Beef/ Quick and Easy/ Snacks and Appetizers

Sweet Heat Meatballs

A spicy and sweet glaze make these sweet heat meatballs great for parties. Meatballs on a stick for meatball lovers!

Let me just say something here off the bat. I love meatballs. If there’s any kind of food in the world that causes someone’s brain to malfunction and start chanting its name in a frenzied mantra, it’s meatballs for me.

It started a very long time ago. Let’s fairy tale this. Once upon a time, I happened across a hole in the wall restaurant that served spaghetti and meatballs. I ate it and I fell in love.  And we lived hungrily ever after. The end.

A spicy and sweet glaze make these sweet heat meatballs great for parties. Meatballs on a stick for meatball lovers!

Probably not the best of fairy tales but I started off making Parmesan meatballs which I put in subs and gradually recreated the dish that started this all.

Then came the invasion of the evil Ikea Swedish meatballs. Can I say yum? Now when I see meatball recipes all over Pinterest, it takes a huge amount of restraint not to start a meatball posting crusade and throw in the towel by renaming my blog to The Meatball Inc.

A spicy and sweet glaze make these sweet heat meatballs great for parties. Meatballs on a stick for meatball lovers!

But today I yield. Because these meatballs are so glaze happy they wouldn’t take no for an answer. So here we have sweet heat meatballs. It has this background heat to it that’s just right. And it’s sweet. It’s meat-shaped balls on a stick. Hooray for great inventions!

And while you can opt to make your own meatballs, you can also get frozen ones to work with here. How easy is that? More time to work on that glaze.

And how about that glaze? I’ll let it speak for itself.

Let’s zoom in, shall we?

A spicy and sweet glaze make these sweet heat meatballs great for parties. Meatballs on a stick for meatball lovers!

How can you not want that? Okay, let’s zoom out again.

A spicy and sweet glaze make these sweet heat meatballs great for parties. Meatballs on a stick for meatball lovers!

Serve these babies at dinner parties, cook outs or whatever function you have. It’s great for party food or just plain snacks!

A spicy and sweet glaze make these sweet heat meatballs great for parties. Meatballs on a stick for meatball lovers!

Sweet Heat Meatballs

  • Author: The Cooking Jar
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Yield: 25 servings


  • 2 lbs. frozen, pre-cooked meatballs
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Over medium high heat, bring the water to a boil
  2. Add molasses, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, chili powder, cayenne, crushed pineapple and Worcestershire sauce and stir to combine
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  4. Add in meatballs and stir to coat evenly
  5. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until the sauce reduces, about 10 minutes
  6. Skewer with bamboo sticks and serve hot with or without sauce reduction


Makes 25 sticks with 2 meatballs each.

 Nutritional based on 25 servings (2 meatballs each)

A spicy and sweet glaze make these sweet heat meatballs great for parties. Meatballs on a stick for meatball lovers!


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  • Reply
    Christine @ Taste of Divine
    August 4, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    I love meatballs too 🙂 Whenever my grandma would make them, each batch would disappear when she turned around 🙂 These look delish, and would be perfect for entertaining!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      August 4, 2014 at 4:46 PM

      I love making meatballs from scratch but this is a great option to whip some up for company in a hurry!

      • Reply
        September 17, 2014 at 2:58 PM

        Does anyone have reccomendations which brand of pre-cooked meatballs to get?


        • Reply
          The Cooking Jar
          September 17, 2014 at 3:43 PM

          I usually make my meatballs from scratch but I tried the Target brand of meatballs for this and it was pretty decent. Maybe someone else can chime in with their preferred brand?

  • Reply
    Nagi {RecipeTin Eats}
    August 4, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    OMG, the Ikea meatballs!! I have seen them all my life but never even THOUGHT of trying them!! ha ha! I never think of making meatballs, now you’ve got me having a hankering for them. I mean, how could I not want “Sweet Heat” ones??

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      August 4, 2014 at 4:48 PM

      It’s sweet at first but after awhile the heat kicks in. It’s a nice and mellow heat, not the kind to make you tear up and pant for water 🙂

  • Reply
    August 5, 2014 at 4:58 AM

    Wow these look amazing 🙂 I’m totally in love with meatballs too. Your pics are so stunning too, major food porn xx

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      August 5, 2014 at 12:24 PM

      Thanks Bridget! Can you believe these were gone in a day? 😉

  • Reply
    August 5, 2014 at 11:28 AM

    Sounds awesome, minus the pineapple! I’m not a big pineapple fan.

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      August 5, 2014 at 12:27 PM

      Thanks, Holly! The pineapple balances out the strong taste of molasses, but if you don’t mind that, win win!

  • Reply
    64 Delicious Gluten Free Meatballs Recipes | Daily Healthy Tips
    August 17, 2014 at 3:16 AM

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  • Reply
    Dana E
    November 16, 2014 at 12:48 AM

    Wow looks so good,I will make these.Thanks

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      November 16, 2014 at 11:15 PM

      Very welcome, Dana!

  • Reply
    January 28, 2015 at 12:14 AM

    regular molasses or treacle is very difficult to find where I am (Cairo) …but pomegranate molasses is always in my cupboard… trying that out…

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      January 28, 2015 at 2:40 PM

      Hope the substitute works out well, Joelle! Good luck.

  • Reply
    January 5, 2016 at 9:53 PM

    I made these for dinner tonight. Excellent! They’re were so delicious. Thanks!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      January 11, 2016 at 1:11 PM

      You’re welcome, Jill! I thought they would be more of a party food kinda thing, but I’m glad they weren’t too sweet for dinner!

  • Reply
    January 23, 2016 at 9:21 AM

    Can you use turkey balls in ace of beef?

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      January 26, 2016 at 1:58 AM

      You absolutely can, Kelly. Use whatever meatballs you like!

  • Reply
    September 29, 2016 at 8:03 AM

    Can you mix up the sauce and add sauce and meatballs to crock pot and cook for 6 hours?

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      October 2, 2016 at 3:33 PM

      Yes, I think that will work on the low setting with frozen meatballs. If you decide to make your own meatballs, you will need to broil the meatballs first in the oven to melt away any fat from the ground beef so the fat does not dilute the sauce in the slow cooker. Ground beef is a huge culprit of diluting sauces in the slow cooker unless fat is rendered first!

  • Reply
    January 23, 2017 at 1:15 PM

    You said you make your own meatballs. What recipe do you follow for that?

  • Reply
    July 9, 2017 at 6:01 PM

    I have to say these are favorites for us! I found your recipe years ago for an appetizer and have used them ever since. Whenever I make them for parties they are the first to go and everyone requests them now. We even have these as a meal with some rice and broccoli. It’s a family favorite for sure and so yummy!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      July 19, 2017 at 1:20 AM

      I’m thinking of making them for a party coming up soon. A friend’s party who tells me 125 people are coming. That’s a lot of meatballs! I’m thinking maybe 2 meatballs per person for half the amount of people coming, assuming not everyone eats it. And thanks for letting me know a year later how it’s a favorite 🙂

  • Reply
    December 18, 2018 at 9:28 AM

    These look amazing! I am going to make these for a holiday party this weekend. What kind of molasses did you use? Light/dark/blackstrap? Thank you!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      December 18, 2018 at 3:13 PM

      You know, it only said molasses on the bottle I bought. Sorry I can’t be more help!

      • Reply
        December 23, 2018 at 10:37 AM

        I found the regular molasses, thanks!! Made these for a party and they were a hit!! This will be my go-to party meatball recipe, thanks so much!!

  • Reply
    February 11, 2019 at 6:24 AM

    very disappointed in this recipe. I made it for my son’s family party and it was NOT a hit at all! Was excited to try because of the 5 star rating and told by family not to make them again. I am going back to the brown gravy and mushroom recipe which is ALWAYS a hit!

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