Spiced Apple Swedish Meatballs Recipe

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

Spiced Apple Swedish Meatballs Recipe | ASpicyPerspective.com #recipes #apple

Really… What ever happened to Swedish 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.

Spiced Apple Swedish Meatballs Recipe | ASpicyPerspective.com

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 | ASpicyPerspective.com

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.

Apple Butter Cocktail Meatballs | ASpicyPerspective.com #recipe #holidays #party

Like this Swedish 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 | ASpicyPerspective.com

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.

Swedish Meatballs Recipe | ASpicyPerspective.com

I’ve never seen anyone so ravenous for a Swedish 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.

Spiced Apple Cocktail Meatballs | ASpicyPerspective.com #recipe #holidays #party

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!

Swedish Meatballs | ASpicyPerspective.com #recipe #holidays #party

Other Spiced Apple Favorites:

Apple Celery Root Gratin

Apple Cheddar Palmiers

Apple Yeast Bread

Spicy Apple Butter BBQ Sauce ~ Musselman’s

Savory Apple Pizza ~ TheKitchn

Roasted Squash Soup with Apple Butter and Bacon ~ A Baking Life

Spiced Apple Swedish Meatballs Recipe

Yield: 8-12 servings

Prep Time:20 minutes

Cook Time:25 minutes

5 / 5 (1 Reviews)
Did you make this recipe?   Leave a review »


  • 1/2 cup grated red onion
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pound pork sausage
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup Musselman's Apple Butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Cayenne pepper


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Once cooked through, shake the baking sheet a little to loosen the meatballs and serve warm.
All images and text ©

Making this recipe? Why not take a quick shot and share it on Instagram! Make sure to tag it #ASpicyPerspective so we can see what you're cooking!

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

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68 comments on “Spiced Apple Swedish Meatballs Recipe

  1. Belinda @zomppaposted September 24, 2012 at 4:13 am Reply

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

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  3. Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.posted September 24, 2012 at 5:45 am Reply

    i am going to have to try this Sommer!

  4. Carolynposted September 24, 2012 at 6:16 am Reply

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

  5. shelly (cookies and cups)posted September 24, 2012 at 6:37 am Reply

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

  6. Brian @ A Thought For Foodposted September 24, 2012 at 6:40 am Reply

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

  7. DessertForTwoposted September 24, 2012 at 6:51 am Reply

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

  8. Jeanetteposted September 24, 2012 at 6:54 am Reply

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

  9. Aggieposted September 24, 2012 at 6:55 am Reply

    Oh my goodness Sommer! These are brilliant!!

  10. Ali @ Gimme Some Ovenposted September 24, 2012 at 7:45 am Reply

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

  11. Abbyposted September 24, 2012 at 7:47 am Reply

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

  12. Kiersten @ Oh My Veggiesposted September 24, 2012 at 7:50 am Reply

    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.

  13. Kristi Rimkusposted September 24, 2012 at 8:00 am Reply

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

  14. Laurie {Simply Scratch}posted September 24, 2012 at 8:03 am Reply

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

  15. [email protected]posted September 24, 2012 at 8:18 am Reply

    Oh those sound so freakin’ good!

  16. Shilohposted September 24, 2012 at 8:45 am Reply

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


  17. Heather | Farmgirl Gourmetposted September 24, 2012 at 8:54 am Reply

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

  18. Laura (Tutti Dolci)posted September 24, 2012 at 9:40 am Reply

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

  19. Lana @ Never Enough Thymeposted September 24, 2012 at 9:56 am Reply

    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!

  20. Amandaposted September 24, 2012 at 10:14 am Reply

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

  21. Cassieposted September 24, 2012 at 10:53 am Reply

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

  22. Heather (Heather's Dish)posted September 24, 2012 at 11:18 am Reply

    that little mini-slider is TOO cute!

  23. Cookin' Canuckposted September 24, 2012 at 12:47 pm Reply

    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!)

  24. Lindaposted September 24, 2012 at 2:32 pm Reply

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

  25. Aldy @ Al Dente Gourmetposted September 24, 2012 at 2:56 pm Reply

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

    Hugs <3

  26. Jen @ Savory Simpleposted September 24, 2012 at 3:08 pm Reply

    I would totally eat these! They sounds delicious.

  27. Colette @ JFF!posted September 24, 2012 at 4:24 pm Reply

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

  28. Natalie @ Free Range Humanposted September 24, 2012 at 5:26 pm Reply

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

  29. [email protected]posted September 24, 2012 at 7:33 pm Reply

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

  30. Ashley - Baker by Natureposted September 24, 2012 at 5:36 pm Reply

    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.

  31. Barbara | Creative Culinaryposted September 24, 2012 at 6:49 pm Reply

    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!

  32. MIss @ Miss in the Kitchenposted September 24, 2012 at 8:58 pm Reply

    Swedish meatballs are always a favorite around here!

  33. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.posted September 24, 2012 at 9:14 pm Reply

    Swedish Meatballs for the fall! Love love love these!

  34. Chung-Ah | Damn Deliciousposted September 24, 2012 at 11:00 pm Reply

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

  35. [email protected] Food Ramblingsposted September 25, 2012 at 7:21 am Reply

    apple butter and meatballs- yes please!

  36. love cookingposted September 25, 2012 at 9:25 am Reply

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

  37. Paula - bell'alimentoposted September 25, 2012 at 10:50 am Reply

    These are the perfect party food!

  38. The Food Houndposted September 25, 2012 at 6:28 pm Reply

    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!!

  39. Kiran @ KiranTarun.composted September 25, 2012 at 8:19 pm Reply

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

  40. Sneh | Cook Republicposted September 26, 2012 at 8:35 pm Reply

    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?

    • Sommerposted September 27, 2012 at 8:05 am Reply

      Can you buy apple sauce? I’d trying subbing apple sauce and some extra spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg and clove.

  41. Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabblesposted September 27, 2012 at 6:13 am Reply

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

  42. lynposted September 27, 2012 at 3:33 pm Reply

    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.

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  44. Russell van Kraayenburgposted October 1, 2012 at 2:35 pm Reply

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

  45. Deniseposted October 5, 2012 at 8:04 pm Reply

    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!

  46. Margaretposted October 15, 2012 at 1:37 pm Reply

    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!

    • Sommerposted October 15, 2012 at 6:03 pm Reply

      Margaret, I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed them! :)

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  48. Meganposted March 29, 2013 at 4:23 pm Reply

    Love meatballs – this was a tasty twist

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  52. taree walrodposted October 24, 2013 at 6:45 pm Reply

    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.

    • Sommerposted October 24, 2013 at 6:50 pm Reply

      Hi Taree, You could try that if you have a brand of frozen meatballs you like. Good Luck!

  53. Alexposted November 3, 2013 at 5:41 pm Reply

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

    • Sommerposted November 3, 2013 at 5:57 pm Reply

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

      • Lizposted November 14, 2013 at 8:55 pm

        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!

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  59. janetteposted January 5, 2014 at 7:15 pm Reply

    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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  61. Lauraposted December 27, 2014 at 9:59 am Reply

    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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  63. Suzieposted November 16, 2017 at 7:50 pm Reply

    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!

    Rating: 5