My Famous Iowa Ham Balls Recipe | Takes Just 10 Minutes To Prep

Ham balls on a white plate covered in tomato sauce on top of mashed potatoes with a fork on the plate, with a second plate of ham balls in the background.

5 from 5 reviews

These ham balls are juicy, tender, and just so much better than regular meatballs. And, to make them even more irresistible, these glazed ham balls have a simple yet flavor-packed homemade sauce. Oh, and the best part? All of this deliciousness takes just 10 minutes to prepare!



Ham balls:

½ lb. ground beef

½ lb. ham

½ cup crushed paprika-flavored saltines (or regular saltine crackers)

1 small egg

3 tbsp milk

Salt and pepper, to taste


6 oz. tomato sauce

½ cup brown sugar

½ tbsp cornstarch

½ tsp mustard


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) and make the meatballs.
  2. Crush the saltines or process them until coarse
  3. Place the ham into a food processor. Process until finely chopped (you can also just ask your butcher to ground the ham finely).
  4. Place the ground ham, ground beef, saltines, milk, egg, and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Stir until you have a uniform mixture.
  5. Shape the mixture into 6 meatballs. Place the meatballs in a baking dish.
  6. Make the sauce; in a bowl, whisk together tomato sauce, brown sugar, cornstarch, and mustard. Pour the sauce over the meatballs. 
  7. Bake the meatballs for 50 minutes, basting the meatballs occasionally during the baking time.
  8. Cool the meatballs briefly before serving.
  9. Serve the meatballs with mashed potatoes, spaghetti, garlic bread, or alone and sprinkled with freshly grated parmesan.


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