Recipe for Mini Meatballs | Cocktail Meatballs | Almanac.com

Mini Meatballs | Cocktail Meatballs

Photo Credit
Sam Jones/Quinn Brein
Yield: about 3 dozen meatballs
Preparation Method
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Our Mini Meatball recipe is called “Polpettini.”  They may be little meatballs, but they are big on flavor! Get ready for a perfect blend of breadcrumbs, cheese, and meat. Frying the meatballs adds an unexpected but pleasant crunch. 

“Polpettini” refers to an Italian meatball that is smaller than the Italian-American versions and traditionally served on spoons as a second course without pasta! However, we think they also make excellent cocktail meatballs.


1/4 pound ground beef
1/4 pound ground pork
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 and 1/2 cups unseasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup (1/2 ounce) grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
freshly chopped parsley, for garnish

Heat oven to 200 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine beef, pork, garlic, bread crumbs, cheese, parsley, eggs, salt, and pepper. Form small balls and place on a baking sheet.

Heat a cast-iron skillet with 1/4 inch olive oil over high setting. Fry meatballs about 1 minute per side, moving them around in pan to brown lightly on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel-lined plate. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to oven until you’ve cooked all meatballs.

To serve as an appetizer, 12 pieces at a time, place one meatball onto each of 12 decorative spoons and top with 1 to 2 teaspoons of Garlicky Tomato Sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley. Place a dozen spoons in a circle (handles pointing out) on a serving platter and serve immediately.


Garlicky Tomato Sauce

2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 jar tomato puree
kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, saute garlic in olive oil 2 to 3 minutes; do not brown. Add tomato and cook 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Everything in Season: Not sure whether you’ve seasoned your meatballs (or your meatloaf, dumpling stuffing, or other raw mixture) correctly? Simply heat a small saute pan and fry a tablespoon or so of the raw mixture until it’s cooked through. Taste for salt, pepper, or other seasonings and adjust as necessary.