These juicy, plump Dr Pepper Meatballs are sticky, sweet, tangy and always a hit at a party! These cocktail meatballs are baked for easy convenience, can be made in advance for parties and reheat well!! Fair warning though, they are highly addictive!
Course: Appetizer, Snack, starter
Keyword: cocktail meatballs, Dr Pepper, meatballs, soda
1MediumYellow Onion– grated or finely minced (about 1/2 cup) (SEE NOTES)
1smallJalapeno- minced (SEE NOTES)
1TBSParsley Leaves- packed & finely chopped
1PoundGround Beef, Ground Pork, or Mixture of Both(SEE NOTES)
Kosher Salt & Ground Black Pepper
DR PEPPER SAUCE: (see notes)
1(12 oz) CanDr Pepper
¾CupLight Brown Sugar
1 ½TBSReduced-Sodium Soy Sauce
1 ½TBSWorcestershire Sauce
Preheat oven: Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Soak bread crumbs: Place the bread crumbs in a small bowl. Pour milk over breadcrumbs and stir to combine. Set aside.
Prepare baking sheet: Place a wire rack on a large rimmed baking sheet. Spray the wire rack generously with non-stick cooking oil.
Prepare meatballs: In a large bowl, whisk egg. Add onion, jalapeno, parsley, Worcestershire and season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and a scant ½ teaspoon pepper. Stir to combine.
Add meat: Add the soaked breadcrumbs and ground meat to the mixture. Using your hands, gently mix everything together until just blended (but do NOT overmix!!). The meatball mixture should be moist.
Form the meatballs: With wet hands (to keep meatballs from sticking) or a small ice cream scooper, portion out 1 ½ tablespoon-sized meatballs. Gently roll the meatball mixture between your fingers to form into balls. Continue shaping and forming meatballs until all the meat is used, transferring the meatballs onto the prepared rack, about 1/2-inch apart.
Bake meatballs: Bake the meatballs for 20-25 minutes, or until browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the middle of the meatball registers 165 degrees F. Remove the baking sheet from oven and IMMEDIATELY transfer the meatballs to a large bowl.
While the meatballs are baking, prepare the sauce: In a large saucepan, whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Immediately lower heat to maintain a simmer. Cook, whisking occasionally, until sauce is coats the back of a spoon and is slightly thickened to a syrup consistency, about 10-12 minutes. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. Keep the sauce warm on the stove while the meatballs finish baking.
Toss meatballs in sauce: Pour enough sauce over the meatballs to coat. Gently toss. Serve with any remaining sauce on the side and garnish with fresh parsley or chives. Enjoy.
Make sure you grate the onion using the large holes on a box grater.
If you don’t like a ton of heat, remove the seeds and ribs from the jalapeno before mincing.
For the most flavor, use a combination of meats – ½ a pound ground beef (80/20 chuck) and ½ a pound pork.
Dr Pepper Sauce: The recipe makes a good amount of sauce. If you don’t like saucy meatballs, cut the sauce recipe in half, or double the meatball portion of the recipe!
To make in advance: Meatballs can be prepared and rolled up to 2 days in advance. Store meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Serving these at a party? Transfer the baked meatballs and sauce to a slow cooker. Turn the slow cooker to the “warm” setting to keep them warm and fresh!
Yield: 25 MeatballsServes: Recipe serves 6-8; nutritional information based on 8 servings.