Cheese Crisp Meatball Shooters

makes approximately 24 appetizers



For the Sauce

  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 t. salt
  • 2 T. tomato paste
  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • 1 t. oregano
  • 1/2 t. sugar
  • 1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (28 oz.) tomatoe puree

For the Meatballs

  • 2 lb. meatloaf mix (a combination of beef, pork and veal)
  • 3/4 c. breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 t. black pepper
  • 1 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 1/2 t. garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 t. oregano
  • 1 1/2 t. dried basil
  • 1 c. grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 eggs, beaten

For the Cheese Cups

  • 8 oz. shredded Castello® Havarti Herb & Spice cheese


  1. Start by making the marinara sauce.
  2. Add the oil to a medium sized pot and heat over medium heat.
  3. Once the oil is warm, add the diced onion and cook while stirring for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Next add in the minced garlic and salt and stir for another minute.
  5. Stir in the oregano, garlic powder, sugar and tomato paste and let cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Pour in the 2 cans of tomatoes and stir well.
  7. Partially cover and let simmer, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes.
  8. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  9. Add all the ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl and mix well to combine.
  10. Make golf ball sized meatballs with your hands and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  11. Bake for 15 minutes until the meatballs are just cooked through in the center.
  12. Take the meatballs out and cover with foil to keep warm.
  13. Place a fresh piece of parchment down on the baking sheet.
  14. Place 2 T. mounds of the shredded havarti on the baking sheet. These will spread so you’ll want to space them out, I only did 6 per sheet.
  15. Bake for 6 minutes then take out and let cool for one minute.
  16. Using a spatula, carefully lift up a cheese crisp and place it in on a muffin tin upside down to cool. Using your fingers, slightly press the cheese around the muffin tin to form a cup.
  17. Let cool for 5 minutes then repeat with the next batch.
  18. Assemble the cups by placing one meatball in each cheese cup and topping with a spoonful of the sauce and some grated parmesan cheese.

Recipe Notes

  • If you want to get this done ahead of time, make the sauce and meatballs up first and put them in the refrigerator until you’re ready. Then come party time, just make the cheese crisps while you warm up the sauce and meatballs.