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These sherried meatballs are the perfect crowd-pleaser for a festive occasion, but they’re also wonderful for a chilly night at home. And the recipe comes straight from my grandma’s little green recipe box. 

As an alternative to sherry sauce, these meatballs can be served in BBQ sauce. You can also prepare them as a main dish: simmer them in gravy and serve with mashed potatoes on the side. For an Italian twist, use Italian breadcrumbs and serve the meatballs in a bowl of marinara sauce topped with mozzarella cheese—it’s like spaghetti and meatballs without the spaghetti. You can also use leftover meatballs for sandwiches; serve the meatballs on soft rolls. 

Gluten-Free: Omit milk and use almond meal instead of bread or breadcrumbs. 

Paleo: Omit milk and use almond meal instead of bread or breadcrumbs. Use ghee instead of butter; use Paleo-friendly ketchup. 

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • About 36 meatballsServings


The Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground beef

    ½ c milk

    2 slices day-old bread (You can also use about ½ cup cracker crumbs or packaged bread crumbs.)

    ¼ c minced onion

    1 tsp seasoned salt (You can also use regular salt.)

    ½ tsp pepper

    2 tsp parsley flakes

    1 egg

    2 Tbsp butter

    2 Tbsp oil

The Sauce

  • *When my grandma makes these, she prepares a double batch of sauce. Using the measurements below will allow the meatballs to be lightly covered. If you double the measurements, the meatballs will really be able to bathe in decadent goodness.*

  • ½ c cooking sherry

    ½ c ketchup

    1 tsp oregano


1. Warm the milk. You can heat it in a small saucepan on low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or you can simply warm it in the microwave. 

2. Tear the bread into small pieces and add it to the milk to soak; the bread will turn mushy and soak up the milk quickly. Set it aside.

3. In a large bowl, combine the meat, onion, salt, pepper, and parsley. This works best if you use your hands. To avoid toughness, be careful not to overwork the meat. 

4. Add the bread mixture and the egg, again using your hands and taking care not to be too aggressive. Chill the meat mixture in the fridge for a couple hours.

5. Shape the meat into one-inch meatballs. Roll them firmly enough to hold their shape, but not packed so tight that they become hard when cooking.

6. Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Fry the meatballs until they are brown and cooked all the way through, turning them occasionally for even cooking. This should take about 10 minutes. A 3-quart sauté pan will hold all the meatballs, but if you don’t have one that large, you can fry them in batches or split them between two skillets.

7. While the meatballs are frying, make the sauce: combine cooking sherry, ketchup, and oregano in a small bowl. When the meatballs are cooked, drain excess fat and grease from the pan. Pour the sauce over the meatballs, cover, and simmer, allowing the sauce to thicken. Five to 10 minutes should suffice, but the timing is flexible.

8. Transfer to a serving dish. 

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