Herbed Cocktail Meatballs with Chunky Tomato Sauce

Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Styling: Gerri Williams

Crackers add a buttery bite to Herbed Cocktail Meatballs with Chunky Tomato Sauce. Serve meatballs as an appetizer or with your favorite pasta noodles.

Yield: about 50 meatballs (serving size: 2 meatballs)
Cost per Serving: $.49
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Recipe Time

Cook Time:
Prep Time:
Total: 1 Hour, 8 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 225
  • Fat: 8g
  • Saturated fat: 3g
  • Protein: 7g
  • Carbohydrate: 3g
  • Fiber: 0.0g
  • Cholesterol: 17mg
  • Sodium: 168mg


  • Meatballs:
  • 1/2 cup finely crushed Ritz crackers
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 14 1/2-oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Make meatballs: Soak cracker crumbs in milk for 5 minutes. Warm oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onion until tender, about 4 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute longer.
  2. 2. Combine cracker and onion mixtures with remaining meatball ingredients; mix thoroughly but do not overwork. Shape into 1 1/4-inch balls.
  3. 3. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil. Mist a wire rack with cooking spray; place over sheet. Place meatballs on rack. Bake until browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of a meatball reads 160°F, 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. 4. Make sauce: Warm oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onion for 3 minutes. Add garlic, Italian seasoning and red pepper; sauté 2 minutes. Add tomato paste; stir for 30 seconds. Pour in wine; stir until evaporated. Add tomatoes. Reduce heat; simmer until thick, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with meatballs.
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