Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Open Faced Sweet and Spicy Meatball Sandwich

I'm on a quest to find the perfect meatball recipe.  I just haven't found quite what I'm looking for yet.  However, when I saw this Sweet and Savory Meatball recipe posted by my friend Anne awhile ago, I decided to give it a try.

I tweaked her recipe quite a bit.  In addition, I didn't bake mine in the oven but used my slow cooker for the entire process.  I loved the end result.  I added barbecue sauce, bread crumbs and salsa (in place of her onions) to give it a different flavor.  I call it my Sweet and Spicy Meatballs.  And when I say the word "spicy" I don't mean hot or peppery - just more flavorful thanks to the salsa and spices that are in it.  The orange marmalade and juice give it a sweet, citris flavor as well.  This one is a nice change from the boring old grape jelly and ketchup meatball recipes that are out there!  I hope you enjoy it.

Open Faced Sweet and Spicy Meatball Sandwich

(Makes 20-24 meatballs)

Adapted from Annie Bakes

For the sauce:

1 jar (12.75 oz) of orange marmalade (find it in the jelly/jam aisle of your grocer)
1/3 cup of orange juice
1/3 cup of barbecue sauce - whatever is your favorite (I used Sweet Vidalia Onion flavor)
2 tbsp of diced jalapeno peppers, with juice

For the meatballs:
1 pound of ground turkey
1 egg beaten
1/3 cup of salsa (I used mild)
1/4 cup of ketchup
1/4 cup of bread crumbs
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder
dash of salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning

Plug in your slow cooker.  Set heat to low.  Make the sauce by mixing the orange marmalade, orange juice, barbecue sauce and diced peppers with juices at the bottom of the slow cooker. 

In a large bowl, make your meatballs.  Do this by mixing the ground turkey, egg, salsa, ketchup, bread crumbs, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper and seasonings.  The mixture will seem wet and have a reddish color to it.  Form into 1 inch thick balls (I made 22 with mine).  Place the meatballs in the slow cooker, sitting in the sauce as pictured below. 

If you want, you can drizzle some of the orange-barbecue sauce over the meatballs.  I found a handy medicine dropper that was in my bathroom cupboard and transformed it into a handy kitchen tool, just like this:

Cook your meatballs on high for 4 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours.  Since I didn't start mine until 1 p.m. and I wanted them ready for dinnertime, I cooked mine on high heat for two hours followed by low heat for two hours.  They came out great! 

We served our meatballs open on sandwich bread with cheese.  This was a fork and knife kind of dinner.  My husband and I really liked the flavor and I will definitely make it again.

Let me know in the comments if you have a tried and true meatball recipe worth sharing.  Please share your good ones! 


  1. You know how I feel about meatballs - always on a similar quest to yours to find good ones! I'll have to try these, they look great - thanks for the recipe! Love the medicine dropper - you're too funny!