Ida Lupino’s Cocktail Meatballs


Ida Lupino was an actress with a career that spanned from the 1930s to the 1970s. Also she was one of the only female filmmakers during the 1950s. She created her own production company in which she helped write and produce films. Lupino was the first women to direct a film noir movie as well the only women to direct episodes of the original The Twilight Zone.

This is her recipe for cocktail meatballs. These meatballs are super simple to make and are easily adaptable to your tastes. Don’t have ketchup then use barbecue sauce, ketchup based chili sauce or even try Korean gochujang or Chinese hoisin sauce.  You can sub apple, orange, mango or even pomegranate juice for the pineapple juice. Try any kind of mustard you can think of instead plain old yellow mustard. My point is that this is the perfect recipe to change to the way you like it. Experiment to your hearts content. Be fearless like Ida Lupino and carve your own path.


Ida Lupino's Cocktail Meatballs

  • Servings: 30 to 40 meatballs
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

An easy appetizer for you next cocktail by actress Ida Lupino.


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoons pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons prepared mustard
  • 2 tablespoons pineapple juice
  • Green onions or parsley for a fancy garnish.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine together the ground beef, bread crumbs, pepper, onion, garlic, milk and soy sauce in a large bowl.
  3. Shape heaping teaspoons into small balls.
  4. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until browned and cooked through.
  5. While meatballs cook, mix together the ketchup, mustard and pineapple juice in a mixing bowl.
  6. When meatballs are done, pour them into the mixing bowl with the sauce and toss to coat well.
  7. Garnish and serve. They can also be kept warm in the oven until ready to serve them.


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