Appetizers/ Beef Recipes/ Best of Swanky Recipes/ Holiday Food/ Meals/ Sides

Dr. Pepper Meatballs

Dr. Pepper Meatballs - Easy cocktail meatballs in a sweet and savory sauce. Everyone loves these delicious meatballs at our parties!

Savory cocktail meatballs in a sticky Dr. Pepper sauce. This homemade meatball recipe with a sweet and savory sauce is a favorite. Serve these elevated cocktail meatballs at your next party.

Our family loves Meatballs in a savory tomato-based sauce.  Lately, I’ve been cooking meatballs with a variety of different homemade sauces.  I’ve been using this meatball recipe for the past couple years and it’s my go-to recipe that never fails.  What I love about this meatball recipe is that it’s pretty easy to adapt to different types of sauces.  I always use fresh onion and garlic, parmesan cheese, eggs, and breadcrumbs.  From there, the seasonings I use can change depending on what type of sauce I’ll be making.  If you’re looking for a good meatball base, try this recipe.

Dr. Pepper Meatballs - Savory cocktail meatballs in a sticky Dr. Pepper sauce. This homemade meatball recipe with a sweet and savory sauce is a favorite. Serve these elevated cocktail meatballs at your next party. 

New Year’s Eve is just a few days away. I plan on ringing in the New Year with a few friends at home. The past few weeks have been pretty hectic with Christmas parties and family matters.

Just like Christmas recipes, New Year’s recipes should also be elevated. What I mean is that instead of just making tomato sauce meatballs, I like to elevate it with another flavor that one wouldn’t normally have at dinner. The addition of Dr. Pepper soda turns this recipe up a notch which is perfect to share for a party.

Dr. Pepper Meatballs - Easy cocktail meatballs in a sweet and savory sauce. Everyone loves these delicious meatballs at our parties!

Last Friday (12/21/18) I said goodbye to my yellow lab, Dakota. She’s been my life, my world, and my joy for the past 12 years. We lost her sister, Nikki one year earlier in December 2017. Just a few months later, Dakota was diagnosed with cancer.  I spend 2 months over summer doing all the fun things we’ve always loved doing together. We spend time at the lake house, went on walks, played, and just snuggled every day. She even joined me during photoshoots and got to eat the food afterward! I’m thankful we got to be a part of each other’s lives and I miss her dearly.

I have been taking a break from the blogging world in the past two weeks and I’m finally ready to share more recipes from my kitchen. Cooking and baking have more recently become a stress reliever for me. I know many other home cooks can relate.

Dr. Pepper Meatballs - Savory cocktail meatballs in a sticky Dr. Pepper sauce. This homemade meatball recipe with a sweet and savory sauce is a favorite. Serve these elevated cocktail meatballs at your next party. 

The Dr. Pepper sauce is easy to make. It starts with two 12oz. cans of Dr. Pepper soda. Next, I add a cup of ketchup and a little tomato paste. The sugar in the ketchup combined with garlic and onion really turn this recipe into a savory cocktail meatball that can’t be beaten.

To thicken the sauce, I like to make a slurry of water and cornstarch. Cornstarch should always be added to cold water. This way, the cornstarch won’t clump together.

Dr. Pepper Meatball Sauce - Quick and easy Dr. Pepper Sauce for cocktail meatballs.

For a fun and elevated way to serve cocktail meatballs as an appetizer, try these Dr. Pepper Meatballs. Use my go-to meatball recipe or for a quicker option, use store-bought meatballs. Once you try this tomato-based Dr. Pepper Sauce, you’ll use it for future parties, too.

Not only are meatballs the perfect bite-size appetizer to serve to guests at a party, but you’ll love how delicious and easy this recipe is to make. If you’re looking for an easy way to serve elevated food at your next party, try this saucy meatball recipe. As a pro tip, the meatballs can be kept warm in a crockpot throughout the night, too.

Dr. Pepper Meatballs

Savory cocktail meatballs in a sticky Dr. Pepper sauce. This homemade meatball recipe with a sweet and savory sauce is a favorite. Serve these elevated cocktail meatballs at your next party. 
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 62 meatballs
Author Jessica @ swankyrecipes.com

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 3 pounds ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 medium white onions, diced
  • 2 teaspoons freshly minced garlic ( or a few garlic cloves minced )
  • 2 large eggs

Dr. Pepper Sauce

  • 24 ounces ( 2 12oz. cans ) Dr. Pepper soda
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 bunch green onions, diced to serve

Instructions

  • Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
    In a large mixing bowl, whisk together parsley, basil, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, parmesan cheese, and plain breadcrumbs.  
    Chop onions and garlic. I used a food processor to chop them finely.  Add to bowl. Whisk in 2 large eggs. 
    Add in ground beef. Using your hands, work the ground beef into the wet mixture, coating everything well.
    Form even size meatballs with a cookie scoop then place on prepared baking sheet close together, but not touching each other.
    Bake meatballs for 35 minutes then transfer to cooling rack while baking the rest. I usually remove any excess fat on the meatballs with a paper towel. *See notes for making meatballs in advance. 
    To make the sauce, whisk together 2 cans ( 24oz. ) Dr. Pepper soda, ketchup, and tomato paste in a large stockpot over medium heat. 
    In a small bowl, make a slurry with 4 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch and 4 1/2 tablespoons cold water. Once smooth, add to pot.
    Bring sauce to boil to thicken then reduce heat and stir in onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and red pepper flakes. 
    Carefully stir in meatballs. Coat well with Dr. Pepper sauce. 
    Serve with diced green onions, sesame seeds, and rice or serve on wooden cocktail sticks. 

Notes

Making Meatballs in Advance and Reheating
Meatballs can be made in advance. Make meatballs up to 2 days in advance. Refrigerate meatballs. On the day of serving, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Add meatballs to a rimmed baking sheet and cover with foil. Heat in oven while making the sauce. 
Meatballs and sauce should be stored separately if making in advance. 
Easier Recipe
Use store-bought meatballs in place of homemade meatballs.
For a Party
If serving for a party, keep warm in a crockpot throughout the event.

 

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