A Spicy Perspective

Homemade Meatballs with Apple Glaze

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Homemade Meatballs for Fall! When was the last time you made a good Meatball Recipe? These Spiced Apple Baked Meatballs are a hit with the young and old, and perfect for all your fall festivities!

Homemade Meatballs with Apple Glaze on plate

Whatever Happened to Baked Meatballs?

I remember loving them as a child. I also remember looking through old yellowing holiday photos of my mom with her glamorous beehive wig and my dad with an afro and tight polyester pants, and I’m positive there were cocktail meatballs on the table in every picture.

Baked Meatballs Recipe with glaze on plate

Meatballs were all-the-rage just a couple generations ago. Then it seems like every Swedish Meatballs Recipe dropped off the face of the planet, never to be seen again.

Well, I find that completely unacceptable. We need to bring them back, and fast!

Apple Butter Swedish Meatballs Recipe

I recently ate some barbeque sauce made with Musselman’s Apple Butter and fell in love.

It got me thinking about all the savory dishes that could benefit from a healthy dose of apple butter. After some experimentation, I’m starting to believe that anytime you add “spiced apple” flavor to a dish, you’ve improved the original.

Cocktail Meatballs with apple glaze with toothpicks

Like this Homemade Meatballs Recipe, for instance.

These Spiced Apple Cocktail Meatballs have become a new family favorite. They are ultra tender and savory-sweet, with an unexpected pop of spiced apple flavor from the apple butter.

Onions in skillet

My kids devoured them one night at dinner, then asked for the leftovers at breakfast.

I wouldn’t allow them to eat cocktail meatballs for breakfast, so they asked to take them to school in their lunch boxes. They finally finished off all the meatballs, as an after-school snack that same day.

Baked Meatballs Recipe  - meat mixture in bowl

Homemade Meatballs with Apple Glaze

I’ve never seen anyone so ravenous for a Baked Meatballs Recipe. It had to be the apple butter.

Musselman’s apple butter is slow-cooked in order to caramelize the natural fruit sugars and develop an intense apple flavor. It’s considered America’s favorite apple butter brand because it’s exceedingly rich and smooth. To top it all, it’s dairy free, gluten free, fat free, sodium free, cholesterol free, and preservative free.

Spiced Apple Cocktail Meatballs Recipe | ASpicyPerspective.com

We’ve polished off several jars of Musselman’s Apple Butter in the last few weeks making spiced apple cocktail meatballs, apple butter stuffed mushrooms, apple butter BBQ sauce, and of course, eating it on toast. It really does give savory dishes that little “spiced apple” extra something.

Apple butter just might be my new go-to secret ingredient.

Cocktail Meatballs - close up on plate

Thank goodness we’ve brought Cocktail Meatballs back with this Spiced Apple Swedish Meatballs Recipe.

…Now if only I could get my hands on that beehive wig!

Homemade Meatballs on sliders

Other Spiced Apple Favorites:

Spiced Apple Swedish Meatballs Recipe | ASpicyPerspective.com
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Homemade Meatballs Recipe with Apple Glaze

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
These Baked Meatballs are a hit with the young and old, and perfect for all your fall festivities!
Servings: 40 meatballs



  • Preheat the oven to 400 degree F and line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place a skillet over medium heat and melt the butter in it. When the butter has melted, add the grated onions and saute for 3-4 minutes, until soft.
  • In a large bowl, mix the sausage, ground beef, panko, 1/2 cup apple butter, sour cream, eggs, salt, pepper, and allspice. Add the onion, once it cools. Get your hands in it and mix well, until evenly combined.
  • Measure out the meatballs into one ounce portions. Roll tight balls and place them on the baking sheet, close together, but not touching. You should have 40-45 meatballs.
  • Bake for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the remaining 1/2 cup of apple butter, with beef broth, honey, and 1-2 dashes of cayenne pepper. Whisk well.
  • After 15 minutes, remove the meatballs from the oven. Pour the sauce over the top, making sure to cover each meatball, and place back in the oven for 5-7 minutes.
  • Once cooked through, shake the baking sheet a little to loosen the meatballs and serve warm.


Serving: 1meatball, Calories: 100kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 26mg, Sodium: 237mg, Potassium: 81mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 40IU, Vitamin C: 0.2mg, Calcium: 13mg, Iron: 0.6mg
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American, Swedish
Author: Sommer Collier

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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Musselman’s Apple Butter. All apple-licious opinions are my own.

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72 comments on “Homemade Meatballs with Apple Glaze”

  1. Do you have any suggestions for replacing the sour cream? I would LOVE to make these for a party but they need to be dairy free! Thank you

  2. I have been making these for years. So good!!!

  3. Any particular kind of sausage? Can I use ground pork instead? If I do, should I add extra spices since it isn’t “sausage”?

  4. I made these for dinner tonight and they were a hit! Next time I will double the sauce, per my hubby’s request, and finish in the crockpot. Thank you for another great recipe!

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  6. Thanks for sharing– this has become one of my favorite recipes!! I’ve made these in advance of eating them a couple of times but wonder if you have a tried and true method for keeping them fresh? I wonder if it’s best to fully cook them and refrigerate for a couple of days or if I could cook them for the initial 15 minutes, refrigerate and then add the sauce and cook for the remaining time when we’re ready to eat them? Thanks!

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  8. mmmm i made these tonight for dinner with brown rice on the side and they were amazing thank you for the recipe!!! i didn’t have allspice so i omitted that and they were great thanks again!

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  14. These look delicious… could they possibly be put in the crock pot throughout the day?

    • Hi Alex, I bet you could! Let me know how it goes if you try it. :)

      • Any update on trying these in the crockpot? I was going to try that this weekend and was hoping for some tips! Extra sauce needed? Less time in oven? Thanks for the help!

  15. Hi Sommer I manage a small town Grocery store Deli and will be having a Holiday Open House 2nd week in Nov. Would love to make these to serve. Could I just make the sauce and use frozen meatballs? What do you recommend? Can’t wait to try these. My customers love Swedish Meatballs for luch but they are brought in frozen with sauce already. I think they would really enjoy these.

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  19. Love meatballs – this was a tasty twist

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  21. I made these meatballs for my husband and Dad this past weekend. (While they were watching football of course! ) They were a big hit !! I was a little unsure about the apple butter, but that’s what made them so delish !! I will be making them as an appetizer on Thanksgiving this year. Thanks so much for the great receipe!

  22. These meatballs sound scrumptious! I just made a big batch of apple butter in my crockpot. I hope I have enough left to try these out! I have made them with grape jelly & chili sauce, kind of a spicy sweet ands our but these sound mellower yet
    full of flavor. Good comfort food. You are always so creative!

  23. What a fun combination of flavors! I bet it is darn scrumptious!

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  25. I can’t wait to try this recipe. But in your comments, you mention apple butter stuffed mushrooms. Can you share that recipe too? Sounds interesting!! Thanks.

  26. LOVE this, Sommer! Looks like an awesome recipe, and your photos are great!

  27. These look so so good. Do you think I could substitute something else for the Apple Butter (can be heard to find in Australia)? What would you suggest?

  28. Oh my. These meatballs reminds me of the Ikea swedish meatballs. So temptingly delicious :)

  29. OK, I love cocktail meatballs, too… I never make them but I always hover around them at parties!! I never would have thought to add apple butter but I guess I need to keep some on hand! Thanks for sharing, these look great!!

  30. These are the perfect party food!

  31. This is so nice, it looks so yummy. I am thinking if add some coarsely chopped apple into it, might have good texture. :)

  32. apple butter and meatballs- yes please!

  33. Those buns are super cute! I think I need to serve these at my next tailgating party!

  34. Swedish Meatballs for the fall! Love love love these!

  35. Swedish meatballs are always a favorite around here!

  36. I have always loved apple butter and have used it in bbq sauce for ribs…not sure why I haven’t for meatballs but that must change. They are so CUTE!

  37. These are so perfect for my fall party!!! My mama made little swedish meatballs for my brother and I every week on pasta night – but never spiced with apple! Love this recipe.

  38. Oooh, these look so good! The meatball mini slider is adorable! The combo of hearty meatball and sweet apple glaze is just awesome.

  39. I’m putting these on my to-make list for the weekend!

  40. Apple butter meatballs…..just what you need to welcome fall…

  41. I would totally eat these! They sounds delicious.

  42. This sound absolutely delightful, Sommer! Have a wonderful week ahead :)

    Hugs <3

  43. These look wonderful. I’m going to try them for my 2 grandsons. Thank you!

  44. My family would go crazy for these! What a great idea to tuck in some apple butter. I have the same skewers and love them for meatballs (and photos!)

  45. that little mini-slider is TOO cute!

  46. What a fantastic twist on Swedish meatballs, Sommer. These are stunningly perfect!

  47. I need these!! And gorgeous, gorgeous photos, girl!!

  48. Yes, what ever did happen to Swedish meatballs? They’re just too good for us to let them fade into obscurity. Love this spiced version!

  49. My grandma often made these at family events, such a perfect appetizer!

  50. I’m with you Sommer…bring back the Swedish Meatballs! Yours look amazeballs!! :)

  51. apple butter makes me think of my grandpa. Little tears. Thanks for the recipe.


  52. Oh those sound so freakin’ good!

  53. Oh I’m totally loving these! Cute buns too! ;)

  54. My mom used to serve Swedish Meatballs. I haven’t seen them in years. This is definitely a must make recipe!

  55. Who knew a meatball sandwich could be so adorable?! I remember my mom making these all the time when I was a kid too–they were a staple at every party.

  56. yes! bring on the meatballs :) I always secretly loved the grape jelly version, can’t wait to try these.

  57. These look delightful! Loved the spiced apple twist! :)

  58. Oh my goodness Sommer! These are brilliant!!

  59. Yum Yum Sommer! That sauce sounds incredible – my kids would be all over that!

  60. So yummy sounding! I’m craving swedish meatballs now!

  61. I love how you smushed them down to make little sliders there. Very clever. :-)

  62. These are beautiful..and who would have ever thought that little balls of meat could be beautiful??
    I am so going to make these!

  63. Swedish Meatballs make me think of IKEA…but I love your take on them!

  64. i am going to have to try this Sommer!

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  66. I don’t need a bun – I’m completely susceptible to Swedish meatballs alone!