How To Make The Right Amount Of Meatballs For Any Party

How many meatballs do you need for a party in 2024?

Meatballs are a staple dish at any party or gathering. Either it is Italian, American, or Swedish meatballs, you can never go wrong with it-they are everybody’s favorite!

With that, we have come up with a guide on how to make the right amount of meatballs for any party, crowd, or large gathering.
You can have the choice of frozen meatballs or homemade meatballs or make a small cocktail meatball.

Of course, all meatballs are different in size but working on a 1 inch sized meatball the average person at a party will eat anywhere from 6-10 bite-sized meatballs. Women will eat on average 4-6 meatballs with men eating 6-10.

If you have meatballs with spaghetti people will on average, eat 5 meatballs (i.e meatballs are part of the meal). But put them on a sub or a foot-long bread roll then you should budget for 10 meatballs.

The guidelines and tips that we have listed down below are easy to follow and designed to help you maximize your prep time.

See how to make tacos for a crowd

Serve French Fries with your Meatballs how many do you need for a party?

Meatball subs For A Crowd
Meatball subs For A Crowd

How Many Meatballs For 10 People

Serve 60 bite sized meatballs for a party of 10 people

  • 45 Medium sized (1 inch) meatballs
  • 30 large sized meatballs
How to Make Meatballs for A Party
How to Make Meatballs for A Party for 20 people

How Many Meatballs For 20 People

Serve 120 bite sized meatballs for a party of 20 people

  • 90 Medium sized (1 inch) meatballs
  • 60 large sized meatballs
How To Make The Right Amount Of Meatballs For A Crowd
How To Make The Right Amount Of Meatballs For A Crowd

How Many Meatballs For 25 People

Serve 150 bite sized meatballs for a party of 25 people

  • 112 Medium sized (1 inch) meatballs
  • 75 large sized meatballs
Italian Meatballs
Italian Meatballs

How Many Meatballs For 50 People

Serve 300 bite sized meatballs for a party of 50 people

  • 225 Medium sized (1 inch) meatballs
  • 150 large sized meatballs
spaghetti and meatballs for 75 people
spaghetti and meatballs for 75 people

How Many Meatballs For 75 People

Serve 450 bite sized meatballs for a party of 75 people

  • 335 Medium sized (1 inch) meatballs
  • 225 large sized meatballs
Bite Sized Meatballs For 100 People In a Sub
Bite Sized Meatballs For 100 People In a Sub

How Many Meatballs For 100 People

Serve 600 bite sized meatballs for a party of 100 people

  • 450 Medium sized (1 inch) meatballs
  • 300 large sized meatballs

What are the best meatball recipes for a party or crowd? Meatballs are the best dish to serve at any party or gathering because they’re a staple dish that is almost everyone’s favorite.

Also if you have leftover stuffing from a big group you can serve that on the side.

Let’s dive in and see some more details and recipes, Italian, American, no matter what kind of meatball you pick, it will delight your big group.

How to Make Meatballs for A Party

As mentioned above, there are different types of meatballs served in a gathering. Most of them are Italian, Swedish, American, Dutch meatballs, and more. We will give you the easy and simple homemade meatball recipes below that you can follow to cook for a party. You can double the recipes listed down below for larger crowds. Also for a cocktail meatball recipe just make smaller meatballs.

Italian Meatballs
Italian Meatballs

Top 5 Meatball Recipes for a Party or a large crowd or group

Italian Meatball Recipe

Prep Time: 1 hour

Serving Size: 40 servings


  • 5 lbs. beef, ground
  • 2 lb. pork, ground 
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten 
  • 4 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, finely minced
  • 1 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
  • 2 cups bread crumbs, unseasoned 
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh black pepper, ground


  • A choice of pesto, marinara, garlic spread, or creamy Italian dressing.


1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Combine the eggs, buttermilk, and breadcrumbs in a mixing bowl and let it rest for 5 to 8 minutes. 

3. Add the garlic, onions, parsley, oregano, salt, pepper, and cheese to the mixture. Stir and mix thoroughly.

4. Prepare another large mixing bowl and mix the ground beef and ground pork thoroughly.

5. Add the egg mixture to the meats. Mix them using a large fork or your hands. Combine well.

6. Use 1/4 cup of meat for a larger size of a meatball. Form it using your hands or an ice cream scoop. Use 1/8 cup for smaller cocktail meatballs. 

7. Place the baking sheets and add the meatballs. Bake for 15 to 30 minutes. Make sure not to overcook.

8. Choose the kind of sauce that you want. Place it on a small platter.

9. Serve.

Italian meatballs usually come in bite-sized and served as the main course. On average, this kind of dish will need 10 pieces per person. Know that this does not go with any pasta. It is always covered in sauce and served in a bowl. 

Swedish Meatballs Recipe

Prep Time: 50 minutes

Serving Size: 40 servings


  • 5 lbs. beef, ground
  • 2 lb. pork, ground 
  • 2 cups onions, diced
  • 4 cups white bread crumbs
  • 6 beaten eggs
  • 4 tbsp. sugar
  • 3 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tsp. allspice
  • 3 cups milk


1. Stir fry the onions in butter and set aside. 

2. Prepare a large mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly the ground beef, ground pork, eggs, and bread crumbs. 

3. Add the onions and the remaining ingredients.

4. Use 1/4 cup of meat for a larger size of a meatball. Form it using your hands or an ice cream scoop. Use 1/8 cup for smaller cocktail meatballs. 

5. Fry in butter until golden brown. Do not burn. 

6. Serve with gravy.

The Svenska Kottbullar or the Swedish Meatballs are served in larger sizes and eaten as a main dish. It is often served with gravy. So, if you do not have gravy in your kitchen, you can make a homemade one. Just whisk the 1 cup of all-purpose flour with the pan drippings until smooth. Mix beef broth and 4 cups of water. Mix it thoroughly. Bring it to a simmer until thick. 

Bite Sized Meatballs For 20 People In a Sub
Meatballs In a Sub

American Meatballs Recipe

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Serving Size: 15 servings


  • 5 lbs. beef, ground
  • 2 lb. pork, ground
  • 2 cups onions, diced
  • 2 cups garlic, thinly sliced
  • 5 (28 ounces) 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes
  • 6 tablespoons chopped basil, plus 1 large basil sprig
  • 4 egg yolks, beaten
  • 2 tablespoon breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 lbs spaghetti noodles
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Nutmeg (to taste)
  • Fresh ground pepper (to taste)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 6 tbsp. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving


1. Prepare a large mixing bowl and mix the ground meats with 6 tablespoons of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, 2 tablespoons of salt, 2 tablespoons of pepper, 6 tablespoons of chopped basil.

2. Form the meat into golf ball sizes and transfer it into the baking sheet. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. 

3. Pulse the tomatoes in a food processor until finely chopped. 

4. Prepare a large saucepan and heat the olive oil. Add the remaining garlic and stir fry until golden brown. Add the chopped tomatoes, pepper, and basil sprig. Bring to simmer over moderate heat. Let it thicken for about 25 minutes. Discard the basil sprig and season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet. Cook the meatballs in batches and transfer them into the tomato sauce. Let it simmer until cooked. 

6. Discard the excess oil and add 1 cup of water over high heat. Cook for 4 minutes. Pour over into the tomato sauce. 

7. in a separate large pot, boil the salted water and cook the spaghetti until al dente. Drain and return the noodles to the pot. 

8. Pour in tomato sauce just enough to coat the noodles. 

9. Transfer into large shallow bowls. Spoon the meatballs and remaining tomato sauce into the spaghetti.

10. Sprinkle with chopped basil and grated cheese. Serve.

American meatballs are often served with spaghetti noodles. It is also served in larger sizes since this is considered as the meat in the main course. Some also use the meatball recipe on the pizza toppings. Some also use this with a barbecue sauce or chili sauce in a casserole. When you see it in smaller sizes, it is probably served as cocktail meatballs during a party. 

Meatballs come in a variety of sizes and uses. It is made accordingly in diverse places across the world, which makes it interesting to cook. Learning the different methods of cooking will take you to countries that have rich food cultures.

Grape Jelly Meatballs for a Party

This perfect party appetizer is also the best food to serve during a party. Aside from it is very easy to cook, it also needs few ingredients. Basically, you can save time and money with this grape jelly meatball.

Prep Time: 5-10 minutes

Serving Size: 25 servings


  • 2 lb frozen meatballs
  • 2 cups barbecue sauce
  • 1 cup grape jelly


1. Prepare your slow cooker and mix the jelly and barbecue sauce in. Stir thoroughly to combine. 

2. Add the meatballs to the mixture. Stir to coat the meatballs. 

3. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on medium heat for 3 to 4 hours. You can also choose to bake these at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour. 

4. Serve warm.

Homemade Meatballs for 100 People
Homemade Meatballs

Homemade Meatball Recipe

If you plan to make your cooked meatball in advance, you can freely do this and just serve it during the party. Remember that you can choose whatever meat you want to have. The fattier you meat you have, the more tender your meatball will be. So, here’s how to do it:

Prep Time: 1 hour

Serving Size: 20 servings


  • 3 lbs ground beef
  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 clove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


1. In a mixing bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and milk. Set aside to absorb the milk until soggy. 

2. In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk the salt, egg, Parmesan cheese, and parsley. Also, add ground black pepper to taste. (Here you could also add red pepper flakes if you like spicy meatballs and a tablespoon of soy sauce) Whisk to combine properly.  But do not overmix as you want a tender meatball.

3. Add all the ground meat to the egg mixture. Thoroughly mix it by using your hands.

4. Add the garlic and onions to the breadcrumbs mixture. 

5. Prepare the baking sheet and pinch off a piece of the beef meatball mixture and roll it with your hands to form a bite-sized meatball. Make sure the meat does not stick or leaves the baking sheet after forming them. 

6. Cook the meatballs by using the oven to make baked meatballs or cook them directly in the sauce for that perfect meatball. (Add a little bbq sauce for extra flavor optional) For the oven, broil it for 25 to 30 minutes until browned. If you opt to cook it directly in the sauce, prepare the marinara sauce to a simmer and add the meatballs to the pan. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes. 

7. Serve warm. (you can also keep your crockpot meatball warm by adding the sauce and setting the crock pot to low)

Can you replace with turkey meatballs?

You can of course use ground turkey for a leaner set of turkey meatballs, and turkey also makes a great set of teriyaki meatballs.

How do you keep meatballs warm for a party or sports game?

How do you keep meatballs warm at a party? – the common way to keep the meatballs warm (or reheat) is to warm the meatballs at 280°F on a baking tray sheet covered with parchment paper or you could put them in a casserole dish in the oven until warmed through. But the best way to keep meatballs warm is to put  them in a slow cooker on the “warm” setting

Making meatballs ahead of time for a dinner party?

For a big group make them before the party is the best way to take the stress out of the event – especially if you are going to be watching the big game or the Superbowl – you do not want to be cooking while the game is on. Meatballs will keep in the fridge for 3 days easily if covered and see above how to reheat meatballs for a sports game.

How to Make Meatballs for A Party
How to Make Meatballs for A Party

Is it better to bake or fry meatballs?

If the taste is what you want – frying them will let you brown the meatballs and this gives you some extra flavor – see our guide on meat doneness and the Maillard reaction which is a form of non-enzymatic browning which happens from around 140 to 165 °C (280 to 330 °F). 

How many meatballs will a pound of meat make?

A pound of ground beef will make roughly 24 1 inch meatballs which are considered medium size.

How Many meatballs in a 2 pound bag 

You should get 46 meatballs out of a 2lb bag if they are 1 inch round.

How many meat balls in a 5lb bag

In a 5 pound bag from commercially made meatballs, you will get approximately 80 meatballs.

What is the best size for meatballs?

To make your party budget stretch you are best to make 1 inch sized meatballs, while they are considered small for some people, remember if you are making meatballs for a large group or a tailgate party – smaller meatballs will cook quicker and go further letting your guests have second servings of meatballs for the same amount of meat.