshness to your meatballs. You can add some Greek oregano for an authentic taste. If you have Ouzo to hand, put some of that in too!

4. Buffalo Turkey Meatballs

buffalo turkey meatballs


Make a twist on the classic buffalo chicken with these tasty turkey meatballs.

Add texture and taste to your meatballs with fresh garlic and diced celery. Season them with garlic powder, onion powder, dried dill, salt, and pepper.

Cover your meatballs in hot sauce and cook them in your crockpot until juicy and tender. Pour more hot sauce over the top before serving!

5. Meatball Pita Pockets

meatball pita pockets


Use your leftovers and pantry staples to make these quick and easy pita pockets!

Cooked Italian meatballs from another meal are ideal for this appetizer. Mini pita pockets are the perfect size.

Use slices of juicy tomato and crunchy cucumber to fill your pitas alongside your meatballs. Drizzle everything with creamy Caesar dressing!

6. Hot Pepper Jelly Smoked Meatballs

hot pepper jelly smoked meatballs


Wrap bite-sized meatballs in salty bacon and cook them on your smoker for this delicious appetizer. If you don’t own a smoker, you can use your oven too!

Wrap your meatballs in thin slices of bacon before sprinkling them with seasoning. A flavorsome BBQ rub is ideal.

When your meatballs are cooked, brush your choice of hot pepper jelly on them. You can use BBQ sauce if you wish. Let them heat a little longer until the jelly is hot and sticky!

You might also enjoy these tasty smoked appetizer recipes!

7. Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

buffalo chicken meatballs


Try this delicious twist on buffalo chicken wings. Buffalo sauce is in the meatballs and the sauce, so there’s a double hit of buffalo flavor!

Add flavor to your meatballs with salt, garlic, and onion powder alongside buffalo sauce. Once your meatballs are cooked, toss them in buffalo sauce and sprinkle with blue cheese crumbles.

8. Sweet and Sour Ground Pork Meatballs

sweet and sour ground pork meatballs


Enjoy these Asian-inspired meatballs with flavors of garlic and ginger. They’re served in a tasty sweet and sour sauce.

Season your meatballs with ginger, garlic, onion, and parsley. Add ketchup for a mild tangy taste.

Make your sauce with ketchup, apple cider vinegar, mustard, and soy sauce. Use brown sugar and honey for the sweet taste.

Add your cooked meatballs to your slow cooker with onions, bell peppers, and pineapple. Pour your sauce over the top and cook until your veggies are tender.

These meatballs are one of the best party appetizers, your guests will clear the plate!

9. Slow Cooker Enchilada Meatballs

enchilada meatballs


Enchilada meatballs made in your slow cooker are easy, fun, and delicious! They’re full of flavor and perfect for a Tex-Mex appetizer.

Add pre-made frozen meatballs to your pot with enchilada sauce, green chiles, and taco seasoning. When you’re close to serving, stir in sour cream and sprinkle shredded cheese.

Serve your enchilada meatballs when the cheese is gooey and melted!

10. Lamb Meatballs

lamb meatballs


These homemade lamb meatballs are moist, juicy, and delicious! They make the perfect addition to a platter of Greek appetizers.

Flavor your meatballs with ground coriander, cumin, cinnamon, and mint. Add grated onion and garlic, too, for a little extra texture.

Sear your tasty meatballs in a skillet until they’re golden brown!

11. Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped Cheeseburger Bites

bacon wrapped cheeseburger bites


Gooey cheddar cheese is surrounded by juicy beef and crispy bacon. Every mouthful tastes just like a cheeseburger!

Season ground beef with salt and pepper. Add an egg and breadcrumbs to bind your meatballs. Pop a cheddar cube inside your rolled meatballs before wrapping them in bacon.

Cook your cheeseburger bites in the air fryer until they’re cooked and crispy outside. Sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving!

12. Chicken Sausage Meatballs

chicken sausage meatballs


These chicken sausage meatballs are juicy, flavorful, and versatile. Serve them with your favorite dipping sauce for a delicious appetizer!

Add parsley, chopped onion, garlic, and parmesan to your chicken sausage. (You need to remove it from the casing first.) Sundried tomatoes make these meatballs stand out!

13. Pepperoni Meatballs

pepperoni meatballs


These tender meatballs are a tasty twist on a classic pepperoni pizza! They have all of your favorite flavors but in bite-sized form.

One of the essential ingredients in your meatballs is, of course, pepperoni! Blitz it up to make it easier to make your meatballs, plus keep them moist.

Mushrooms give your meatballs an earthy taste. Add onion and garlic for a robust flavor too. Italian herbs and paprika add another level to your pepperoni meatballs.

If you are looking for the best hot appetizers, this is one of them!

14. Buffalo Cauliflower Meatballs

buffalo cauliflower meatballs


Try this buffalo cauliflower recipe if you like your meatballs spicy! It’s an excellent option for a veggie diet.

Use cauliflower rice as the base for your “meatballs.” Almond flour helps make the texture smooth. Season them with garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.

Toss your meatballs in buffalo sauce before serving!

15. Chicken Zucchini Meatballs

chicken zucchini meatballs


This recipe is like a cross between zucchini fritters and chicken meatballs! They’re a great way to sneak in extra veggies too.

Adding zucchini to your chicken meatballs keeps them moist and juicy. Chopped onion adds flavor and texture.

Fresh parsley, dried oregano, and ground cumin elevate the taste of your meatballs. Serve these with your favorite dipping sauce!

16. Mini Taco Meatballs

mini taco meatbalsl


Find all your favorite flavors from a taco in these juicy beef meatballs!

The prominent flavor in your meatballs comes from taco seasoning. Add diced yellow onion for texture and fresh cilantro for flavor.

Put shredded cheese right into your meatball mixture for an authentic taco taste!

Swedish Meatball Appetizers

Swedish meatballs are one of the most famous types of meatballs! The best part is there are delicious meatball recipes for everyone here, from meat-eaters to vegans.

17. Swedish Meatballs

swedish meatballs


This easy meatball appetizer recipe is flavorful, moist, and served with a creamy gravy sauce.

Use ground pork and beef for maximum juiciness. Season your meatballs with allspice, nutmeg, oregano, salt, and pepper. Fresh parmesan adds a subtle pop of flavor.

Make your creamy sauce with beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon, and sour cream. Chicken bouillon is the secret ingredient for depth of flavor!

18. Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs

slow cooker swedish meatballs


Use your slow cooker to make tasty Swedish meatballs that you can “set and forget!”

Add a ton of flavor to your meatballs with garlic powder, onion powder, nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon. Brown your meatballs to seal in the juices before adding them to your slow cooker pot.

Create delicious sauce with beef stock, Dijon, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Add sour cream and heavy cream close to the end of cooking time.

19. Mini Swedish Meatballs

mini swedish meatballs


These mini meatballs are flavorful and extra soft thanks to a secret ingredient!

Use the essential seasoning of allspice and nutmeg for your meatballs. Add sautéed garlic and onion, too, for maximum flavor.

You need to add the secret ingredient that keeps your meatballs moist! This is white bread that has been soaked in milk. Serve your meatballs with homemade creamy gravy sauce.

20. Vegan Swedish Meatballs

vegan swedish meatballs


These vegan meatballs are made with plant-based ground. The texture is juicy and meaty, with a lightly spiced taste.

Fresh onions and garlic add texture to your meatballs and a savory flavor. Use nutmeg, allspice, and ground white pepper for the Swedish-style taste.

Worcestershire sauce and Dijon mustard deliver a slightly tangy, umami flavor to your meatballs.

Make a tasty sauce with coconut milk and vegan butter for a rich taste.

Season this with nutmeg, allspice, Dijon mustard, and vegan Worcestershire sauce. Better than Bouillon, No Beef Base provides a deep savory flavor.

21. Keto Swedish Meatballs

keto swedish meatballs


Combine ground beef and warming spices for these authentic-tasting keto Swedish meatballs.

Use crushed pork rinds instead of breadcrumbs to make your meatballs keto-friendly. Heavy cream helps to keep them moist.

Season your meatballs with allspice, nutmeg, sea salt, black pepper, and minced onion.

Use butter and heavy cream to make a tasty, creamy sauce. Use cream cheese to thicken it in a keto-friendly way. Beef bone broth adds a rich beefy flavor!

22. Homemade Swedish Meatballs

homemade swedish meatballs


Tender beef meatballs are perfectly cooked and served with a delicious creamy sauce!

Add a rich, varied taste to your meatballs with dried parsley, allspice, nutmeg, dried onion, and garlic powder. Worcestershire sauce and mustard add a hint of tangy flavor.

Use an easy roux to make your creamy sauce. Sour cream provides a smooth texture, and beef broth adds a rich flavor. Add a unique twist with lingonberry preserve!

This is one of the absolute best finger food recipes for a party!

BBQ Meatball Appetizers

BBQ flavor goes so well with meatballs! Check out the variety of delicious recipes below.

23. BBQ Meatballs

BBQ meatballs


This unique twist on traditional easy cocktail meatballs combines tangy BBQ sauce with flavorful Italian dressing!

Add delicious meatball flavor with BBQ seasoning, minced garlic, salt, and black pepper. Fresh parmesan provides a cheesy taste!

Your sauce is easy to make. Mix Italian dressing and BBQ sauce until well combined. Use some of this to bake your meatballs, and drizzle the rest on them when cooked!

24. Asian Pork Meatballs with Sweet Asian BBQ Sauce

Asian pork meatballs with sweet bbq sauce


Bring a taste of Asia to your appetizers with these moist pork meatballs and a sweet BBQ sauce!

Add flavor to your meatballs with minced garlic and ginger, green onions, and black pepper. Soy sauce provides an Asian taste, and mayo keeps your meatballs soft and tender.

Make your Asian BBQ sauce with ketchup, Dijon mustard, rice vinegar, minced ginger, and soy sauce. Sugar makes your sauce taste sweet, while toasted sesame oil adds a nutty flavor.

25. BBQ Turkey Meatballs

BBQ Turkey meatballs


Use ground turkey to make this naturally healthier version of BBQ meatballs! They have a delicious savory taste from the perfect blend of spices.

Add garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper to your meatball mixture. Italian seasoning provides a unique herby taste.

Add tomato, Worcestershire, and sriracha sauce to BBQ sauce. This makes a rich and tangy sauce to serve your meatballs in!

26. BBQ Bacon Wrapped Meatballs

BBQ Bacon wrapped meatballs


Juicy and tender meatballs are wrapped in crispy bacon. Smother them with sticky BBQ sauce for the ultimate meatball appetizer!

Flavor your meatballs with minced onion, fresh garlic, sea salt, and ground black pepper. Use seasoned bread crumbs for an Italian herb taste.

Evaporated milk is the secret ingredient to keep your meatballs moist and juicy!

Halfway through cooking your meatballs, baste them with your favorite BBQ sauce. Add more sauce before serving!

27. Cranberry BBQ Meatballs

cranberry bbq meatballs


Sweet cranberry sauce takes these juicy BBQ meatballs to a new level of deliciousness!

Use ground beef and mild country sausage for your meatballs. Add flavor with diced onion, ground black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Oats add texture and act as a binder.

Your tasty cranberry BBQ sauce is easy to make. Combine chili sauce, cranberry sauce, and brown sugar and cook until it thickens. Add your sauce to your meatballs near the end of cooking time!

28. BBQ Meatballs

BBQ Meatballs


This is one of the quickest and easiest recipes for tasty BBQ meatballs!

Use your favorite frozen meatballs for minimal prep and cook time. Add them to your crockpot with grape jelly and BBQ sauce.

Cook them until warm throughout, and garnish with green onions before serving!

29. Slow Cooker BBQ Meatballs

slow cooker bbq meatballs


You’ll love this effortless recipe for delicious BBQ crockpot meatballs!

Go for your preferred frozen meatballs to minimize prep and cooking time. You can make them from scratch if you prefer.

Combine your meatballs with grape jelly and BBQ sauce in your crockpot. Let them cook until warmed throughout and the sauce is bubbly and thick!

Put your slow cooker to good use with these other tasty crockpot appetizers!

30. BBQ Chicken Meatballs

BBQ chicken meatballs


These quick and easy BBQ chicken meatballs are moist, juicy, and flavorful!

Add a delicious flavor to your meatballs with cumin, paprika, Green Goddess seasoning, parsley, and minced garlic. Dijon mustard delivers a slightly tangy taste, and red onion adds texture. 

When your meatballs are cooked, set them aside while you make your sauce in the same skillet. Add BBQ sauce, sriracha, water, and salt and stir until combined. Coat your meatballs well before serving!

31. Instant Pot BBQ Sweet Meatballs

instant pot bbq swedish meatballs


These Instant Pot BBQ meatballs are ready in less than ten minutes! Making them perfect for a last-minute appetizer.

Your favorite frozen meatballs make the prep for this recipe quick and easy. Use your preferred BBQ sauce and grape jelly, too.

Cook the meatballs in your Instant Pot and set them aside when cooked. Sauté the BBQ sauce and grape jelly until it’s smooth and thickened. Stir in your meatballs and serve!

turkey meatballs with tomato sauce

31 Best Meatball Appetizers That Are Party Must-Haves

Kickstart your meal with these delicious meatball appetizers. Serve these at any gathering or party to impress your guests. 
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Appetizers
Cuisine American
Servings 8 -24 meatballs


  • 1. Cheesy Italian Meatball Sub Dip
  • 2. Hoisin Meatballs
  • 3. Greek Meatballs
  • 4. Buffalo Turkey Meatballs
  • 5. Meatball Pita Pockets
  • 6. Hot Pepper Jelly Smoked Meatballs
  • 7. Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
  • 8. Sweet and Sour Ground Pork Meatballs
  • 9. Slow Cooker Enchilada Meatballs
  • 10. Lamb Meatballs
  • 11. Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped Cheeseburger Bites
  • 12. Chicken Sausage Meatballs
  • 13. Pepperoni Meatballs
  • 14. Buffalo Cauliflower Meatballs
  • 15. Chicken Zucchini Meatballs
  • 16. Mini Taco Meatballs
  • 17. Swedish Meatballs
  • 18. Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs
  • 19. Mini Swedish Meatballs
  • 20. Vegan Swedish Meatballs
  • 21. Keto Swedish Meatballs
  • 22. Homemade Swedish Meatballs
  • 23. BBQ Meatballs
  • 24. Asian Pork Meatballs with Sweet Asian BBQ Sauce
  • 25. BBQ Turkey Meatballs
  • 26. BBQ Bacon Wrapped Meatballs
  • 27. Cranberry BBQ Meatballs
  • 28. BBQ Meatballs
  • 29. Slow Cooker BBQ Meatballs
  • 30. BBQ Chicken Meatballs
  • 31. Instant Pot BBQ Sweet Meatballs


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