Serves a Crowd

tomato-glazed cocktail meatballs with bacon

August 10, 2010
1 Ratings
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

This is my go-to potluck recipe. The meatballs are extremely moist and flavorful, with some lovely caramelization from the glaze. It is loosely adapted from a Gourmet recipe for baked chicken meatballs. Enjoy! - aschindler —aschindler

Test Kitchen Notes

Thanks to the bacon, these meatballs are incredibly juicy and savory. The hint of tomato glaze, like a flirtier version of Sunday gravy, adds lovely color and tang. Make lots -- they disappear quickly. - Kristen —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup white bread, torn into pieces
  • .5 cups whole milk
  • 3 ounces applewood smoked bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • .5 teaspoons salt
  • 1 splash dry white wine
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • .5 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • .25 cups parseley, finely chopped
  • .5 pounds ground chicken
  • .5 pounds ground pork
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste, divided
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine the bread pieces and the milk in a small bowl, using your fingers to bread up the bread further. Leave to soak for about 5 minutes.
  2. Heat a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until it is crisp and it's fat has been rendered.
  3. Lower the heat to medium. Add the onion, salt, and pepper, and cook until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  4. De-glaze the pan with a splash of white wine, scraping up the browned bits from the pan. Cook for another minute. Transfer to a plate and allow to cool slightly
  5. Squeeze the excess milk from the bread and remove any remaining crusty pieces. Combine the bread, parsley, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, and cooled bacon mixture, and mix well. Taste and add salt if needed. Add the egg and mix well again. Add the meats and mix until evenly incorporated, but don't over-mix.
  6. Scoop the meat mixture by heaping tablespoons and roll into small balls. Place the meatballs on baking sheets, leaving at least an inch or so between each meatball.
  7. Mix together the melted butter and remaining 1 tablespoon tomato paste (don't worry if you can't get them to mix well). Using a pastry brush, brush the top of each meatball with a bit of the glaze.
  8. Bake until cooked through, about 20-30 minutes.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • bistro_gal
  • linzarella
  • dymnyno
  • kaitlyn

5 Reviews

kaitlyn December 23, 2015
Could I make these the day before and just reheat? My oven will be occupied with a turkey...
bistro_gal October 29, 2010
Best meatballs ever. I made them with turkey meat and I expected them to be kind of dry, but they were delicious. The bacon, the splash of wine, the parsley, the glaze, they all come together in an outstanding way. Thanks a lot for sharing!
linzarella August 26, 2010
these are the best meatballs i have ever had.
appleorchard August 11, 2010
Looks great and sounds very tasty. I will definitely try this recipe!
dymnyno August 10, 2010
It is a very classy sounding meatball...great appetizer!