Baked BBQ Meatballs make a great family friendly dinner, easy enough for a weeknight. We like to serve them up with mashed potatoes and sautéed green beans or peas. They can also be served as a party appetizer or game day snack. The simple oven baked meatballs are juicy and tender and coated in your favorite store bought barbecue sauce, or homemade BBQ sauce, sure to become a crowd favorite.
If you use an Instant Pot, pop over and check out the Instant Pot BBQ Meatball recipe.
I could eat homemade meatballs for just about every meal. I think that is why there are so many meatball recipes on Mom’s Dinner. Some favorites to check out are Baked Italian Meatballs, Ham Balls, and Next Level Swedish Meatballs.
They are the best because…
- The meatballs are flavored on the inside and the outside with BBQ flavors.
- The recipe gives you all the tips and tricks you need to make them perfect.
- It is a very simple recipe made with easy to find ingredients.
- no sautéing or browning before the meatballs bake.
- Using your favorite BBQ sauce means the flavors will be suited to you!
- They make an excellent dinner served with garlic mashed potatoes and a green veggie.
Pictured are the meatball ingredients you need, plus some pro tips on a few ingredients:
Ground Beef– since you are not sautéing and draining the beef I recommend that you use a leaner ground beef. An 85/15 or 90/10 works great. It will still have enough flavor but won’t be overly greasy.
Ground Pork– This is not ground sausage, you want to purchase ground pork. You will find that it is really economical! If you love it check out the recipe for Grilled Pork Burgers.
BBQ Sauce- Just use whatever BBQ sauce your family loves- spicy, sweet, or tangy. Just make sure it has enough body to stick to your meatballs. This is not the time for a vinegar based mop that is really thin. You can also make your own BBQ Sauce with this recipe.
Smoked Paprika– There are a few different types of paprika, you absolutely want to use smoked paprika. It has the most wonderful smoked flavor that adds a layer of BBQ flavor to your meatballs.
Bread– Just about any bread that is mild in flavor will work- French, Ciabatta, White bread, Sourdough. If your bread has a hard crust remove that and only use the soft insides.
Panade for Meatballs
A panade is a classic mixture of a starch and liquid that keeps ground meat recipes juicy. The starch is traditionally crackers, bread, or bread crumbs and the liquid is generally milk, water, or broth. I use panade in most of my meatballs, burgers, and meatloaf recipes.
For this bbq meatballs recipe you will be using bread torn into pieces and then mixed with milk.
Step by Step Picture Instructions
Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper, this will help prevent your meatballs from sticking to the pan.
- Make a Panade
- Stir in Seasonings and Egg
- Add Pork and Beef
- Form Meatballs & Baste
In a large bowl start your panade by mixing the torn bread pieces with milk. Either stir the mixture so it comes together or with clean hands squish the bread and milk together to break the larger bread pieces apart (this is my preferred method).
Let it sit for about 5 minutes so the bread absorbs the milk and softens completely.
Now add the lightly beaten egg, Worcestershire sauce, 1 ½ tablespoon BBQ sauce, the chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika and kosher salt. Stir everything together really well.
Now it’s time to add the ground meat- 1 lb. ground beef and 1 lb. ground pork. With clean hands lightly combine the flavorful panade and the ground meat.
Form the barbecue meatballs and place on the prepared baking sheet. The meatballs should be about the size of a ping pong ball. I like to use a medium sized cookie scoop to make sure the meatballs are somewhat uniform in size.
Brush the tops and sides of each meatball with your favorite BBQ sauce.
Bake for 15 minutes, then brush with BBQ sauce again. Continue baking another 15 minutes until the internal temp of the meatballs are 165 F.
Serving & Storing
We like to serve these easy BBQ meatballs as a main dish for dinner. They are excellent served with garlic mashed potatoes (or Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes) and a green veggie like roasted asparagus, sauteed green beans or peas.
Corn on the cob would make a great side dish too, especially in the summer when sweet corn is available!
They also make a great appetizer for the Holidays or game day!
Store your leftover meatballs in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. They reheat perfectly in the microwave or oven.
You can absolutely freeze these meatballs baked or raw. They will be good for 3 months in the freezer.
Thaw in the fridge overnight before baking or reheating.
Instant Pot Version
For a similar BBQ meatball recipe that is made in your Instant Pot head over to this recipe for Instant Pot BBQ Meatballs.
Follow these tips to make sure your BBQ Meatballs turn out perfect.
- Make a panade with bread and milk which will make sure your meatballs are juicy!
- Use a leaner ground beef (85/15 or 90/10) so your meatballs are flavorful but not greasy.
- Line the rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper so the meatballs don’t stick to your pan.
- Use your favorite BBQ sauce so your family LOVES the flavors.
More Delicious Dinner Recipes
Best Baked BBQ Meatballs Recipe
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground pork
- 2 cups bread, torn into craggy pieces (French bread, white bread, ciabatta… all works. If it has a hard crust remove that and only use the soft insides)
- ½ cup milk
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- 1 ½ tbsp BBQ sauce – can use homemade bbq sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon each: garlic powder & onion powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup favorite store bought or homemade BBQ sauce plus more for serving if wanted
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prep a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl combine the torn bread pieces with the milk and mix completely breaking up any large pieces of bread. Let it rest and soften for 5 minutes. Pro Tip- with clean hands squish the bread and milk together so it makes a nice soft panade.2 cups bread, torn into craggy pieces, ½ cup milk
- Add the lightly beaten egg, Worcestershire, 1 ½ tablespoon BBQ sauce and all the spices to the bread mixture. Stir together completely.1 large egg, 1 ½ tablespoon BBQ sauce, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 2 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon each: garlic powder & onion powder, ½ teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Lastly add the beef and pork and mix together with a fork or clean hands.1 lb ground beef, 1 lb ground pork
- Roll the meatballs into about the size of a golf ball. A medium cookie scoop can help make your meatballs more uniform in size. Place all the meatballs on the prepared rimmed baking sheet, baste each meatball with BBQ sauce.1 cup favorite store bought or homemade BBQ sauce
- Bake for 15 minutes, then brush all the meatballs generously with BBQ sauce.
- Bake for another 15 minutes until the meatballs reach 165 degrees internal temp.
- Let cool for 10 minutes and then enjoy!
- Store leftover meatballs in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. They reheat perfectly in the oven or microwave.
- You can absolutely freeze these meatballs baked or raw. They will be good for 3 months in the freezer. Thaw in the fridge overnight before baking or reheating.
If nutrition facts are provided they are calculated as an estimate to the best of our knowledge.