Step-by-Step Guide to Preparing the Perfect Magic Meatballs

If you’re looking for a recipe that will have jaws dropping and taste buds exploding, you’ve come to the right place. I’m talking about my Magic Meatballs Recipe – a crowd-pleaser that never fails to impress.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – what’s so magical about these meatballs anyway? Well, let me tell you: it’s all in the sauce. The perfect blend of tangy and sweet, made with grape jelly and chili sauce, these meatballs will have you coming back for seconds (and thirds).

But don’t take my word for it – give this recipe a try for yourself. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party, family gathering, or just craving some delicious comfort food, these magic meatballs are sure to please. So grab your apron and get ready to work some culinary magic!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Magic Meatballs
Magic Meatballs

Let me tell you, my friend, why you are going to fall in love with this magic meatballs recipe. First of all, let’s talk about the flavors. The tomato sauce, garlic clove, sweet basil, oregano, and mozzarella cheese mixed with Italian sausage and ground beef create a heavenly combination. You won’t believe how delicious these meatballs taste until you try them!

But there is more to these magic meatballs than just flavor. The recipe calls for egg and oatmeal, which not only make the meatballs more filling but also add a unique texture that sets them apart from any other meatball you have ever tasted. And let’s not forget about the secret ingredient that takes these meatballs to a whole new level: grape jelly.

Yes, you read that right: grape jelly. It might sound weird at first, but trust me on this one. When combined with chili sauce and other spices, the jelly creates a mouth-watering glaze that coats the meatballs perfectly.

And if you are worried about the preparation time or level of difficulty, don’t be. This recipe is super easy to follow and requires only a few simple steps. Plus, you can make them ahead of time and reheat them whenever you’re ready to serve them.

So whether you’re hosting a party or simply looking for an amazing dinner option that will impress your family, these magic meatballs are exactly what you need. Try them once and they will soon become one of your favorite recipes!

Ingredient List

 These magic meatballs will have your taste buds spellbound!
These magic meatballs will have your taste buds spellbound!

Here’s what you’ll need to make Magic Meatballs:

Main Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons sweet basil
  • 2 teaspoons oregano

Magic Sauce:

  • 1 jar grape jelly (18 oz)
  • 1 bottle chili sauce (12 oz)


  • Mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes for stuffing the meatballs.

All of these ingredients can be easily found in your local grocery store. You can also substitute the meat with vegan options or use frozen meatballs instead. Don’t forget to adjust the recipe food accordingly.

The Recipe How-To

 Make any party a magical event with these meatballs.
Make any party a magical event with these meatballs.

Let’s get down to the real magic – creating the magic meatballs that will surely have your guests raving about your party long after it’s over. Follow these steps carefully and you’ll be on your way to the perfect meatballs.


For this recipe, you’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 pound Italian sausage
  • 2/3 cup oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons sweet basil, dried
  • 2 teaspoons parsley flakes, dried
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Mixing the Meat

In a large mixing bowl combine the ground beef, Italian sausage, oatmeal, milk, diced onions, minced garlic clove, sweet basil, parsley flakes, salt, black pepper and beaten egg. Mix well with your hands. Squish it all together until well combined. Don’t forget – clean hands are happy hands!

Shaping the Meatballs

Preheat your oven to 400°F. Using a small cookie scoop or a spoon (the one you use for soup), shape 1-inch balls of meat and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You can also use your hands to do this. Make sure they are evenly sized for even cooking.

Cooking the Meatballs

Place the meatballs in an oven preheated at 400°F and bake for twenty minutes until browned and fully cooked.

The Magic Sauce

While the meatballs are in the oven make “The Magic Sauce”. In a medium bowl mix together:

  • 12 oz of tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup grape jelly
  • A tablespoon of chilli sauce

Whisk them all together until the mixture becomes smooth.

Mixing Magic Sauce and Meatballs

In an oven-safe pot or dutch oven pour ”Magic Sauce” over baked meatballs. Toss well to ensure all of them are coated evenly in “The Magic Sauce”. Cook them in the oven for another 15 minutes.

Remove from oven – your mini magic meatballs are now ready to be served!

Substitutions and Variations

 You won't believe the spell this dish will cast on your guests.
You won’t believe the spell this dish will cast on your guests.

If you’re feeling adventurous, or simply want to mix things up a bit with the magic meatballs recipe, there are several options you can try.

Firstly, if you’re not a fan of grape jelly chili sauce, use regular chili sauce instead. It’s also possible to substitute the grape jelly for apricot jam or orange marmalade for a different depth of flavor. These new combinations might offer different surprising twists to add to your recipe.

If you prefer vegan cuisine, you can make your own meatballs with oatmeal and diced veggies such as mushrooms, to replace the meat. You can use vegan-friendly breadcrumbs and vegan beef substitutes.

Additionally, if you’re hosting an outdoor BBQ bash, why not switch up the serving style and go for mini magic meatball sliders on small hamburger buns with fresh mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce? You could even swap toppings with some marinated mushroom caps or sautéed onions to have more options like Jeff Mauro from “The Kitchen” does.

Another common variation is replacing grape jelly with BBQ sauce for some finger-licking good results. If you need something easy that requires less energizing prep work, simply buy frozen meatballs and toss them in the slow cooker with some of your favorite ingredients. Or make them ahead, freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet, then transfer them into a large plastic bag to be used whenever needed.

No matter which variance you choose, remember that cooking has no boundaries! Have fun experimenting, tweaking and ultimately enjoying your cozy meal with family and friends.

Serving and Pairing

 The secret ingredient that makes these meatballs so magical? Love!
The secret ingredient that makes these meatballs so magical? Love!

It’s time for the magic of serving these tantalizing meatballs. Once the mini magic meatballs are cooked to perfection, plate them up on a shallow dish and garnish with some freshly chopped herbs such as sweet basil or parsley flakes. These flavorful meatballs make for an exquisite appetizer that can be served with toothpicks, making it even more tempting to try.

If you’re planning a family dinner, these grape jelly chili meatballs would be perfect as a side dish, accompanied by a luscious plate of spaghetti coated in homemade tomato sauce. The magical sauce in which these grape jelly meatballs are simmered is so divine that your guests will be asking for more every time. Hosting your friends? Have them paired along with some melted mozzarella cheese, and they will adore it.

Are you a vegan? Worry not, these delicious ground beef 2 cups recipe food has got you covered too! You can replace the non-vegan ingredients such as Italian sausage and eggs with some equally succulent substitutes like vegan meatballs or kofta made from soybean or lentils.

Looking for something unique? Why not BBQ these magic meatballs on skewers alongside some veggies for a smoky finish. Or try out the Swedish meatballs with creamy gravy that adds to their tender texture.

In summary, whether it’s a family gathering, a cocktail party or just an appetizer hour with your friends, these grape jelly chili sauce meatballs are ideal for any event. The versatility and diverse range of options make them perfect even for an afternoon snack or packed lunch along with bread or crackers. Go ahead give yourself a treat because as Jeff Mauro said “The right kind of parties make you feel alive”.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 These meatballs are so tasty, they'll disappear before your eyes.
These meatballs are so tasty, they’ll disappear before your eyes.

Magic meatballs are the perfect make-ahead recipe for parties, as they can be prepared well in advance and reheated quickly just before serving. One of the best things about this recipe is that it freezes really well. You can make a big batch of mini magic meatballs and store them in an airtight container or ziplock bag for up to three months.

When you’re ready to serve the meatballs, simply remove them from the freezer and allow them to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Then, reheat them on a stovetop or in a slow cooker until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If you prefer to bake them, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and cook the meatballs for 15-20 minutes until they are hot and bubbling.

Alternatively, if you have leftover meatballs, you can store them in the fridge for up to four days. Keep them in an airtight container or wrap them tightly with foil to prevent them from drying out. When you’re ready to reheat them, simply place them on a baking sheet in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-12 minutes until they are thoroughly heated through.

Don’t forget to add some extra sauce or cheese on top if needed! These magical bites go great with spaghetti or bread, making it perfect for easy meals such as spaghetti-and-meatballs or meatball-stuffed garlic bread.

Whether you’re making these homemade meatballs from scratch or using frozen ones, reheating magic meatballs is easy as long as they are stored properly. Enjoy these delicious bites at your next party or gathering without worrying about missing out on some of the other party planning details!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Warning: These meatballs may cause uncontrollable drooling.
Warning: These meatballs may cause uncontrollable drooling.

Now that you’ve got the Magic Meatballs recipe all figured out, it’s time to work on perfecting your technique. Here are some tips and tricks to help ensure great results every time:

1. Don’t Overmix the Meat: One of the keys to tender meatballs is not to overwork the meat mixture. Mix it just enough to combine everything evenly, but don’t knead it like dough or you’ll end up with tough meatballs.

2. Use a Light Touch: When shaping the meatballs, try to use a light touch. Pressing too hard or rolling them too aggressively can pack the meat too tightly, which can result in dry and dense meatballs.

3. Keep Them Uniform in Size: Try to make each meatball roughly the same size to ensure they cook evenly. Use a cookie scoop or measure them out with a spoon if you want them to be really consistent.

4. Browning is Key: Searing the meatballs before you add them to your sauce is a crucial step that adds flavor and texture. Make sure your pan is hot and don’t overcrowd it so they brown nicely.

5. Use Good Quality Ingredients: It’s worth spending a little more on high-quality ground beef, Italian sausage, and cheese since they’ll make a big difference in flavor. Make sure your spices are fresh, too.

6. Let Them Rest: Once you’ve cooked your meatballs, let them rest for a few minutes so they absorb some of the juices and stay moist.

By following these tips, your magic meatballs will be something that everyone will be talking about!


As we approach the end of this recipe article for Magic Meatballs, I’m sure you might have a few questions about the recipe. In this section, I’ll do my best to answer some of the frequently asked questions regarding the ingredients and techniques used in this recipe. So, let’s dive right in!

What can I use instead of grape jelly?

As a home chef who enjoys hosting parties, I’ve experimented with different fruit spreads to add some sweetness to my dishes. From the classic strawberry jam or jelly to the unique flavor of apple jelly and the delightful taste of raspberry jam or preserves, there are countless ways to incorporate these spreads into your cooking repertoire. So whether you’re a seasoned chef or an aspiring home cook, read on for my detailed instructions and tips on how to make these delectable fruit spreads.

What is the trick to keeping meatballs together?

When it comes to binding ingredients in minced meat, adding a lightly beaten egg can do wonders. However, it’s important to remember not to go overboard with it. Just a small amount of egg will serve as an effective binder for one pound of minced meat. Another option for those abstaining from eggs is to soak fresh bread in milk, ensuring to remove any excess milk, and use that as a binder instead.

Why do you add baking soda to meatballs?

If you want to make sure your meatballs come out juicy and delicious, there are a couple of tips to keep in mind. First, consider adding baking soda to the beef. This will help balance out the meat’s PH levels and prevent the proteins from binding too fast. When the proteins bind too quickly, it can dry out the meat and leave you with tough, unpleasant meatballs. Additionally, try to use fresh ingredients whenever possible for the best flavor. And, don’t be afraid to use meats with a higher fat content – this can actually help make the meatballs more tender and flavorful.

Bottom Line

, We’ve just gone through the magic of meatballs and what makes them so special. Whether you’re hosting a party, looking for comfort food or just craving some good old-fashioned ground beef, this magic meatball recipe is definitely worth a try.

With its combination of Italian sausage, garlic, sweet basil and oregano, it’s sure to satisfy your taste buds. Plus, with grape jelly as the sweet and tangy base, you’ll be amazed by how this recipe elevates your meatball game.

One of the best parts about this recipe is that it’s versatile. You can pair it with spaghetti, serve it as an appetizer or even use it as a base for kofta or Swedish meatballs. The possibilities are endless when you have these mini magic meatballs in your recipe box.

So what are you waiting for? Don’t just take my word for it – give this recipe a try and see why Jeff Mauro calls these magic meatballs “addictive.” You won’t regret it!

Magic Meatballs

Magic Meatballs Recipe

A few weeks ago, I decided I was tired of regular meat sauce with my pasta, and frozen meatballs just didn't seem to do the trick. These meatballs were a sort of experiment the first time, but my brother and I loved them so much, I make them with spaghetti once a week.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 25 meatballs
Calories 317.9 kcal


  • 3/4 lb ground beef
  • 3/4 lb ground Italian sausage
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 2 tablespoons sweet basil
  • 2 tablespoons white onions, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 cups of your favorite tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded mozzarella cheese (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large, shallow bowl, mix, by hand, the ground beef and ground sausage.
  • Add the beaten egg and continue to mix thoroughly.
  • In a small bowl, combine quick-oats, oregano, basil, onion, and garlic.
  • Add the oat mixture to the meat and continue to mix.
  • When these ingredients are thoroughly mixed, knead the meat until it is soft and pliable.
  • Separate into amounts about the size of ping-pong balls. Roll each ball between your palms and place in rows in a 13x9-inch glass baking dish.
  • Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
  • After 45 minutes, uncover dish, carefully drain grease from the dish, then pour sauce over meatballs. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese if desired. Cover and return to oven.
  • Bake for an additional 30 minutes. After baking, let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve over cooked spaghetti or other pasta of your choice, or serve on Italian bread.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 163gCalories: 317.9kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 19.8gFat: 19.5gSaturated Fat: 6.9gCholesterol: 79.6mgSodium: 1032.6mgFiber: 2.6gSugar: 4.6g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Meat
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