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Cocktail Meatballs 3 Ways

Image of prepared Cocktail Meatballs 3 Ways
  • prep time: 5 min
  • total time: 20 min
  • serves: 10 people
  • calories: 187 1 serving

What are cocktail meatballs and why do I need 3 ways to make them?  Cocktail meatballs are a cult favorite that taste too good to go out of style.  Generally a combination of a tomato-based sauce and grape jelly, heated to coat mini meatballs, this Cocktail Meatballs 3 Ways starts with that classic, using spicy picante sauce as the base.  For a twist, you can trade the grape jelly for apricot preserves and ginger or try a version with gochujang and soy sauce.  They're all delicious and will be a hit at your next party.  It's a good thing you know how to make these Cocktail Meatballs 3 Ways, since you'll be making them on repeat!


  • 1 cup Pace® Picante Sauce
  • 1/2 cup grape jelly
  • 40 frozen fully-cooked beef meatballs (1/2 ounce each) (about 1 1/4 pounds)


  • Step 1

    Heat the picante sauce and jelly in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until the jelly is melted, stirring occasionally.

  • Step 2

    Add the meatballs to the skillet and stir to coat.  Cook for 10 minutes or until the meatballs are hot.  Serve with toothpicks.

  • Step 3

    For Sweet & Sassy Meatballs, omit the grape jelly.  Add 1/3 cup apricot preserves, 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 2 tablespoons minced peeled ginger (or 1 teaspoon ground ginger) to the picante sauce and cook as shown above.

  • Step 4

    For Korean-Style Meatballs, omit the grape jelly.  Add 2 tablespoons each gochujang, soy sauce and agave syrup to the picante sauce and cook as shown above.  Serve sprinkled with sliced green onions.

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Made With

Calories 187
Total Fat 9 g
Sat. Fat 3.3 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 28 mg
Sodium 397 mg
Total Carb 17 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugar 10 g
Protein 8 g
Vitamin D 0 %DV
Calcium 2 %DV
Iron 7 %DV
Potassium 0 %DV

This nutritional information refers to each serving of the entire recipe and not just the products used as ingredients.