Meatballs, two ways
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 125 meatball yield
While it takes only 16 minutes to cook a batch, you will be cooking several batches. This is a LOT of meat. Once you have mixed the meat for the cocktail meatballs, if you like, divide the meat in half and proceed with the Italian ingredients for half of the raw meat. The sauces go on after baking.
Basic Meatballs
  • 3 pounds ground beef (I used sirloin)
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 pounds Jimmy Dean sausage
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 and ½ (14 ounce) bags Pepperidge Farms Herb Seasoned Stuffing Mix (for a total of 21 ounces)
  • 6 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 bottles (28 ounce each) KC Masterpiece Classic BBQ Sauce
Italian Meatballs (add to half the above meat mixture to create Italian Meatballs, as well)
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Using your hands, thoroughly mix together the meats. Add the chopped onion and one bag of the stuffing mix. In a small bowl, beat the eggs together with the garlic powder and cayenne pepper. Mix the egg into the meat. Add as much of the second bag as necessary for the meat to be moistened, but not soupy, up to another one-half bag. Mix all of the ingredients together again until they are evenly distributed. While this takes a great deal of mixing, try not to handle the meat any more than necessary than to combine the ingredients.
  3. Divide the meat into two equal halves. For the Italian meatballs, in a separate bowl, combine half the meat, cheese, oregano, parsley and thyme, and mix until the herbs and cheese are evenly distributed.
  4. Using a 1-½ inch scoop, create meatballs. Then, roll each ball between your flattened hands to ensure that they stay intact. Place them at least 2 inches apart on a rimmed baking sheet. Place the tray in the oven and bake the meatballs for 16 minutes. Halfway through the cooking time, reach into the oven carefully with a fork or tongs and roll the meatballs over so that they don’t get a “flat side”. Make sure you keep your "basics" separate from your "Italians".
  5. As each batch comes out of the oven, move the balls to a paper towel lined tray to drain and cool. This will take approximately six batches if using one oven. You may bake two trays at a time, but switch their positions halfway through the cooking time, and cut open a meatball to ensure its doneness.
  6. When the meatballs are finished, place the basic meatballs in a large bowl and cover them with barbecue sauce. Reserve one-half bottle of sauce to warm and add just before serving, if you are not serving them immediately. You can refrigerate these for a day or two prior to serving them. Re-warm them gently. Serve them with toothpicks. A crock-pot is very useful for keeping the meat balls warm. Use the Italian style meatballs as you choose, with a tomato based sauce for pasta dishes or sub sandwiches,
Recipe by kelly yandell at