Balsamic Meatloaf Meatballs

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Balsamic Meatloaf Meatballs are our number 1, all time best meatloaf recipe in poppable form. Looking for the perfect easy dinner? These meatball poppers surely fit the bill! Moist, flavorful and deliciously addictive, and kids go crazy for them. Great to freeze and reheat, too!!

titled (shown in bowl) balsamic meatloaf meatballs


We love meatballs. Well, who doesn’t? They are incredible and multi-purpose.  Appetizers, snacks, meals. Italian, Mexican, Asian, or any flavor you like can inspire a meatball recipe.

And meatloaf meatballs are a family favorite. Well, of course, the recipe that the meatballs were adapted from certainly is too.

Balsamic Meatloaf Meatballs

The balsamic glazed meatloaf recipe that inspired the balsamic meatballs is a family staple.  Literally, I make it every Sunday, then separate it out into 4-ounce portions. This way, Chad can eat it for lunch all week.

He did this for quite some time.  He  loves it that much.  At some point, I informed him we were affecting my creativity by eating the same thing every day.

He was happy to encourage my creativity and try different things for lunch.

So, when we were talking meatballs, we both knew these would be a hit.  Awesome for tailgating, appetizers or served alongside your favorite pasta, rice or potato this is a winner.  You are going to love it.

air fryer meatballs ingredients in bowls on counter

Essentials for Making Meatball Recipes

  • Mixing Bowl– I like a variety of mixing bowls and prep bowls and this set has them all.
  • 1-tablespoon scoop – Perfect for meatballs, cookies, ice cream for portioning out leftovers! I have had this set for years and use them all the time. 
  • 9×13 Baking Dish– I have my favorites and this set is one of them. The 9×13 is perfect for casseroles and the smaller size is awesome for making 1/2 a casserole recipe.

Meatloaf Meatballs FAQ

Should you fry or bake meatballs?

I prefer to bake meatballs whenever possible. Not only is it less messy, but they come out perfectly tender and evenly cooked every time!

Plus, while they are baking, you can spend time preparing side dishes for your quick and easy meal.

How do you prevent tough meatballs?

The most important thing to remember when making meatballs is to not overwork the meat! Mix just until the ingredients are combined and touch them as little as possible.

Use a scoop to portion them out before gently rolling them into shape. Wet or grease your hands before rolling — this gets them nice and smooth and prevents the mixture from sticking to your skin.


With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

bite sized meatball appetizers in bowl

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Other Favorite Meatball Recipes

meatloaf meatballs in red bowl

Balsamic Meatloaf Meatballs

Donna Elick
Balsamic Meatloaf Meatballs are a poppable appetizer based on our #1 balsamic glazed meatloaf recipe!! Moist, flavorful and SO addictive!
5 stars from 2 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Method Oven
Servings 12 servings (5 meatballs)


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning

Balsamic Sauce

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup water


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a large bowl add beef, bread crumbs and milk. Pouring milk directly over bread crumbs. Add ketchup, egg, balsamic vinegar and your spices. Combine well with hands, do not overwork the meat mixture.
  • Using a scooper or your hands, portion 1-tablespoon size balls. Place in a 9"x13" baking dish. Set aside.
  • Combine ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine well. Set aside until needed.
  • Pour balsamic sauce evenly over meatballs and bake for 30 minutes.
    Remove from oven, serve, and enjoy!


Serving: 5 meatballs | Calories: 158cal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 479mg | Sugar: 11g | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 2mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled pinterest collage for balsamic meatball poppers

Originally published November 2012. Updated and republished November 2019.

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  1. meatballs- oh how wonderful they are- perfect on pasta, bread but even better by themselves and yours look delicious

  2. I'm a terrible cook, and I'm not fond of meatballs, but this recipe sounded so good that I made them. They were easy to assemble, baked up quickly and the hub and I agree they taste great. He's still complementing me, and dinner was over an hour ago! Thanks for this recipe, I'm looking forward to more meatballs in the future.

  3. These sound simply delicious! I can see why you call them poppers…I'd be popping them right in my mouth like I was eating a bowl of popcorn. I pinned your Balsamic Meatloaf recipe and am pinning this too!!

  4. I loved the flavor of the balsamic sauce but the meatballs had a little too much breadcrumbs as written, at least for our household.

  5. 1 pound of meat makes 60 meatballs? I just want to make sure I am making these correctly and following the recipe. It is 1 pound of meat and 1 cup of Italian bread crumbs? Does all the sauce get poured onto the meatballs before baking? My other meatball recipe that I make often has the meatballs being cooked for an hour at 325 degrees. Do these only get cooked for 30 minutes, do they ever get turned during the cooking process? Thank you! I hope to try this recipe soon, just want to make sure I am clear on the instructions before making the meatballs and sauce.

  6. 5 stars
    These are soooo delicious. This recipe makes a strong and solid case about NEVER buying store bought meat balls. The first time I made this, I followed the recipe exactly. Next time, I made the meatballs and poured a Costco Hawaiian BBQ Sauce over them and baked as instructed. Both times-wow. Easy and fast to make, these make a great appetizer. Thanks TSRI for another great recipe!

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