The Easiest BBQ Meatballs Ever

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These are the easiest homemade BBQ meatballs ever! Perfectly seasoned ground beef meatballs are topped with a homemade sweet and tangy BBQ sauce, all baked to perfection! Tender beefy barbecue meatballs that are perfect for any occasion!

overhead: BBQ meatballs on a cream plate with mac and cheese and steamed broccoli

BBQ Meatballs

Get ready to indulge in some of the tastiest homemade BBQ meatballs you’ll ever have. They’re super easy to make, with a perfect blend of ground beef and spices that will leave your taste buds tingling with delight.

I don’t know about you all, but I personally love making my BBQ meatballs in the oven! No deep frying is to be found here, folks. I find that baking them helps keep them tender and juicy instead of all dried out.

The other good news is that the homemade barbecue sauce helps in that department as well. Plus, the sauce is just as easy to make as the meatballs!

I love serving this BBQ meatball recipe as a main dish along with my Homemade Baked Mac and Cheese or Stovetop Mac and Cheese. Add any steamed vegetable you like or a tasty salad for a delicious weeknight dinner.

Why You’ll Love This BBQ Meatball Recipe

  • Don’t have to brown — just mix, shape, and bake… that’s it!
  • Baked NOT fried
  • Make-ahead and freezer-friendly
  • Tender, moist, and perfectly seasoned
  • Great for weeknight dinner, sandwiches, or as an appetizer
overhead: ingredients for my BBQ meatball recipe

Key Ingredients to Make Barbecue Meatballs

GROUND BEEF – You can use half ground beef and half ground pork if you prefer. Make sure to use 90% lean beef since we are not browning first.

EGGS AND QUICK OATS – Both of these help bind the meatballs together. I have always used oats in meatballs and meatloaf and love it! Plus, it keeps it gluten-free.

ONION, GARLIC POWDER, CHILI POWDER, SALT, PEPPER – These all add flavor to your BBQ meatballs recipe. Don’t skip them! Alternatively, you can experiment and add your favorite seasonings. Cayenne is great for a bit of kick if you like spicy food.

MILK – Soaks with the oats to help bind the barbecue meatballs as well as keep them moist.

FOR THE BBQ SAUCE – You’ll need ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire, mustard, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder. Feel free to add cayenne pepper here as well for a kick of heat.

overhead: collage of six process shots showing how to make barbecue meatballs

Instructions to Make BBQ Meatballs in the Oven

COMBINE THE MEATBALL INGREDIENTS: Combine the ground beef, onion, eggs, milk, oats, and seasonings in a large bowl. Mix just until combined. Shape into 20 large meatballs and place in a baking pan.

MAKE THE HOMEMADE BBQ SAUCE: Combine all the ingredients for the BBQ sauce and mix thoroughly. Pour over the meatballs making sure to cover all.

BAKE: Place the BBQ meatballs in oven and bake for 60 minutes, or until the centers reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. Enjoy!

overhead: BBQ meatballs recipe fresh from the oven


How to freeze barbecue meatballs?

You can freeze my BBQ meatball recipe before or after baking!

BEFORE BAKING: Place formed meatballs on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Remove from baking sheet and place in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Add more baking time if baking from frozen.

AFTER BAKING: Place completely cooled meatballs and sauce in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

How to store leftover BBQ meatballs?

Make sure to let the meatballs come to room temperature, then place them (and the BBQ sauce) in an airtight container. They will keep for up to 4 days when properly stored.

Can I make this BBQ meatballs recipe ahead of time?

Absolutely! You can make this recipe up to 24 hours in advance. Mix and shape the meatballs, then cover them loosely with plastic wrap. Store them in the fridge until you’re ready to bake. Pull from the refrigerator and top with sauce. You may need to add a few extra minutes to bake time.

overhead: BBQ meatballs in oven over mac and cheese in a bowl

BBQ Meatballs Recipe Tips

  • Slow cooker warming hack: You can feel free to toss the baked BBQ meatballs with their sauce in a large crockpot and keep them on the WARM setting.
  • If you want to cook these meatballs in the crockpot, you MUST sear them first, or they will fall apart. I also recommend making them a little bit smaller if you want to use your slow cooker.
  • Make the meatballs a little smaller if serving as an appetizer. Reduce cook time as well.
  • Combine the meatball mixture with your hands and mix only until combined. This will prevent tough meatballs. Don’t overmix!
  • A cookie dough scoop makes scooping and shaping the meatballs easier.
overhead: BBQ meatballs on a cream plate with a fork off to the side. Red napkin in the corner

BBQ Meatballs Serving Suggestions

Get ready because I have several options for you! As mentioned I like to serve my BBQ meatball recipe as a main. They would taste great with any of the following:

Or, simply use them to make a tasty meatball sandwich! Add a bit of mozzarella or Provolone, then place under the broiler for a few minutes to melt the cheese. So tasty!

More Easy Recipes To Try

Thanks so much for reading! Let me know what you think about my BBQ meatball recipe!

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Close up of BBQ meatballs on a cream plate with mac and cheese and steamed broccoli.

The Easiest BBQ Meatballs Ever

Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bbq meatballs, oven baked meatballs
These are the easiest homemade BBQ meatballs ever! Perfectly seasoned ground beef meatballs are topped with a homemade sweet and tangy BBQ sauce, all baked to perfection! Tender beefy barbecue meatballs that are perfect for any occasion!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 20 large meatballs
Calories: 189kcal
Author: Malinda Linnebur
Print Recipe Save Recipe



  • 2 pounds (907g) lean ground beef
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ small onion, minced or grated
  • 1 cup (115g) quick cooking oats
  • ½ cup (120ml) milk
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper


  • cups (355ml) ketchup
  • cup (125g) packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 teaspoons prepared mustard
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon each: onion powder, salt


  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • In a large mixing bowl mix the ground beef, eggs, onion, oats, milk, chili powder, salt, garlic powder, and pepper with hands just until well combined. Shape into twenty 2" meatballs and place in a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Mix together the BBQ sauce ingredients until well combined. Pour over meatballs making sure to cover each. Bake uncovered for 60 minutes or until internal temperature of 165℉.


  1. Can cut the brown sugar down to ½ cup for a less sweet BBQ sauce. 
  2. Can add cayenne pepper to the BBQ sauce for heat. 
  3. STORAGE: Store cooled meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 


Serving: 1meatball | Calories: 189kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 354mg | Potassium: 307mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 245IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 2mg

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