12 Days of Christmas: Cocktail Meatballs

On the third day of Christmas, serve allergy-friendly Cocktail Meatballs.  When I was coming up with a list of dishes to present for the 12 Days of Christmas series, I was trying to think of dishes that have been traditionally served at our Christmas gatherings, but are not typically allergy-friendly.  Cocktail meatballs is one of those dishes.  Meatballs traditionally contain ingredients such as wheat, egg, and dairy.  The sauce used for this recipe typically has corn syrup in the ingredients.  For these reasons, I have come up with an allergy-friendly version to traditional cocktail meatballs.

Cocktail Meatballs

For a grain-free variety, simply leave out the oats.


  • 2 pounds lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1/2 kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced dry onion
  • 1/2 teaspoons oregano, dried
  • 1/2 basil, dried
  • 1/2 cups Old-Fashioned Oats
  • 1 cups tomato sauce
  • 4 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/4 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoons mustard, dry
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cups grape jelly


Mix together ingredients ground beef thru oats. Form into balls and brown in large oiled pot. Remove meatballs to a plate lined with paper towel.
While meatballs are browning, whisk together remaining ingredients. Pour into pot and bring to simmer. Add meatballs back into pot and allow to simmer on low for 45-60 minutes or until sauce thickens up.
Serve as an appetizer or main course.
Makes 30-40 medium-sized meatballs.


On a different note, we had the pleasure of going to a Christmas concert this past weekend that has become an annual tradition.  I’ve never been one for Christmas concerts per se, but this concert is different.  For one, it is folk-style music with an awesome array of instruments, which is right up my alley.  Second, the concert sets to song the coming of Christ into the world starting in Genesis and proceeding throughout the entire Old Testament.  He illustrates how every word of the Old Testament points to Christ.  You will not find any dressed-up camels and cute little crooked-halo angels running down the aisles.  Andrew Peterson presents Behold the Lamb of God.

While I love the food, gatherings, and gifts of Christmas, it is not the focus that I choose to make of the season.  And while Christmas is traditionally not only overly commercialized, it is a pagan holiday.  Furthermore, Jesus wasn’t even born on December 25.  Regardless, there is no reason that Christians cannot take hold of this opportunity to share the gospel of Christ with the world.  And I don’t mean the gospel that says that if you just pray enough or give enough money that Jesus will bless you with everything you want.  I mean a different Gospel…

Over the remainder of this series, I will share a portion from the concert and I highly encourage you to purchase the cd for yourself.  I know this has nothing to do with food allergies, but there is more to me than food allergies and cooking.

From the Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones that is read at the beginning of the concert:

Now, some people think the Bible is a book of rules, telling you what you should and shouldn’t do.  The Bible certainly does have some rules in it.  They show you how life works best.  But the Bible isn’t mainly about you and what you should be doing.  It’s about God and what he has done.

Other people think the Bible is a book of heroes, showing you people you should copy.  The Bible does have some heroes in it, but most of the people in the Bible aren’t heroes at all.  They make some big mistakes (sometimes on purpose).  They get afraid and run away.  At times they are downright mean.

No, the Bible isn’t a book of rules, or a book of heroes.  The Bible is most of all a Story.  It’s an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure.  It’s a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne – everything – to rescue the one he loves.  It’s like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life!

You see, the best thing about this Story is – it’s true.

There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story.  The Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them.

It takes the whole Bible to tell this Story.  And at the center of the Story, there is a baby.  Every Story in the Bible whispers his name.  He is like the missing piece in a puzzle – the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together, and suddenly you can see a beautiful picture.

And this is no ordinary baby.  This is the Child upon whom everything would depend.  This is the child who would one day – but wait.  Our Story starts where all good stories start.  Right at the very beginning…


(Note: This post contains affiliate links.)

Recipe shared at Allergy-Friendly Lunchbox Love.

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3 Responses to 12 Days of Christmas: Cocktail Meatballs

  1. Pingback: 12 Days of Christmas: Crunchy Cabbage Salad | The Willing Cook

  2. These sounds delicious! Pinning them 🙂
    (here from Lunchbox Love)

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