BBQ meatballs are a staple in our home for parties and family gatherings. They’re delicious, easy to prepare, and a fantastic appetizer for large groups.
Now I know it’s easy enough to run to Costco and buy a big bag of frozen meatballs and a bottle of BBQ sauce, but these don’t always yield the best meatballs. Too often the meatballs end up really small and dried out.
With a little prep work you and your guests can enjoy moist, tender, and flavorful homemade meatballs. Trust me, it’s worth it!
There are two parts to this recipe: the homemade BBQ sauce, and the homemade meatballs. Let’s dive in!
Homemade BBQ Sauce
BBQ Sauce Ingredients
2 cups ketchup 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar 2 Tbsp honey 1 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce 3 tsp paprika 1 tsp dry mustard 1 tsp Frank’s hot sauce 1/2 tsp onion powder 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Combine ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until well combined.
- Bring sauce to a simmer, then reduce heat to low.
- Continue to cook for about 10 minutes or until sauce thickens.
- Remove from the heat and set aside.
1 lb ground beef 1 lb ground pork sausage 2 eggs 1/2 cup bread crumbs (use gluten-free bread crumbs to make the meatballs gluten free) 1 1/2 Tbsp oregano 1 1/2 Tbsp parsley 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1 tsp onion powder 1 tsp paprika 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp black pepper
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients using your hands.
- Continuing to use your hands, scoop up enough of the mixture to form a meatball slightly larger than a golf ball. Work it into a spherical shape and place on a large plate or baking sheet.
- Continue until all the meatball mixture has been used.
- Place meatballs in a pan on medium-high heat. (Note: you may have to do this in multiple batches to prevent overcrowding)
- Cook for 1-2 minutes until the side starts to brown and form a little crust. Flip the meatballs and cook another minute. (This process will not cook the meatballs. It’s meant to provide enough structure to the meatballs that they don’t fall apart in the crockpot while they fully cook.)
- Place a layer of the homemade BBQ sauce in the bottom of a crockpot.
- Carefully place all the meatballs in the crockpot. As much as possible, try to avoid stacking the meatballs on top of each other or too high.
- Pour the remaining BBQ sauce over the meatballs and cook on low for 2 hours.
Seriously, I’m getting hungry just writing about these meatballs. They are so good!
If you are in a time crunch, you can simplify the process by using a bottle of store-bought BBQ sauce, but definitely don’t skimp on the homemade meatballs. Try them for your next party, the big game, or for a family dinner.