Delicious Wine Meatball Appetizer Recipe for Parties

Are you in search of a crowd-pleasing appetizer that will leave your guests raving? Look no further than these succulent wine meatballs! With their tender, juicy texture and flavorful blend of ingredients, these bite-sized gems are sure to impress at any party or gathering.

The star ingredient in this recipe is the red wine sauce, which infuses every inch of the meatballs with bold, fruity flavor. Paired with classic aromatics like garlic and onion, as well as a touch of tomato paste and balsamic vinegar, this sauce takes your standard meatball to the next level.

Whether you’re hosting a formal dinner party or a casual get-together with friends, these wine meatballs make for the perfect appetizer. So why not give them a try and let your taste buds be the judge? Let’s get started!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Wine Meatball Appetizer
Wine Meatball Appetizer

Are you looking for a delicious and easy appetizer to serve at your next party or gathering? Look no further than these mouth-watering wine meatball appetizers! These meatballs are sure to impress with their rich and savory flavor, and the addition of red wine in the sauce adds a touch of elegance to this classic dish.

One of the reasons you’ll love this recipe is its simplicity. The ingredient list is easy to follow and the instructions are straightforward, making it accessible for any level of cooking expertise. In fact, it only takes about 30 minutes to make, making it a perfect party food when you’re short on time.

But just because this recipe is easy to make doesn’t mean it lacks in flavor or quality. With ingredients like ground beef, red wine, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and tomato paste, these meatballs pack a punch in every bite. And while they look impressive on the plate, your guests will be even more wowed by the taste.

Another great thing about this recipe is that it’s easily adaptable to different taste preferences or dietary restrictions. Swap out ground beef for ground pork or veal if you prefer a lighter taste, or use gluten-free breadcrumbs if you’re avoiding gluten.

Finally, wine meatball appetizers are versatile enough to pair with many different wines depending on your preference. Whether you choose to serve them with a bold red like merlot or pinot noir, a crisp white like chardonnay or sauvignon blanc or even Duplin Winery’s very own fruit-infused wines such as cranberry pinot or muscadine; there’s a perfect wine pairing for every version of this recipe.

Overall, these wine meatball appetizers are the perfect go-to when it comes to easy but impressive party food. So why not try them out for yourself? Your guests (and your taste buds) will thank you!

Ingredient List

 Savor the flavor of these savory meatballs cooked with a hint of wine!
Savor the flavor of these savory meatballs cooked with a hint of wine!

Ingredients 1

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork (see notes)
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Ingredients 2

  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup crushed cracker crumbs
  • 1 package (4 ounces) dry onion soup mix

Ingredients 3

  • 1 can (14 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 bottle (14 ounces) ketchup
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil (2 tbsp)

The ingredient list for this wine meatball appetizer recipe isn’t too long, but it’s definitely packed with flavor. We have three separate sets of ingredients that will be used in stages throughout the recipe. Starting off strong with two types of meat: beef and ground pork. Pair the meat with some finely chopped onions and garlic for added flavor.

Next up is a combination of your favorite wines–red and white. These will be used along with an egg for binding the meatballs together. Don’t forget to add the essential dry onion soup mix to balance out the flavors.

In group three, we’re going to add more depth to our dish starting with two acidic tomatoes based sauces such as ketchup and tomato sauce. To enchance the flavors of the dish even more we are adding beef bouillon cubes and balsamic vinaigrette to bring out a complex savory taste. The olive oil might be used on different stages of this recipe such as in coatings or frying depending on your preparation preferences.

The Recipe How-To

 Bold, juicy, and oozing with flavor, these meatballs will make your taste buds dance.
Bold, juicy, and oozing with flavor, these meatballs will make your taste buds dance.

Step 1: Prepare the meat mixture

In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 pounds of ground beef and 1/2 pound of ground pork. Add 2 cloves of minced garlic, 2 beaten eggs, and 1/4 cup of red wine. Mix everything together until well combined.

Step 2: Add the remaining ingredients

Add in the remaining ingredients into the mixing bowl. This includes 1 cup of crushed cracker crumbs, 1 package (1.5 ounce) of dry onion soup mix, and 1/4 cup of olive oil. Mix everything together until it’s evenly distributed.

Step 3: Form the meatballs

Roll the mixture into small meatballs that are roughly 1-2 inches in diameter. Depending on how big you make them, this recipe can yield many meatballs per person since it makes about 50 appetizer meatballs.

Step 4: Brown the meatballs

In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter or oil over medium-high heat. Brown the meatballs for about 5 minutes or until well browned on all sides. You may need to do this step in batches if your skillet is not big enough.

Step 5: Add sauce to the skillet and simmer

Once all meatballs are browned, add in a sauce made up from tomato sauce, ketchup, tomato paste, red wine, balsamic vinegar, and white wine depending on what kind of flavor are you into, into the skillet with the meatballs. Recipe appetizer –

Add about 2 cups of tomato sauce, 1 bottle (14 ounces) of ketchup, 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, 1/4 cup of red wine, and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar to the skillet with the meatballs.

To create a white wine sauce, substitute the red wine and ketchup with 1/2 cup of white wine and 1/2 cup of heavy cream.

With these ingredients you can make appetizer meatballs red wine sauce, meatballs white wine sauce, meatballs with cranberry sauce, spanish meatballs, italian meatballs, or veal meatballs depending on the ingredients that you would use.

Bring everything to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Cover the skillet and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through. Make sure to give everything a good stir every few minutes so that everything is evenly coated in sauce.

Step 6 : Serve and Enjoy

Once the meatballs are fully cooked, it’s time to serve them up! The perfect appetizer recipe, either warm right out of the skillet or at room temperature on skewers as party food. Before serving make sure to garnish it with thinly sliced fresh parsley.

Substitutions and Variations

 Wine not add a little something special to your classic meatball appetizer?
Wine not add a little something special to your classic meatball appetizer?

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to experiment with different flavors and textures, there are plenty of substitutions and variations you can make to this wine meatball appetizer recipe. Here are some ideas to get you started:

– Ground meat: Instead of ground beef and pork, you could use ground turkey, chicken, lamb, veal, or a combination of two or more meats. Each type of meat will give the meatballs a different flavor and texture.

– Sauce: Instead of the red wine sauce, you could make a white wine sauce by substituting white wine for the red wine and using chicken or vegetable broth instead of beef broth. You could also make a tomato sauce by adding 2 cups of canned tomato sauce, 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, and 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar to the pan after cooking the meatballs. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

– Flavorings: You can add different herbs and spices to the meatball mixture to customize the flavor. Italian seasoning, paprika, cumin, chili powder, or garlic powder would all be delicious additions.

– Binder: Instead of crushed crackers, you could use bread crumbs or panko breadcrumbs in your meatball mixture.

– Ketchup: If you don’t have ketchup on hand or prefer not to use it, tomato paste mixed with some sugar or honey can be a good substitute.

– Wine pairing: This recipe goes well with red wines such as Pinot Noir and Merlot. However, if you prefer white wines, you could try a Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc.

Remember that substitutions may affect the overall taste and texture of your dish, so don’t be afraid to experiment until you come up with the perfect customized version that you love.

Serving and Pairing

 These meatballs are not only delicious, but a perfect way to impress your dinner guests.
These meatballs are not only delicious, but a perfect way to impress your dinner guests.

These wine meatball appetizers are the perfect party food to please any crowd. They’re easy to pick up and eat and can be enjoyed with different types of wine.

For a red wine pairing, try serving these meatballs with a bottle of Pinot Noir. The lightness of the Pinot Noir brings out the flavors of the meatballs without overpowering them.

For white wine lovers, a bottle of Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc will do wonders in bringing out the subtle flavors in the meatballs.

If you want to try something different, pair these meatballs with a Spanish wine such as Tempranillo or Garnacha. These bold and fruity wines create an exciting contrast to the subtle flavors of the meatballs.

Alternatively, you can serve these appetizer meatballs with a red wine sauce or white wine sauce on the side. The white wine sauce has a creamy texture that complements the flavors and aromas in the meatballs while the red wine sauce adds depth and richness.

To elevate your wine meatball appetizer game, serve them as braised meatballs in gravy for a hearty main course dish. You can also add delicious cranberry pinot or bourbon glaze to create sweet and savory combinations.

However you decide to serve your wine meatball appetizers, one rule applies: allow many meatballs per person because they won’t be able to resist having seconds!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 These meatballs are perfect for a cozy night in or an elegant dinner party.
These meatballs are perfect for a cozy night in or an elegant dinner party.

One of the best things about this recipe is that it can be made ahead of time, making it perfect for entertaining guests or for busy weeknight dinners. To make ahead, simply prepare the meatballs and sauce as instructed and store them separately in the fridge for up to two days before baking them.

When storing these wine meatballs, be sure to keep them in an airtight container to prevent any odors from affecting the flavor. You can also freeze them for up to 2 months if you’re not planning on eating them right away. To reheat, simply defrost overnight in the refrigerator and then bake them as directed.

If you have any leftover sauce, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or freeze it for up to 2 months. When it comes time to reheat the sauce, simply add it to a small saucepan over medium heat and bring it to a simmer. Cook for 1 minute or until heated through and then add your reheated meatballs.

Making these appetizer meatballs ahead not only saves you time but allows the flavors to meld together even more beautifully. So feel free to make these delicious wine meatballs in advance and spend more time enjoying your company!

Tips for Perfect Results

 The perfect appetizer to pair with your favorite bottle of wine!
The perfect appetizer to pair with your favorite bottle of wine!

When making wine meatball appetizers, there are a few key tips to ensure perfect results every time. Follow these tips for flavorful and juicy meatballs that will impress your guests.

First, be sure to mix the ingredients well. Use your hands to combine the ground beef and pork with the beaten egg, crushed cracker crumbs, onion soup mix, and spices. Add the red wine for a bold flavor and mix again until everything is evenly distributed.

Next, be mindful of the size of your meatballs. Aim for about 1-2 tablespoons of mixture per meatball, depending on how many you want to make per person. This will ensure that they cook evenly and thoroughly.

When cooking the meatballs, use a mixture of butter and oil to prevent them from sticking to the pan. Brown them on all sides before adding the wine sauce to simmer and finish cooking for an additional 15-20 minutes.

Finally, serve these delicious appetizers with a white or red wine that complements the flavors in the dish. Consider serving a pinot noir with cranberry wine meatballs, a merlot with Italian meatballs, or a white wine with Spanish meatballs.

By following these tips, you’ll have perfectly cooked wine meatball appetizers that are sure to be a hit at any party or gathering.


Now that you have a delicious Wine Meatball Appetizer Recipe to prepare, you may still have some doubts or questions related to its preparation. In this section, I will answer the most common queries made by home chefs about this recipe. So, let’s jump straight into the frequently asked questions and my expert responses!

What wine is best with meatballs?

When it comes to white wine preferences, a lightly oaked Chardonnay or a fuller-bodied Austrian Riesling are excellent options to consider. If you’re seeking a red wine pairing for your Middle Eastern-style meatballs with bold flavors, Grenache and Syrah blends are the way to go. Wines hailing from the southern Rhône in France or Australia are fantastic choices to pair with meatballs made from lamb or beef that have been seasoned to perfection.

How many meatballs per person for appetizer?

Determining the appropriate amount of meatballs for a group is essential for a successful gathering. As a general rule, it’s recommended to serve four meatballs per person. For instance, if you have a party of 12 guests, you’ll need approximately 2 pounds of meatballs to fulfill everyone’s appetite.

What does Bobby Flay put in his meatballs?

The mixture for this culinary creation consists of equal parts of ground beef, ground pork, and ground veal. In addition, lightly-beaten large eggs are included, along with grated Parmesan cheese, finely-diced garlic, homemade breadcrumbs, and finely-chopped parsley.

What white wine goes best with spaghetti and meatballs?

When it comes to pairing a bottle of wine with a hearty plate of spaghetti and meatballs, oaked chardonnay is a great choice. This type of wine is remarkably flexible and can be enjoyed with both vegetarian and chicken meatballs, no matter if they have a red or white sauce. Whether you’re craving a tangy tomato sauce or a cream-based white sauce, an oaked chardonnay can be your trusty companion.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this wine meatball appetizer recipe is a perfect addition to any party food selection. The rich and flavorful taste of the meatballs paired with the tangy tomato sauce and the robust wine flavor is sure to impress your guests.

The ingredients list is easy to follow and all the substitutions and variations have been mentioned for your convenience. The make-ahead, storing, and reheating tips are also helpful to save you some time on the day of the event.

Whether you’re planning a Spanish-themed party or a cocktail event, this recipe can be adapted to suit your theme. Whether you choose merlot or pinot noir as your red wine pairing, it will be delicious either way.

The versatility of these appetizer meatballs makes them an ideal choice for any occasion. You can serve them as main course meatballs, braised meatballs, cranberry meatballs, veal meatballs or even bourbon meatballs!

Overall, I highly recommend this recipe for anyone looking for a simple yet sophisticated appetizer that’s sure to impress. So what are you waiting for? Start cooking up some wine meatball appetizers now!

Wine Meatball Appetizer

Wine Meatball Appetizer Recipe

I have no idea where my mom got this recipe...but I make these every Christmas for my family. I want to pass these recipes down to my kids so I am putting them here for safe keeping. Use a small jar of Apple or Currant Jelly.
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Calories 325.1 kcal


  • 2 lbs ground sirloin
  • 1 (1 1/4 ounce) package dry onion soup mix
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup crushed cracker crumb
  • 1 (14 ounce) bottle ketchup
  • 1 (8 ounce) jar apple jelly
  • 1/2 cup blackberry wine, do not substitute. I buy Mogan David in the cheap wine section


  • Mix ground beef, onion soup mix, egg and crushed crackers together. Form into small balls. Put on Baking sheed with sides. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.
  • Mix ketchup, jelly and wine together and simmer in a pot. Add cooked meatballs and simmer 30 minutes at low heat -- Serve.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 164gCalories: 325.1kcalCarbohydrates: 30.4gProtein: 19.3gFat: 14.5gSaturated Fat: 5.7gCholesterol: 82.1mgSodium: 792.9mgFiber: 0.7gSugar: 21.5g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Easy
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