Beef Meatballs in Smoky BBQ Sauce

These rich and delicious meatballs make a great appetizer or sandwich filling. Serve with rice and coleslaw for a hearty dinner.

Serves: 24Hands-on: 20 minutesTotal: 45 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 24


  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1⁄2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
  • 1⁄2 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 2 cups plus 2 Tbsp. spicy barbecue sauce, divided
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp. liquid smoke
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground chipotle pepper
  • 2 scallions, sliced at an angle


  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Combine ground beef, breadcrumbs, onion, garlic, cheese, red pepper, 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce, and eggs. Roll into 1" meatballs and place on a baking sheet.
  • Bake for 25 minutes, or until outsides are browned and the insides are no longer pink. Take one out and cut it in half to check. Or use a thermometer to see if the internal temperature has reached 165°F.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine remaining 2 cups barbecue sauce, liquid smoke, and chipotle pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to medium and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Transfer sauce to a serving dish. Nestle meatballs into sauce and sprinkle with scallions.