Tender, juicy beef with a sweet and sticky homemade sauce, Baked BBQ Beef Meatballs make the perfect portable lunch, show-stopping appetizer, or easy weeknight meal the whole family will love.
This post is in partnership with Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. on behalf of the Beef Checkoff. We received compensation, but all opinions expressed are our own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Compston Kitchen going!
With the school year back in full swing, we're getting back into the rhythm of all our family's healthy routines, including planning our weekly menu. Writing out our meals for the week helps us be more intentional about including the right balance of nutrient-rich foods our little ones need to grow and thrive during this busy season. School-aged children and adolescents need important nutrients, such as high-quality protein, iron, zinc, choline and vitamins B6 and B12, to support their learning, activity, growth and development. Sadly, research shows that many fall short of these nutrient needs. That's why we rely on family favorite recipes containing lean beef which contain the important nutrients needed to fuel our family all year long.
These Baked BBQ Beef Meatballs supply all the back-to-school needs:
- Ready in under 30 minutes
- Portable option for school and work
- Great source of essential nutrients
- Kid-and-parent approved
Our favorite way to enjoy these meatballs is packed into bento boxes for delicious meals away from home.
WHY WE LOVE GROUND BEEF
- More Bang For Your Buck. Let's face it, grocery bills are adding up quickly these days. Ground Beef is one of the most affordable cuts of beef and when compared to alternative high-quality proteins, beef provides many essential nutrients in a smaller serving size than some other choices. For instance, you’d have to eat 8 oz. of cooked chicken breast to get the same amount of iron and 20 oz. of cooked chicken breast to meet the same amount of zinc in just a 3 oz. serving of cooked beef.
- Versatile Protein. From meatballs and meatloaves, to tacos, burgers, casseroles, and sauces, there are SO many delicious ways to incorporate Ground Beef into everyday meals. We like to keep some on hand at all times for easy additions to just about any recipe.
- Kid-Friendly. Ground Beef is a hit with little ones thanks to its flavor, texture, and as previously mentioned, ability to be mixed into just about any dish! Nutritionally speaking, it is one of the best first foods to start little ones off on their eating journeys.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
We're fans of 93% Ground Beef which offers a nice ratio of lean to fat while still keeping meatballs juicy and tender.
Almond meal binds our meatballs together and offers a gluten free alternative to breadcrumbs. You can use traditional breadcrumbs or another gluten free alternative if desired.
Egg helps bind our meatballs together. We recommend one egg per pound of Ground Beef. If doubling this recipe, be sure to double your eggs as well!
Ketchup adds flavor and helps keep meatballs moist as they cook.
Dry Herbs & Seasonings
These meatballs get a flavorful boost from a mix of dry herbs and seasonings. If you don't have them all on hand you can use what you do have. Fresh herbs can also be used in place of the dry herbs listed.
Our simple BBQ sauce comes together in minutes and is packed with sweet and smokey flavor. If you're short on time you can always grab a bottle of your favorite sauce to use in its place. You'll need approximately 16 oz. of sauce for this recipe.
HOW TO MAKE THESE MEATBALLS
To start, we'll prepare our meatball mixture. Combine all ingredients into a large mixing bowl and work together until combined. Then, form mixture into even 1 ½" rounds.
Next, place the meatballs onto a lined sheet pan and bake for 12 minutes, or until they have reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees Farenheight.
While the meatballs bake, it's time to whip together the simple BBQ sauce. Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisk together until fully combined.
Once baked, transfer the meatballs to a skillet, ensuring space for each meatball without overlapping.
Add BBQ sauce and bring to a light simmer for 5-7 minutes, or until meatballs are fully cooked through.
Now it's time to build your lunchboxes! We like to pair our meatballs with rice pilaf, fresh fruits and veggies, and some chocolate for a tasty lunch worth repeating!
MORE WAYS TO LOVE MEATBALLS
BBQ Beef Meatballs aren't just made for bento boxes, they make delicious additions to a number of easy weekday meals!
- BBQ & Cheddar Meatball Sandwiches
- Meatball-Potato, & Veggie Kabobs
- Lettuce Wraps with Sliced Meatballs & Coleslaw
- BBQ Meatball Quesadillas
- Meatball Stuffed Baked Potatoes
- BBQ "Burger" Salad with Pickles, Crispy Onions, & Special Sauce
Baked BBQ Beef Meatballs
- 1 lb. Ground Beef 93% or leaner recommended
- ¼ cup almond meal can sub with panko breadbrumbs
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup ketchup
- ½ teaspoon each, granulated garlic and onion powders
- ¼ teaspoon each, dried parsley and dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon dried chives
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
Homemade BBQ Sauce
- 1 tablespoon granulated onion powder
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
- 1 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoon water
- 5 tablespoon molasses*
- 3 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ tsp ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl combine all meatloaf ingredients and work together with hands until combined.
- Form mixture into even 1 ½” meatballs (should yield about one dozen meatballs).
- Place onto a lined sheet pan and bake for 12 minutes.
- While meatballs bake, prepare BBQ sauce. Combine all sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk well to combine; set aside.
- Remove meatballs from sheet pan and place into a skillet with the bbq sauce. Bring to a light simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce has reduced slightly and meatballs read an internal temperature of 160°F
I am definitely looking forward to trying this recipe. My family has always bought the ones that were already formed and frozen from the store. I am a huge fan of homecooked/ handmade recipes. 5-star recipe!
This is one of my favorite meals from your kitchen! I love meatballs the right way which is homemade/handmade like these. They were so good and I also enjoyed the bundt cakes with my wife. She has a big sweet tooth and devoured them! We are planning to make the beef noodle bowl and rainbow beef burgers can't wait your recipes look so fun!
Stephen & Elise Compston, RD, LDs
Hi Jamar, we are so happy to hear the meatballs are a hit with the whole family! Thanks so much for the great feedback and hope you enjoy the other recipes as well.