Appetizer Meatballs in Red Wine Sauce

Meatballs With Red Wine Sauce

The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 36 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
55 Calories
3g Fat
3g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 36
Amount per serving
Calories 55
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 3%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 17mg 6%
Sodium 153mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 18mg 1%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 81mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe for appetizer meatballs is made with a tangy red wine sauce. These tasty meatballs can also be served as a main dish. Serve them with hot cooked rice or noodles and your family's favorite veggies.

The meatballs are served hot from the slow cooker, making them an excellent appetizer for a house party, tailgating, or a potluck event. The recipe is easily doubled for a crowd.


For the Meatballs:

For the Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch

  • 1 cup water

  • 2 beef bouillon cubes, or equivalent of double-strength broth

  • 1/2 cup high-quality dry red wine

  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar, or granulated sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • Kosher salt, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat oven to 400 F.

  2. Combine all meatball ingredients. Mix well and shape into 1-inch meatballs. Place in a large shallow baking dish; bake for 15 minutes.

  3. In a saucepan, whisk the cornstarch and water. Add the bouillon cubes or beef base, red wine, brown or granulated sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until thickened. Add salt to taste, if necessary.

  4. Combine the meatballs and sauce in a chafing dish or slow cooker and set it on low or warm for serving.

  5. Serve the meatballs with toothpicks and provide small plates with napkins for the guests.


  • Skip the meatball ingredients and baking instructions and use a good quality frozen meatball in the recipe. Add them to the sauce and cook them in the slow cooker on high for about 1 1/2 hours before serving. Reduce the slow cooker setting to low for serving.
  • Bake the meatballs and the sauce the day before the party. Refrigerate them in separate containers. About an hour before the party, put everything in the slow cooker with the setting on high. Stir to coat the meatballs with the sauce. Reduce the setting to low for serving.