Amazing Appetizer: Mini Meatball Cups

Andy Anderson !


These are similar to an appetizer we served at Diamond Jim’s in Chicago… many years ago.

I usually make my own puff pastry; however, for the recipe some good store-bought puff pastry will do just fine.

So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.

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10 Min
30 Min



1 sheet(s)
puff pastry sheet, thawed
12 small
fully cooked meatballs, completely frozen (your favorite recipe)
1/2 c
marinara sauce, smooth, not chunky (your favorite recipe)
fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded, for topping


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2Gather your ingredients.

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3Chef’s Tip: The meatballs should be small, only about 1-inch (2.5cm) in diameter, fully cooked and completely frozen (more on freezing the meatballs later).

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4Place the defrosted puff pastry sheet on a clean surface, dusted with a bit of flour.

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5Cut the dough, into 2-inch (4cm) squares.

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6Chef’s Tip: The size of your pastry squares will vary a bit, depending on the type of mini muffin pan you are using.

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7Chef's Tip: If you have some puff pastry scraps, just brush them with butter, sprinkle with some sugar and cinnamon, and then pop into the oven... YUM.

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8Lightly oil the muffin pan.

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9Place a rack in the middle position, and preheat the oven to 400f (205c).

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10Chef’s Note: 400f (205c) is the standard temperature for working with puff pastry.

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11Add the dough to cups of the mini pan.

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12Place one of the frozen meatballs into each one of the cups.

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13Chef’s Note: Why cook your meatballs, and then freeze them?
Well, I tried doing the meatballs three ways:
1. Precooked, but not frozen… Meatballs come out overcooked and dry.
2. Raw, frozen or unfrozen… Meatballs never cook completely through.
3. Precooked, and frozen… Meatballs come out hot and juicy.

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14Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the meatballs are heated through, and the pastry is crispy and golden.

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15Remove from the oven, add 1/2 teaspoon of the marinara sauce to the top of each meatball cup.

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16Chef's Tip: If the weather is really cold, add a bit of cayenne to the marinara sauce.

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17Sprinkle with some mozzarella cheese.

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18Return to the oven for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly.

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20Serve while still warm, on a nice serving platter. Enjoy.

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21Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Meat Appetizers
Main Ingredient: Beef
Regional Style: American