Honey Bourbon Meatballs | 30-minute homemade meatballs with a honey bourbon sauce – sweet, spicy and tangy.
This quick and easy dish makes the perfect tasty appetizer meatball for a happy hour or dinner party. I love them for a weeknight dinner with a bowl of fluffy buttery mashed potatoes and sweet buttered carrots.
These tasty little bite sized morsels are:
- easy to make
- take only 30 minutes
- the perfect pair for mashed potatoes
Let's Make Honey Bourbon Meatballs
For this recipe, we'll make the meatballs first and then while they're baking we'll make the sauce. The meatballs bake for twenty minutes so that's the perfect time to also get any sides ready. I like to boil potatoes and carrots at this time for my side.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Make the meatballs
For the meatballs, combine the ground turkey or beef, egg, bread crumbs, parsley, salt, and pepper. I use a 1 ½ tablespoon scoop to portion my meatballs. Portion yours into about the same size, place on a lined cookie sheet (for easier cleanup and no sticking). Bake for 20 minutes, or until done.
This is a great meatball base for any type of sauce; it doesn't have overwhelming flavors so it's perfect for a sweet sauce, a curry sauce, even a red sauce.. whatever you desire to sauce it with!
If you're using the honey bourbon sauce, we'll make that now while the meatballs are cooking.
Make the sauce
Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add oil and then the onions. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes or so. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, being careful not to burn the garlic.
Carefully add the bourbon (always be careful with alcohol and heat, you don't want to spill, especially if using an open flame on a gas cooktop). It'll sizzle and steam up as it deglazes the pan. Mix together the water, honey, vinegar, molasses, and sambal oelek. Add the mixture to the pan. Bring to boil, then turn down to medium-high for about 15 minutes or until thickened to your preferred consistency.
Once the meatballs are done you can serve them up with sides and spoon some sauce over top, or you can toss all of the meatballs into the saucepan and mix them together to coat. I like to garnish with some additional parsley.
What to serve with Honey Bourbon Meatballs
I like combining this easy meatball recipe with a few of my other favorite recipes and create a bowl meal with mashed potatoes and carrot. These Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes are a winner any day of the week. Coconut Jasmine Rice would also be great with these meatballs.
Which bourbon I used in this sauce
I used Four Roses Bourbon when testing this sauce. My husband also tested this recipe with Evan Williams Bourbon.
Honey Bourbon Meatballs
Honey Bourbon Sauce
- ⅓ cup diced onions
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- ½ cup bourbon
- 1 ½ cup water
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 3 teaspoons sambal oelek (or sriracha or ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes)
- 1 lb ground beef or ground turkey
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup fresh bread crumbs*
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Mix together all of the meatball ingredients. Scoop meatballs in 1 ½ tablespoons sized portions onto a lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through.
Honey Bourbon Sauce
- Make the sauce. Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add oil and onions and cook for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and cook another minute. In a bowl, mix together the water, honey, vinegar, molasses, and sambal oelek.
- Carefully add the bourbon to the pan. Cook for a minute or 2. Add the water mixture. Bring to a boil and then cook over medium-high, whisking occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until thickened to your preferred consistency.
- Serve the sauce spooned over the top of the meatballs, or toss cooked meatballs into the pan of sauce and toss to coat.
- I made fresh bread crumbs - I used a food processor to blend up fresh bread, not dry bread crumbs. I like to do this for meatballs to give them moisture.
Nutritional information is an estimate. Values vary based on products used.
Oh my deliciousness! Honey Bourbon on meatballs sounds incredible. Can't wait to eat these.
Thanks Andrea, enjoy them!
I love these honey bourbon meatballs, That gravy is rich and delicious! A fabulous meal.
Thank you, Eileen!
Awesome description and I am drooling. Perfect recipe for my weekend try. Looks super delicious and yum.
Yes, what a great recipe for over the weekend, it's an easy one 🙂
Honey and bourbon is a match made in heaven and these meatballs are amazing! Served at a party, they will be the first appetizer gone!
Yes, I want to drown everything in honey and bourbon now! I need help lol!
These are one of my favorite appetizers to serve at potlucks. They seem to go over so well. I can't wait to test out your version. They look wonderful.
I know right, they always seems to be gone by the time I get to the table! haha
Are you kidding??? WHAT kind of vinegar AND where is it added in the directions . The sauce will never thicken enough to use the meatballs for an appetizer. The sauce is not very good .
Thanks for pointing out my typos Pat, I've updated the recipe card! Hope you enjoy the recipe 🙂