Serve these tender cocktail meatballs in this luxurious garlic butter sauce for an easy to prepare party appetizer that is sure to be a hit!
You can't have a proper party spread without cocktail meatballs. These can be served with a toothpick or a fork for nibbling. Alternatively, use these to build a comforting family dinner by serving them over a bed of egg noodles.
Cocktail Meatballs in Garlic Butter Sauce
Cocktail meatballs in garlic butter sauce make a great party appetizer not only because they are easy to prepare with the ingredients you have on hand, but more importantly, they taste great. The meatballs are seasoned with dry, Italian-style herbs, making garlic butter an ideal sauce for meatballs!
This recipe makes one pound of meatballs, but you can easily double or triple this recipe depending on your needs. Everything can even be kept warm and served in a slow cooker as well.
How to Make Cocktail Meatballs
There are a couple of tricks to making great meatballs that don't taste like tough, overcooked meat rocks. The obvious first consideration is the ingredients. Adding breadcrumbs, in particular, are important because they not only do they help hold moisture inside the meatball, but they also yield a more tender mouthfeel to the beef, allowing it to break apart more easily when eaten.
Next, crumble the beef into smaller bits with your fingertips and gently mix with the other ingredients. When forming the balls, only apply as much pressure as is needed to create the shape and get everything to hold together. This will create a more tender meatball than if everything is smashed and smeared together.
I think the ideal size of a cocktail meatball is slightly smaller than a golf ball. However, you can form these meatballs smaller or larger to fit your preferences. For cocktail meatballs, smaller is typically better.
Garlic Butter Sauce
The garlic butter sauce served over these meatballs is essentially a homemade gravy. Butter and garlic are sauteed together in a saucepan, then flour is added to make a roux. Finally, chicken broth is slowly stirred in to create a sauce.
It is important that the broth is added a few splashes at a time so lumps do not form. If you get a lumpy gravy they can be strained out with a fine mesh strainer.
The garlic butter sauce will initially be thin, but it will thicken while it simmers. If the sauce is too thin, let it simmer longer. If the sauce gets too thick add a couple of dribbles of water into it to thin it back out.
More Meatball Ideas
- BBQ meatballs - Classic meatballs with a sweet and smoky barbeque twist!
- Easy meatball subs - Who doesn't enjoy this classic sandwich?
- Buffalo chicken meatballs - Chicken meatballs spiced up with everyone's favorite hot sauce.
- Meatballs with Grape Jelly and Chili Sauce - A classic appetizer for generations.
- Venison meatballs - If you are lucky enough to have a deer, you will love these!
Cocktail Meatballs in Garlic Butter Sauce
- 1 pound ground beef (80/20 beef ideally)
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup butter
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Gently crumble the ground beef into small piece and add to large bowl.
- Add remaining meatball ingredients and gently combine everything together.
- Grab ~2 tablespoons (smaller than a golf ball) of the meatball mixture and use your hands to roll into a ball and place on baking sheet
- Place into oven preheated to 400 degrees for 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Though the time will vary depending on the size of the meatball.
- While the meatballs are baking melt butter in a saucepan and saute garlic for 1-2 minutes.
- Stir in flour and cook for an additional two minutes to cook out the flour taste, stirring continually.
- Finally, add chicken broth and bring to gentle boil.
- Cook until the sauce thickens to the consistency of gravy.
- Add meatballs to the sauce and keep warm in slow cooker as needed.
This recipe was originally published on FoxValleyFoodie.com November 20, 2015.