Mini Meat Balls with Garlic and Basil Sauce

by Erica Dinho on May 14, 2010

Mini Meatballs with Basil-Garlic Sauce

I love making mini versions of big things. For example, rather than making a big pasta casserole, I usually prefer to make individual dishes. They are really cute. Don’t you think?

These Mini Meat Balls are perfect for a cocktail or tapas party . You can make them ahead and bake them when your guests arrive. Easy,simple and delicious!

Buen provecho!



(Makes about 65 mini meatballs)


  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
  • Garlic-Basil Sauce

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup basil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and pepper


  1. To make the meatballs:
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the meatball ingredients . Knead with your hands until well mixed.
  3. Shape the mixture into mini meatballs, set them on a baking sheet. Refrigerate until ready to bake.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400F. Place the meatballs in the oven and bake, turning once with tongs until brown and crispy on both sides, about 15 minutes total. Remove the baking sheet from the broiler and transfer the meatballs to a platter.
  5. To make the sauce:
  6. Place all the sauce ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth.
  7. Serve the meatballs with the sauce on the side.
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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 rebecca subbiah May 14, 2010 at 9:29 AM

yumm love meatballs have a great weekend


2 Tangled Noodle May 14, 2010 at 9:43 AM

Oh, yes! Bite sized is a great way to try out different food at once. The garlic-basil sauce sounds so good!


3 ruth May 14, 2010 at 9:47 AM

What a great party appetizer! Could see these being very popular indeed!


4 Maria May 14, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Those look fabulous! I can easily eat a dozen in one sitting … and the sauce is a must!


5 Belinda @zomppa May 14, 2010 at 10:43 AM

These look soooooooooooooo good. I’m so hungry!


6 Lyndsey May 14, 2010 at 2:00 PM

Yummy, the sauce sound really good with it. I like making smaller meatballs too, and using individual dishes, for enchiladas, au gratin potatoes, etc….


7 Joanne May 14, 2010 at 2:31 PM

Mini are definitely better! I can’t really say way, but I think the cuteness-factor has something to do with it. These sound incredibly spiced! Love them.


8 Empar May 14, 2010 at 3:28 PM

Unas albondigas estupendas!! Y me agrada para tomar esa variedad de salsa.
Un beso.


9 grace May 14, 2010 at 5:02 PM

miniature pieces of food are always more appealing to me too. there’s something about the fact that you can eat lots and lots of little ones that makes them more appealing than just one big serving…and you’d better believe i’d be eating lots of these!


10 Sandra G May 14, 2010 at 5:08 PM

This Are so cute and they look so tasty!


11 Joan Nova May 14, 2010 at 6:47 PM

Nice change from the usual tomato sauce.


12 Sandi May 15, 2010 at 12:09 AM

that looks great Erica!! perfect for entertaining.


13 MaryMoh May 15, 2010 at 4:07 AM

I love cute small meatballs too, especially for parties. I love the garlic and basil sauce. Must be delicious…mmm. Have a lovely weekend.


14 Chef E May 15, 2010 at 5:18 AM

YOU, had me at meatballs :) a weakness along with pasta, south american foods, and pizza :)


15 Ellen May 15, 2010 at 9:10 AM

Erica you should publish a cookbook :)


16 norma May 15, 2010 at 12:32 PM

Great for Tapas. I like the sauce…it is a change


17 Chris May 15, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Erica these look so delicious and I think I could eat that sauce by itself!


18 Anna May 15, 2010 at 11:07 PM

Hi Erica, loved the garlic basil Idea, must very yummy. It would be nice with some Coronitas. :-)


19 Erica May 15, 2010 at 11:12 PM

Thank you everyone for visiting my site!


20 Ivy May 16, 2010 at 2:45 PM

These mini meat balls are perfect for cocktail parties and the sauce sounds delicious as well.


21 Baking is my Zen May 16, 2010 at 3:01 PM

Great idea for parties!


22 Faith May 16, 2010 at 3:28 PM

All the spices in these meatballs are delicious! The sauce for dipping sounds perfect with them.


23 pierre May 16, 2010 at 3:35 PM

basil is my friend I have some in my garden here in Paris so I have a little bit of Italy !! Pierre in Paris


24 Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen May 16, 2010 at 6:28 PM

I like the sauce! So different from your standard marinara!


25 Christine @ Fresh Local and Best May 16, 2010 at 6:50 PM

Those mini meatballs do look very cute. I think I’m going to have to try this recipe with ground turkey.


26 Soma May 16, 2010 at 8:23 PM

I used to make similar tiny meatballs (with minced chicken) for my kids lunch. They were very well loved. I love the sauce here, so aromatic. and yes on a toothpick it is great for guests too.


27 tasteofbeirut May 17, 2010 at 5:53 PM

these mini-meatballs are adorable! I could eat the whole batch!


28 Reeni May 17, 2010 at 8:58 PM

I can’t resist a good meatball! Especially with the delicious sound of the garlic basil sauce! That really makes them special.


29 Erica May 18, 2010 at 5:40 PM

Thank you all for the wonderful comments!


30 Oysterculture May 20, 2010 at 8:04 PM

Oh, if I saw this at a party, I’d be standing by it all night – looks amazing, tasty and like it would get me into a lot of trouble


31 Jeff February 1, 2011 at 7:19 PM

15 min total or 15 min on a side? 15 min total does not seem like enough time.


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