Jamaican Cocktail Meatballs


An easy crowd-pleasing, step by step recipe. And you only need a couple of cookie sheets, a slow cooker (or double boiler pot) and a few bowls to conjure up this wonderful tasty treat.
(makes 2 cookie sheets… 150 to 170 small meatballs)
Meatball Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 6 Tbsp Doc’s Jamaican Jerk Sauce 
  • 8 oz shredded Italian mix cheese (I use the pre-bagged 3 cheese or 5 cheese Italian mix from any grocery store)
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 large or 2 small baked sweet potatoes


I usually bake the sweet potatoes the night before I’m going to make this meatball recipe. If you have a toaster oven, put the sweet potatoes on a toaster oven sheet, set the temperature to 350ºF and the timer to a full hour.

  1. Take the skin off the cooked and cooled sweet potatoes and discard the skin. Mash the sweet potatoes in a small mixing bowl with a fork or potato masher.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the eggs, half & half, Doc’s Jamaican Jerk Sauce, salt and onion powder. Whisk until even and smooth.
  3. Add the cheese, bread crumbs, mashed sweet potatoes, and all the meat and mix all the ingredients together for at least 3 – 5 minutes.Never use electric mixers with meat; they break down the proteins and make the meat rubbery and tough. I wear disposable food-prep gloves and mix with my hands (it’s the fastest, easiest way).
  4. Pre-heat your stove oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Using a tea spoon, dab into the meat mixture to get about half the spoon full. Use your palms to form small balls and set them on a cookie sheet in rows.
  6. When you’ve formed all the mixture into small meatballs on your cookie sheets, place the sheets on the middle rack in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
  7. Place the meatballs in the top part of a double boiler pan and keep warm on a burner set on low (or put the meatballs into a crock-pot slow cooker set on low) to keep warm until ready to eat. 

Making the Sauce:

I have used 3 different sauces with this recipe. I think our favorite is the Apricot Sauce because our Doc’s Jamaican Hot Sauce gives it a nice little flavor kick that really isn’t too hot for most people and the apricot adds a tangy highlight with the meatballs.

Hot Pepper Jelly

In the Autumn I make a hot pepper jelly using our Doc’s Darling Caribbean Red peppers and then use my jelly in place of the apricot or grape sauces with this meatball recipe. It makes an awesome treat! However, we don’t sell our hot pepper jelly except seasonally at our local farmer’s market, but if you have a favorite hot pepper jelly or make your own, give it a try on these meatballs. I think you’ll love the results!

Apricot Sauce

  • 12 oz Apricot Jam
  • 4 Tbsp Doc’s Jamaican Hot Sauce
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • dash of salt

Grape Sauce

  • 6 oz. Doc’s Jamaican Jerk Sauce
  • ½ cup grape jelly
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp salt 
  1. Add all the sauce ingredients into a bowl and whisk until the mixture is smooth.
  2. Pour mixture over the meatballs about 30 to 40 minutes before serving. If you are using a slow cooker, turn the heat to medium for about 20 minutes to get the sauce warmed up, then turn it back to low 

It’s important to not let the sauce mixture boil. If your crock-pot runs to the hotter side, you may need to keep a close eye on the recipe until serving time.

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