Nothing beats a sweet and tangy meatball when you need an appetizer or buffet item in a pinch. Serve these bad boys up in a crock-pot to keep them warm and let your guests help themselves. These sweet and tangy meatballs are perfect for New Years.
This recipe also makes a delicious dinner served along with cooked Basmati rice and vegetables. This is a vintage recipe which my mom used to make. I was recently digging through old family recipes for a potluck item when I came across this old gem. It’s probably been around for decades and may have been a recipe printed on the back of the Heinz chili sauce bottle at one time. Heinz chili sauce is basically a zesty cocktail sauce. It’s great with shrimp cocktail or to add a bit of kick to your everyday burger.
I decided to kick these sweet and tangy meatballs up a notch by adding a little Bourbon to the sauce. Why not? It’s the holidays after all. The Bourbon adds a touch of sweetness and a depth of flavor that’s hard to beat. It’s incredibly delicious. And not to worry, if you let the sauce bubble and cook for a little, the alcohol burns off. I think you’ll love it.
You can make your own meatballs or use pre-cooked frozen Italian-style meatballs. The savory meatballs taste great with this sweet and tangy sauce. I used Cooked Perfect brand. I’d say there is enough sauce in this recipe for about 30-35 meatballs which is just about one and a half packages of the Cooked Perfect brand. The other main ingredient in these sweet and tangy meatballs is grape jelly. It sounds a little weird…but it is just the right amount of sweetness that pairs perfectly with the zesty cocktail sauce.
So, if you need a last minute item for the holidays…don’t stress. I guarantee everyone will love these. And you don’t have to tell them how easy it was to make. Happy holidays.
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Sweet and tangy meatballs
Super easy! Classic sweet and tangy meatballs with a little Bourbon.
- 2 12 oz bottles Heinz chili sauce
- 1 18 oz jar concord grape jelly ((= 1 1/2 cups jelly))
- 1 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp Bourbon
- 1 1/2 26 oz packages frozen Italian Style Meatballs (like Cooked Perfect brand)
- 2 tbsp chopped scallions (optional garnish)
- Combine the chili sauce, grape jelly, mustard and Bourbon in a large pot and heat over medium-low. Stir frequently until the jelly has completely melted. Once it gets hot and bubbly, reduce the heat to low and allow it to simmer for several minutes.
- Add the cooked meatballs to the sauce and let them simmer for several minutes until the sauce thickens and the meatballs are heated through.
- Serve with a sprinkling of scallions on top.
I used pre-cooked frozen Italian-style meatballs such as “Cooked Perfect” brand. This should be enough sauce for about 30-35 meatballs. There were 26 meatballs in each 26 oz package. I hope you enjoy this recipe. If you do, please return to the blog and leave me a comment. Get more great recipes by signing up for the weekly email at https://northwestspoon.com