Cocktail Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
Cocktail Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Cocktail meatballs in tomato sauce are a classic and crowd-pleasing appetizer that’s perfect for parties and gatherings. These bite-sized meatballs are cooked in a flavorful tomato sauce that’s tangy and savory. Here’s how to make cocktail meatballs in tomato sauce:


For the Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground beef or a mixture of ground beef and pork
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • Cooking spray or vegetable oil for greasing

For the Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 can (14 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the Oven:
  • Preheat your oven to 375Β°F (190Β°C). Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray or a small amount of vegetable oil.
  1. Make the Meatballs:
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground meat, breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, milk, chopped onion, minced garlic, egg, salt, pepper, dried oregano, and dried basil.
  • Mix the ingredients until they are well combined. Be careful not to overmix, as this can make the meatballs tough.
  1. Shape the Meatballs:
  • Shape the mixture into small meatballs, about 1 inch in diameter, and place them on the greased baking sheet.
  1. Bake the Meatballs:
  • Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake the meatballs for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until they are cooked through and browned on the outside.
  1. Make the Tomato Sauce:
  • While the meatballs are baking, prepare the tomato sauce. In a saucepan, combine the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, brown sugar, white vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper.
  • Stir the sauce well and bring it to a simmer over medium heat. Let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow the flavors to meld and the sauce to thicken slightly.
  1. Combine Meatballs and Sauce:
  • Once the meatballs are done baking, transfer them to the simmering tomato sauce. Gently stir to coat the meatballs with the sauce.
  1. Simmer:
  • Allow the meatballs to simmer in the sauce for an additional 10-15 minutes, continuing to stir occasionally.
  1. Serve:
  • Once the meatballs are heated through and the sauce has thickened to your liking, transfer them to a serving platter with toothpicks for easy serving.

Cocktail meatballs in tomato sauce are a savory and tangy appetizer that’s sure to be a hit at your next party or gathering. Enjoy!