A family classic, these oven baked BBQ Meatballs are a tried and true favorite.
Do you have a recipe that you make over and over again?
A recipe that makes everyone, literally everyone, around the table happy?
That recipe for my family is BBQ Meatballs. It’s actually my Mother-in-law’s recipe and with her permission I’m sharing it with you because I believe it is just too good to stay within the family!
This BBQ meatballs recipe is simple to make and I promise you everyone will enjoy them!
Can I freeze BBQ meatballs?
Yes! I love to make a double batch of these meatballs! I freeze one batch and bake the other so I have prepared two meals at once.
If I am freezing the BBQ Meatballs I
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the raw, rolled meatballs onto the baking sheet.
- Place them in the freezer for 2-3 hours or until they are fully frozen.
- Once frozen I transfer to a ziplock freezer bag or airtight container and label with the date and recipe name.
When I’m ready to make them I pull them out of the freezer and arrange them in a 9×13 baking dish, mix up the sauce then drizzle over the meatballs and bake.
If I am cooking them from frozen I generally bake these for additional time (start with 10 minutes or so) until the meat is fully cooked through and no longer pink.
What temp should ground beef be cooked to?
According to USDA, the minimum safe temperature for beef to be cooked to is 160 degrees Fahrenheit because E. Coli is killed at 155 degrees.
Is it better to freeze meatballs with or without sauce?
I personally freeze these BBQ Meatballs without the sauce. If it’s easier for you to make the sauce ahead of time and freeze the BBQ Meatballs with the sauce you can easily do so, I always just opt for fresh sauce when I am baking them.
What is a good side dish for BBQ meatballs?
When I make meatballs I serve them with mashed potatoes 90% of the time. There are lots of great options though if you don’t enjoy mashed potatoes.
How can you tell if meatballs are cooked?
Ground beef is fully cooked at 160 degrees Fahrenheit. You can either use a meat thermometer for accuracy or I usually just make sure the inside of the meatballs are no longer pink in color.
Once the pink is gone from the center your meatballs should be ready to go. You don’t want to overcook this recipe because the meat will become tough.
This recipe can be made gluten and dairy free.
To make BBQ Meatballs gluten free use gluten free oats. To make BBQ Meatballs dairy free replace the evaporated milk with any other nut milk of choice. I usually use almond milk.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family has for so many years. It is my husbands favorite recipe of all time.
I serve it every year on his birthday and any other special celebration and I always get a big smile when I tell him, “BBQ Meatballs are for dinner tonight!”
- 2 lbs ground beef thawed and uncooked
- 5 oz evaporated milk (replace with a nut milk of choice if you need dairy free)
- 1 cup quick oatmeal (Gluten Free if necessary)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 TBS dried onion
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Combine ground beef, oatmeal, milk, egg, salt, garlic powder and chili powder in a bowl. Mix well using hands or a wooden spoon.
- Roll into balls and place in a 9×13 baking dish.
- Prepare sauce by combining ketchup, brown sugar, dried onion, garlic powder and liquid smoke until sugar is mixed well.
- Evenly distribute sauce over meatballs.
- Bake at 350° for approximately 40 minutes. Check to make sure meatballs are done by cutting one in half to see if it's pink, or use a meat thermometer and it should read 160° F.
- To make Gluten Free use gluten free oats
- To make Dairy Free use nut milk instead of evaporated milk
- Do not skip out on the Liquid Smoke. I believe it’s what makes these the BEST meatballs.
- You can freeze these by doubling the batch and freezing one immediately. Sauce can be prepared prior to freezing or on the day of cooking.