Meatballs for a Crowd

Learn how to make meatballs for a crowd if you enjoy entertaining. When feeding a crowd, most of us look at the expense but we also want our recipes to have great taste. Meatballs can be made with ground lamb, beef, pork, chicken or turkey. Because of this variety we have more of a selection to which we can choose. We also have the option of grinding our own meat if it is more economical. When I need a lot of meatballs I look for meats or poultry on sale and go from there.

Meatballs for a CrowdMeatballs for a Crowd

After I starting making meatballs for a crowd, I learned to sometimes mix the ground meats and poultry for a different flavor and texture. Additional ingredients also add to the variety of flavors and textures. Many of these meatball recipes include sauces. These might be ones with Asian or Italian flare adding wonderful taste to the meatballs. Meatballs can be served as a welcoming appetizer to your guests, on rolls which make delicious sandwiches or with pasta or rice for a great entrée.


Making meatballs for a crowd are convenient recipes since they are easy to prepare in advance.  Make them a day ahead and store in the refrigerator or make a week in advance and freeze. These large recipes are great for families too. Divide the meatballs up to fit your family and freeze in plastic freezer bags. Place them in the microwave for quick meals for your family or unexpected guests.


When you learn how to make meatballs for a crowd, you might choose to cook them by deep frying, baking or broiling. I like to deep fry them for parties because they come out more rounded and “pretty”. You get more of a flat side when baking or broiling which is still all right. Some recipes will instruct you to shape the balls about three fourths inch size but I prefer them a little larger. Actually I like most meatballs to be from a one inch size to one and one half size. 


Sometimes if I am going to serve meatballs with spaghetti or mashed potatoes, I like to make them about two inches in size. To me, this makes a nice presentation on the dinner plate. I also do not like meatballs too small because they can easily over cook. Over cooking is something to watch also when using ground poultry in the recipe. When biting into the meatballs you want them to be flavorful and moist. Over cooking will make them dry.


NOTE: If you do not have chafing dishes or pans or other warmers heat the meatballs in the oven. I have found when working with large quantities, it is easier to put the meatballs in a large roasting pan (Turkey roaster). Place the COOKED meatballs in the roaster, cover with sauce if you have one in your recipe and then place in oven until hot and ready to serve. If you do have a warmer you can transfer meatballs to the warmer as needed for serving. I also use these large roasters and other large containers for mixing when I run short on huge bowls.

GREEK MEATBALLS FOR A CROWD 

Greek Meatballs for a CrowdGreek Meatballs for a Crowd

These delicious Greek meatballs for a crowd can be served on a sub roll, as appetizers, with pasta and so much more.  

Meatballs

  • 6 Pounds ground beef
  • 3 Cups finely chopped onion
  • 6 Cups moist bread crumbs
  • 6 Beaten eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons salt
  • 3 Teaspoons pepper
  • ½ Cup PLUS 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons cumin powder
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ Cup PLUS 1 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Sauce 

  • 3 Jars (32 Ounces each) Ragu Extra Thick and Zesty tomato sauce
  • ¾ Teaspoon cumin powder
  • Flour for coating the meatballs
  • Oil for deep frying

FOR MEATBALLS in a large container combine all the meatball ingredients.

Mix with hands until well blended.

Shape into balls using 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture.

Heat oil about 2 inches deep in a large deep fryer.

Place meatballs in hot oil without crowding.

Cook until browned on all sides; drain on paper towels.

Place meatballs in bottom of a large roaster pan.

When all meatballs have been cooked mix sauce and pour over.

Place roaster in oven at 325F degrees for 30 to 45 minutes

FOR SAUCE combine Ragu sauce and cumin; pour over meatballs.


NOTE: I use these meatballs to serve as appetizers, to make sub sandwiches and served with spaghetti.

Recipe makes 120 meatballs=about 60 appetizer servings; about 40 sub sandwiches; about 30 to 40 spaghetti dinners.

If serving as appetizers allow 2 for each person.

For making sub sandwiches I melt mozzarella cheese on rolls in oven then top cheese with 3 meatballs.

For serving with spaghetti top cooked pasta with 3 to 4 meatballs and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese.


NOTE: COOKING SPAGHETTI for a crowd is easier if you cook it “al dente” ahead of time and coat it with a little cooking oil. To reheat, dip in boiling water only to heat.

Greek Meatballs Served with PastaGreek Meatballs Served with Pasta
Greek Meatballs Served as an AppetizerGreek Meatballs Served as an Appetizer

MUSTARD MEATBALLS FOR A CROWD

Mustard Meatballs for a CrowdMustard Meatballs for a Crowd
  • 2 Cups finely chopped onion
  • 4 Cloves minced garlic
  • 5 Pounds ground beef
  • 5 Eggs
  • 2 Cups soft bread crumbs
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon pepper
  • 4 Tablespoons dry mustard.
  • About 8 cups flour for coating (Season with salt and pepper)
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying

In large bowl combine onion and next 7 ingredients; mix well.

NOTE: I think it is easier to mix by using my hands.

Measure mixture to make balls with ONE FOUTH CUP measuring cup.

Shape into balls; coat with seasoned flour; place on a tray.

After all are coated place in refrigerator until ready to cook.

When ready to cook heat about 1 ½ to 2 inches oil in Dutch oven or fryer.

Roll meatballs again in the seasoned flour; place in hot oil without crowding.

Fry until browned about 10 to 15 minutes and thoroughly done.

Serve with pasta and gravy or favorite sauce; 20 to 24 servings.


CHINESE MEATBALLS FOR A CROWD

  • 4 Pounds lean ground pork
  • 1 Cup chopped water chestnuts
  • 4 Green onions (Sliced)
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 4 Beaten eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 2 Cups fine bread crumbs
  • Vegetable oil for cooking

Sauce

  • 4 Cans (20 Ounces) pineapple chunks
  • 2 Cups pineapple juice
  • 1 Cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Cup brown sugar
  • 2 Cups beef broth
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 Teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ Cup cornstarch
  • 1 Cup water
FOR MEATBALLS

mix together the pork and next 6 ingredients.

Shape mixture into three-fourths inch balls.

Heat about 2 inches of oil in Dutch oven, fryer or other deep pan.

Fry meatballs until browned without crowding too tightly.

Drain on paper towels.

TO MAKE SAUCE drain pineapple chunks RESERVING 2 CUPS of the juice.

Combine juice, vinegar, sugar, broth, soy and ginger in a large saucepan.

Cook over low heat until sugar dissolves.

Combine cornstarch with the water until smooth.

Stir cornstarch mixture into the sugar mixture.

Cook and stir until mixture is thick and clear about 5 minutes.

Add meatballs and pineapple chunks to the sauce; heat thoroughly.

TO SERVE spear a meatball and pineapple chunk onto a wooden pick.

NOTE: If you do not have the time, simply serve together in the sauce from a food warmer.

Makes about 80 to 95 meatballs.


CHILI MEATBALLS FOR A CROWD

Meatballs

  • 4 Pounds ground beef
  • 2 Cups finely chopped onion
  • 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 Teaspoons salt
  • 2 Teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 Teaspoon paprika
  • 2 Teaspoons lemon pepper seasoning
  • 2 Teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

Sauce

  • 2 Jars (32 Ounces) spaghetti sauce
  • 4 Cups finely chopped onion
  • 4 Cloves minced garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons PLUS 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons grated gingerroot
  • 1 Tablespoon ground coriander
  • OPTION: 2 Pounds hot cooked spaghetti

Preheat oven to 300F degrees.

TO MAKE MEATBALLS combine first 9 ingredients in a large bowl; mix well.

Shape mixture into 1 ½ inch balls; place on broiler pan; bake 10 minutes.

Turn meatballs over; bake 10 minutes longer.

Remove from oven and drain on paper towels; set aside.

TO MAKE SAUCE dump spaghetti sauce into a large Dutch oven or pot.

Add chopped onions and next 5 ingredients; mix well.

Cover Dutch oven and cook over medium 10 minutes.

Add the meatballs and cook 5 minutes longer.

Serve as appetizers or over hot cooked pasta (OR cooked rice).

Serves 16 meals.


ITALIAN RED WINE MEATBALLS FOR A CROWD

Meatballs

  • 5 Pounds ground chuck
  • 2 Packages onion soup mix (Packages in the box)
  • 1 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons minced parsley
  • ¾ cup cracker crumbs
  • 1 Cup water
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon garlic salt
  • Salt/ pepper to taste

Sauce

  • 2 Cans (large) tomato juice
  • 1/3 Cup onion flakes
  • 2 Cloves minced garlic
  • 1 Cup red wine

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

TO MAKE MEATBALLS combine and mix all ingredients in a large bowl.

Shape mixture into 1 ½ inch balls; place on greased baking sheets.

Bake 15 minutes or until brown; serve in chafing dish with sauce.

TO MAKE SAUCE combine all ingredients; pour over meatballs.

Make early enough so meatballs and sauce will heat in chafing dish.


SPICY SAUSAGE MEATBALLS FOR A CROWD

Meatballs

  • 3 Pounds hot sausage (Bulk)
  • 6 Pounds mild sausage (Bulk)
  • 9 Eggs (Beaten)
  • 3 cups herbal stuffing mix (Dry)
  • 2 ¼ Tablespoons ground sage
  • Oil for frying

Sauce

  • 2 ¼ cups ketchup
  • 2 ¼ Cups chili sauce
  • ½ Cup PLUS 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 Cups PLUS 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ Cup PLUS 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 4 ½ Cups water

TO MAKE MEATBALLS combine hot and mild sausages in large bowl.

Add the eggs, stuffing mix and ground sage; mix well.

Shape mixture into balls about 1 ½ inches in size.

Heat oil in a large deep Dutch oven or pot about 1 ½ inches deep.

Deep fry meatballs (DO NOT CROWD) until brown all over.

Drain meatballs on paper towels; place in chafing dish. 

TO MAKE SAUCE combine all ingredients; pour over the meat balls.

Let meatballs and sauce heat in chafing dish; makes about 60.


ORIENTAL CHICKEN MEATBALLS FOR A CROWD

  • 3 Beaten eggs
  • 2 ¼ Cups milk
  • ¾ Cup dry bread crumbs
  • ¾ Cup toasted blanched almonds (Finely chopped)
  • 3 Teaspoons salt (Divided)
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons hickory smoked salt
  • ½ Teaspoon black pepper
  • 12 Cups ground chicken
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • About 1 cup butter (Divided)
  • 1 ½ Cups sliced onion (Divided)
  • 1 ½ Cups sliced celery (Divided)
  • 1 ½ Cups sliced green bell pepper (Divided)
  • 4 ½ Cups chicken bouillon
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 ½ Cups seedless green grapes
  • 14 Cups cooked white rice

TO MAKE MEATBALLS combine egg, milk, crumbs and almonds in large bowl.

Add 1 ½ TEASPOONS of the salt, hickory smoked salt and pepper; mix well.

NOTE: Measure 2 level tablespoons for each ball making about 70 balls.

Add chicken mixing well to combine; shape into balls.

Roll balls lightly in flour coating completely.

Melt about 4 TABLESPOONS of butter for each batch in a large skillet 

Fill a layer of balls in the hot butter; sauté until brown on all sides.

Remove balls and keep warm.

Continue adding butter and cooking until all meatballs are browned.

Set 2 pans of chafing dish over direct heat.

NOTE: If doing this by yourself, you can prepare 1 pan at a time.

Heat about 2 TABLESPOONS of the butter in each pan.

Divided onion, celery and green pepper evenly between each pan.

Sauté the vegetables about 7 minutes tossing occasionally.

Combine bouillon, sugar and remaining 1 ½ TEASPOONS salt in a large bowl.

Divide bouillon mixture evenly between the 2 pans.

Heat mixture in pans until it starts to simmer.

In bowl blend together cornstarch with lemon juice in a bowl.

Divide cornstarch mixture evenly into the simmering pans stirring.

NOTE: Stir mixture constantly until mixture thickens about 5 minutes.

Add the chicken meatballs and grapes; simmer 5 minutes longer.

Place over boiling water in water pans to keep warm.

Serve over hot cooked rice; makes 12 servings. 


SWEDISH MEATBALLS FOR A CROWD

Meatballs

  • 1 Pound ground beef
  • 1 ½ Pounds ground veal
  • 1 ½ Pounds ground pork
  • ¾ Cup dry bread crumbs
  • ¾ Cup finely chopped onion
  • ¾ Cup light cream
  • ½ Cup PLUS 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • 4 Teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons salt
  • ¾ Teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 6 Eggs

Sour Cream Sauce

  • ½ Cup PLUS 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ Cup PLUS 1 tablespoon flour
  • 4 ½ Cups beef broth
  • 4 ½ Teaspoons dried dill weed
  • ¾ Teaspoon salt
  • ¾ Teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ Cups sour cream

Preheat oven to 375F degrees.

FOR MEATBALLS combine all ingredients in a large bowl or container.

Shape into 1 ¼ inch balls; place on baking sheets with edges.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes; keep warm.

FOR SAUCE heat butter over low heat in a large saucepan until melted.

Stir in the flour cooking and stirring until smooth and bubbly; set off heat.

Stir in the broth, dill weed, salt and nutmeg; heat and stir to a boil.

Boil and stir constantly for 1 minutes; remove from heat.

Stir in sour cream; pour over meatballs and serve hot.

Makes about 12 to 13 dozens meatballs.


BARBEQUE MEATBALLS FOR A CROWD

Meatballs

  • 6 Pounds ground beef
  • 3 Cups rolled oats
  • 4 Cups milk
  • ¾ Cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 Tablespoons salt
  • 2 Teaspoons pepper

Barbeque Sauce

  • 8 Cups ketchup
  • 6 Cups brown sugar
  • 4 Teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 2 Teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 Cups finely chopped onion

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Combine all meatball ingredients and mix well.

Divide mixture into 6 equal parts; shape each part into balls.

NOTE: When shaping the balls with the first part, decide what size you prefer. Multiply the number by 6 to get the total you will have.

Place balls on baking pans with edges; bake about 20 minutes.

Place baked meatballs in a large warming pan or roaster.

FOR SAUCE combine all sauce ingredients; pour over the meatballs.

Place in oven about 30 minutes.

› Meatballs

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