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Seasonal Tapas: Meatballs With Zesty Orange Glaze

If you're having guests for a quick visit, why labor in the kitchen over some ho-hum meal when you can pack a flavorful punch into one perfect bite?

meatballs with zesty orange glaze

The holidays are hectic enough without adding the stress of food prep and entertaining to the mix. I have learned over the years that I would much rather prepare a few stellar appetizers than a full spread for these quick little visits from family and friends.

My meatballs with feta will please even your most finicky eater. The blend of rich, local meat and zesty jalapeno is glazed in a warm orange marmalade sauce — you will have a hard time having just one!

Meatballs With Zesty Orange Glaze


  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 small onion finely chopped or shredded
  • 1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley
  • 3 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • pinch of salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 1/2 ounces feta cheese, cut into 16 small 1/2 in cubes
  • 1 jar (12 ounces) orange marmalade from Dillman Farms
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the first 9 ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Divide into 16 portions, flatten. Top each portion with a Feta cube and close the beef mix around the cheese to hide it.
  3. Place on a greased rack sitting on a cookie sheet and bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes or until no longer pink.
  4. In a small sauce pan, combine marmalade, orange juice, green onions and jalapeno pepper and heat until warm. (Reserve some green onions and jalapeno peppers for garnish.)
  5. Place cooked meatballs in a shallow dish and pour the glaze over top. Garnish with jalapeno and green onion.

Heather Tallman

Heather Tallman is a Bloomington native, freelance writer and mother to 2 busy boys. She is also a food writer for her local newspaper as well as the creator of Basilmomma, a cooking blog. She writes about her culinary hits and misses and all of the life that goes along with it. Her goal is to create fast, fresh and family-friendly meals that teach her children and others that creating meals from farm to table is not only attainable but easier than you think.

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