Gnome Meatballs are the perfect party appetizer and will be a huge hit at your next party. The combination of creamy mozzarella and tangy olives is sure to impress your guests.

This delicious and playful recipe is sure to be a hit with both kids and adults alike, and will definitely have your guests saying “Gnome kidding, these are amazing!”

Meatballs with cheese beards and a olive hat to make a gnome.
Gnome-Approved Meatballs Party Appetizer

Gnome-Approved Meatballs: The Perfect Party Appetizer

Are you looking for a fun and easy appetizer to serve at your next party? Look no further than these Gnome Meatballs! 

We’ve made Gnome dessert boards, Gnome Donuts, Gnome gifts and so excited these cute appetizers turned out! After testing several ideas for this recipe, we’ve found the perfect and easy way to turn a meatball into a fun gnome for your next party spread. 

We “Gnome” these will be a huge hit with your party guests! But don’t just take our word for it – give these Gnome Meatballs a try at your next gathering and let the fun begin!

Meatballs with cheese beards and an olive hat to make a gnome.
Gnome Meatballs – Cute Party Appetizer Recipe

Gnome Meatballs Ingredients

To make these Gnome Meatballs, you will need:

  • ready-made meatballs or homemade meatballs (See recipe below)
  • marinara sauce
  • cream cheese
  • fresh mozzarella
  • cheddar cheese slices
  • queen olives
  • fresh basil leaves (optional)
  • radishes (optional)
  • lettuce (optional)
  • toothpicks
  • straw
    Meatballs with cheese beards and an olive hat to make a gnome.

    How to Make Gnome Meatballs

    Slice regular sized meatballs into thirds. Using your hands, shape the meat  into three smaller balls about half an inch round. Continue until you have at least 24 small meatballs. 

    Heat the marinara sauce in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once the sauce is hot, add the meatballs and stir to coat. Reduce the heat to low and let the meatballs simmer in the sauce for about 10 minutes, or until they are cooked through.

    Meatballs cooking in a skillet with red sauce.

    While the meatballs are simmering, slice the bottom off of each olive. 

    Using a straw, cut circles out of the cheddar cheese slices for the Gnome nose. 

    Cheddar cheese with straws

    In a large bowl, add the mozzarella and cream cheese. With a hand mixer on low, whip the cheese until soft and mixed. This will form the Gnome’s beard.

    Whipped cheese

    Once the meatballs are cooked, let them cool for a few minutes before assembling your gnome.

    Use a serving knife to scoop out a small amount of cheese mixture and gently press it onto a meatball.

    Carefully place a queen olive on top of each meatball with the cut side down. Then, place a basil leaf on top of the olive to create the Gnome hat. 

    Hold your Gnome appetizer in place with a toothpick, then add the cheese nose for the final touch!

    Amy Locurto Lifestyle Food Blogger smiling wearing pink shirt

    Pro Tip: Serve Gnome Meatballs on a platter with radish toadstools, lettuce grass, and don’t forget to provide extra marinara sauce for dipping!

    Radish shaped like a toadstool.

    Their whimsical appearance is sure to delight guests of all ages, and sure to become a new party favorite. You can have these Gnome Meatballs ready in no time!

    Meatballs with cheese beards and an olive hat to make a gnome.
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    FAQs

    Yes, the meatballs can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving. The Gnome hats and beard should be assembled just before serving for the best presentation.

    Yes, feel free to use turkey or chicken meatballs in place of the beef for a leaner option. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

    Yes, to make these Gnome Meatballs vegetarian, simply use a package of vegetarian meatballs in place of the beef meatballs. Follow the rest of the recipe as directed.

    Gnome Meatball Appetizers

    Gnome-Approved Meatballs: The Perfect Party Appetizer! Meat, mozzarella and tangy olives make a cute delicious recipe that will be a hit! These snacks will definitely have your guests saying "Gnome kidding, these are amazing!"
    Prep Time15 mins
    Active Time10 mins
    Assemble Time20 mins
    Total Time45 mins
    Yield: 24 people
    Author: Amy Locurto

    Ingredients

    • 1 package of ready-made meatballs or homemade meatballs
    • ½ cup marinara sauce
    • ½ cup cream cheese softened
    • ½ cup fresh mozzarella
    • 3 slices cheddar cheese thick cut
    • 24 queen olives
    • fresh basil leaves optional
    • 4 Radishes and lettuce for garnish

    Homemade Meatballs

    • 1 pound ground beef
    • ½ cup breadcrumbs
    • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • ¼ cup milk
    • 1 egg
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
    • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
    • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
    • teaspoon dried oregano
    • teaspoon dried basil

    Instructions

    Ready-Made Meatballs

    • Slice the meatballs into thirds. Using your hands, shape the meat into three smaller balls about half an inch round. Continue until you have at least 24 small meatballs.

    Homemade Meatballs

    • In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, milk, egg, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano and basil. Mix well until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
    • Using your hands, shape the meat mixture into small balls about half an inch round.

    Gnome Meatballs

    • Heat the marinara sauce in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once the sauce is hot, add the meatballs and stir to coat. Reduce the heat to low and let the meatballs simmer in the sauce for about 10 minutes, or until they are cooked through.
    • While the meatballs are simmering, slice the bottom off of each olive.
    • Using a straw, cut circles out of the cheddar cheese slices for the Gnome nose.
    • In a large bowl, add the mozzarella and cream cheese. With a hand mixer on low, whip the cheese until soft and mixed. This will form the Gnome’s beard.
    • Once the meatballs are cooked, let them cool for a few minutes before assembling your gnome.
    • Use a serving knife to scoop out a small amount of cheese mixture and gently press it onto a meatball.
    • Carefully place a queen olive on top of each meatball with the cut side down. Then, place a basil leaf on top of the olive to create the Gnome hat.
    • Hold your Gnome appetizer in place with a toothpick, then add the cheese nose for the final touch.
    • Serve with toadstool radishes by slicing the skin off of a radish, then slicing the bottom half to form a mushroom shape.

    Notes

    Wear food prep gloves if serving at a party.
    Plan To Make This?Please share if you do. Mention @LivingLocurto or tag #LivingLocurto on Instagram. We’d love to see!
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    Course: Appetizer
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: appetizer, cheese, gnomes, meat, meatballs, olives, party food, Snack
    Calories: 105kcal

    Nutrition

    Calories: 105kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 230mg | Potassium: 91mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 160IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 1mg
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