Easy BBQ Meatballs Recipe

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This easy BBQ Meatballs Recipe is a unique and mouth-watering twist on traditional meatballs. Combining sweet and tangy barbecue sauce with Italian dressing, they’re the perfect bite-sized party food or easy weeknight meal.

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BBQ meatballs on plate

Homemade BBQ Meatballs

Get ready to drool over these perfectly seasoned, juicy baked BBQ meatballs. Tender ground beef is combined with savory barbecue sauce and tangy Italian dressing for a tasty twist on your average meatball recipe.

Not only is this a super easy-to-make dish, but you can serve these meatballs for any occasion! From an easy appetizer or delicious party food to a simple weeknight dinner, these savory bites are always a family favorite.

And if you like this recipe, these Buffalo Chicken Meatballs and Bacon Wrapped Meatballs are always a huge hit too! Need more party food ideas? Check out all these delicious finger foods!

BBQ Meatballs with toothpicks

Why We Love This Recipe

  • Simple recipe: These oven meatballs are baked all at one time on a sheet pan, which makes prep and clean up a breeze.
  • No breading: They’re made with lean ground beef, seasonings, and an egg that acts as a binder. But unlike classic Italian meatballs, this recipe does not contain any type of bread crumbs or other fillers.
  • Incredible flavors: The combination of ingredients in the sauce gives these meatballs a delicious flavor that will satisfy even the pickiest eaters.

Ingredients:

BBQ Meatballs Ingredients
  • Ground beef
  • BBQ seasoning
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Large Egg
  • Minced garlic (or garlic powder)
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Italian dressing

👩🏼‍🍳How to Make Easy BBQ Meatballs

Step 1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a bowl, combine ground beef with the barbecue seasoning, pepper, and salt, then mix together.

Ground beef in a bowl with seasonings

Step 2. Add the large egg, minced garlic and parmesan cheese to the seasoned ground beef. 

Step 3. Stir the meatball mixture until all the ingredients are well combined.

Tip: Don’t overmix the meat mixture. This causes the meatballs to be tough and dense.

Ground beef with egg, garlic and cheese in glass bowl

Step 4. Roll out 1-inch sized meatballs and place on a foil lined baking sheet in a single layer.

Beef mixture formed into meatballs

Step 5. To make the sauce, just mix the Italian dressing and your favorite barbecue sauce together until smooth.

Italian dressing and BBQ sauce in glass bowl

Step 6. Using a basting brush or a small spoon, add a little of the barbecue mix on top of the raw meatballs before placing them in the oven.

Meatballs covered with sauce

Step 7. Bake for 10 minutes, then brush another large spoonful of barbecue sauce over each meatball.

Step 8. Place the barbecue meatballs back in the oven and cook for another 10 minutes, increasing the oven temperature to 375°.

Cooked meatballs on foil covered baking sheet

Step 9. Remove the baked meatballs from the oven and serve with the leftover Italian barbecue sauce. Add toothpicks to serve as an appetizer!

Tip: If you’re serving some of the extra sauce on the side, heat it and serve it warm with the meatballs.

BBQ meatballs up close
How Do I Store BBQ Meatballs?

Refrigerator: If you have leftovers, allow them to cool to room temperature then store them in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Freezer: You can also freeze them! This comes in especially handy during the holidays. Just make a large batch and allow them to cool. Then place them on a separate clean baking sheet and place them in the freezer for about 45 minutes to an hour.

Transfer them to a freezer bag and freeze for up to a couple of months. Allow to thaw overnight before reheating.

BBQ meatballs on plate with toothpicks

What Can You Pair with BBQ Meatballs?

They’re the perfect appetizer served just as they are, but you can serve them as a main dish too. Pair them with just about any of your favorite side dishes that you typically serve with BBQ. These Mashed Potatoes and Baked Beans are great choices.

BBQ Meatball Recipe Variations:

  • BBQ sauce: You can use a sweet BBQ sauce, or a smoky or spicy sauce. Just use one that you have on hand. If you want the sauce to have an extra smoky flavor, you can add a dash of Worcestershire sauce or a drop or two of liquid smoke. Want to make your own? Try this tasty homemade BBQ sauce recipe.
  • Beef: You can make turkey meatballs with ground turkey. You can also use part ground pork or ground chicken with the ground beef.
  • Other seasonings: You can season the meatballs with other herbs and spices such as onion powder, or smoke paprika. For a kick of heat, you can add a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to the sauce. If you like them sweeter, try adding a little bit of brown sugar to the BBQ sauce.
BBQ meatballs from above

Should You Brown Meatballs Before Baking?

Browning your home-made meatballs in a large skillet on all sides before baking them is optional. It gives the meatballs a nice brown color. But because this recipe uses a richly colored BBQ sauce, it’s not necessary.

Can I Make These Homemade Meatballs in a Slow Cooker?

You certainly can. Though, if you choose the crock pot method, it is recommended that you brown the meatballs first. I would also recommend using lean ground beef to keep them from being overly greasy.

Once they are browned, add them to the slow cooker on low heat for 5-6 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 160° on an instant read meat thermometer.

Meatball on stick with bite taken out

Want More Tasty Appetizer Recipes?

BBQ Meatballs recipe card
5 from 1 vote

BBQ Meatballs Recipe


Course Appetizer, Appetizer / Party Food, Appetizer / Party Recipe
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
These easy BBQ Meatballs are a tasty twist on traditional meatballs and make the perfect bite-sized party food for any occasion!

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup ground beef
  • 1/2 Tbsp BBQ seasoning
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese finely grated
  • cup italian dressing
  • cup barbecue sauce

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°. In a bowl, combine ground beef with the barbecue seasoning, pepper, and salt, then mix together.
    1 cup ground beef, 1/2 Tbsp BBQ seasoning, 1 tsp pepper, ½ tsp salt
  • Add the large egg, minced garlic and parmesan cheese to the seasoned ground beef.
    1 egg, 1 tsp minced garlic, ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • Stir the meatball mixture until all the ingredients are well combined.
  • Roll out 1-inch sized meatballs and place on a foil lined baking sheet in a single layer.
  • To make the sauce, just mix the Italian dressing and your favorite barbecue sauce together until smooth.
    ⅓ cup barbecue sauce, ⅓ cup italian dressing
  • Using a basting brush or a small spoon, add a little of the barbecue mix on top of the raw meatballs before placing them in the oven.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, then brush another large spoonful of barbecue sauce over each meatball.
  • Place the barbecue meatballs back in the oven and cook for another 10 minutes, increasing the oven temperature to 375°.
  • Remove the baked meatballs from the oven and serve with the leftover Italian barbecue sauce. Add toothpicks to serve as an appetizer!

Notes

Don’t overmix the meat mixture or it could cause your meatballs to be tough and dense.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 81kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 253mg | Potassium: 80mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 77IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutrition information provided is an estimate and can vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used.

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