Never Fail Meatballs for a Luau Party

Candace Schuler is a foodie, professional writer and now food blogger for Shindigz Party Recipes.

Candace Schuler is a foodie, professional writer and now food blogger for Shindigz Party Recipes.

When you need to feed a big group, meatballs are the way to go. These are my basic to-go, never-fail meatballs. Yes, they are a bit of a pain in the patootie to make, what with all the steps, but you can do all the work ahead of time—which means you’ll get to luau with your guests instead of slaving away in the kitchen while everyone else is having fun.

These meatballs can be covered with any number of different sauces (barbeque, sweet and sour, sweet chili, marinara, honey-mustard, etc.) to suit whatever type of party you’re hosting. I like to use a sweet and sour sauce or sweet chili sauce for a luau-themed party. Or you could go all out and serve both sauces.

A note about ingredients: As a proponent of whole food, I use locally-sourced, unprocessed, organic ingredients whenever possible.

Sweet & Sour Meatballs

Sweet & Sour Meatballs

Never Fail Meatball Recipe

  • 2 lbs. of ground beef
  • 2 lbs. of bulk pork sausage
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups oatmeal soaked in 1 cup milk
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, chopped fine
  • ½ cup finely chopped mixed fresh herbs (about two big handfuls) or 2 to 3 Tablespoons of dried herbs, whatever kind you like
  • ½  tablespoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste

Put all ingredients in a large bowl and mix very well. Use your hands and knead the mixture until all the ingredients are thoroughly blended. This will take about five minutes. Form the mixture into small meatballs. I like to use a small (1 tablespoon) spring action release metal scoop to form all the meatballs in order to make sure they’re all a uniform size and then roll each meatball between my palms to form a more perfect sphere. As you form them, place the meatballs on a baking rack placed on cookie sheet with sides. You should end up with about 140-150 meatballs on three cookie sheets. Bake in a 325° oven for 35-40 minutes until cooked through. Let them cool.

At this point, you can use the meatballs immediately or freeze them. To freeze, place the cooked meatballs on a clean cookie sheet (not touching) and place in freezer until they are frozen solid. Transfer to a plastic bag for more efficient storage. To thaw, transfer the meatballs from the freezer to the fridge at least four hours before you intend to use them.

If you’re serving the meatballs as part of a meal or buffet, you can mix the thawed meatballs and one of the selected sauces together in a crockpot or slow cooker set on “warm” and let guests serve themselves. I also like to serve individual sauce-dipped meatballs on toothpick with a square of bell pepper and/or a cube of pineapple or mango as an appetizer.

Sauces (each recipe makes about two cups of sauce)

Sweet and Sour Sauce

1 cup of packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 ½ to 2 cups fresh pineapple, cut into small chunks

1 medium green pepper, finely chopped

2/3 cup vinegar

2 teaspoons soy sauce

Combine all the ingredients in saucepan and bring to a boil over a medium heat, stirring constantly. Simmer gently until the green peppers are soft (about 5 minutes).

Sweet Chili Sauce

2 cups cranberry sauce, currant jelly, or grape jelly

1 ½ cups prepared chili sauce

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

3 teaspoons lemon juice

Hot sauce to taste


Mix all the ingredients except the hot sauce in a small saucepan. Cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has melted and the ingredients are well blended. Taste and add hot sauce, if using.


Sweet Chili Sauce Meatballs

Sweet Chili Sauce Meatballs

Now that you’ve got the recipes, visit Shindigz for all yourPersonalized Luau Party Supplies !

Candace Schuler comes from a long line of foodies.Her grandmother taught her about planting, preserving, and cooking whole foods. Her father was a professional chef who taught her all about the importance of presentation and how to cook for big crowds. Her brothers have spent years in the restaurant business, and she and her sister constantly trade recipes via email for everything from fermented fruit kimchee to the perfect cheesecake.

Candace is also a professional writer, which, she says, makes writing about party-worthy recipes for Shindigz the perfect gig. Contact her at

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