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Small bbq meatballs in a white bowl garnished with parsley.
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Crockpot BBQ Meatballs

Tender and juicy BBQ Meatballs made in the Crockpot. The ingredients are fresh and savory with just a hint of smoky sweetness that makes it stand-out.
Course Appetizer, Main Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 12 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 27 minutes
Servings 15
Calories 147kcal
Cost $15/recipe

Equipment

  • 2 Half size rimmed sheet pan
  • parchment paper
  • Slow Cooker

Ingredients

For the Meatballs

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • cup breadcrumbs almond flour can be substituted for low carb
  • cup milk nut milks work fine
  • 2 eggs
  • cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

FOR THE SAUCE:

  • 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • ½ cup water
  • cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Allspice

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425° and line 2 rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place ground beef, breadcrumbs, milk, eggs, parsley, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a large bowl. I like to use the bowl of a stand mixer and combine with the paddle attachment. If you don’t have one, your hands are your best tool for mixing the meat.
  • Using a 1 tablespoon size cookie scoop, scoop the meat mixture, one scoop at a time, into your hands, roll it into the shape of a ball, place on the baking sheet.
  • Continue until all the meatballs are made.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 160°.
  • While the meatballs are baking, add all the sauce ingredients to a small bowl or measuring cup and whisk to combine well.
  • Add the cooked meatballs to the Crockpot, pour the sauce on top, and gently stir so the meatballs are coated in the sauce.
  • Cook on low for 2 hours.

Make Ahead Instructions

  • Follow the instructions through cooking the meatballs (step 5). Allow the meatballs to cool completely, then place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with wax paper or clean parchment paper (not the one you cooked on). Put the trays in the freezer for 2-3 hours or until the meatballs are frozen. Then transfer the meatballs in a zip lock type freezer bag, and freeze for up to 6 months.
  • To use in this recipe, simply put the meatballs in the crockpot, make and add the sauce, and cook on high for 2-3 hours, or low for 4-6 hours.

Notes

  • GENTLY mix the meat mixture. Overworking the meat directly impacts the texture of the meatballs. For tender meatballs, mix the ingredients just until everything is combined.
  • These meatballs are a great all-around version and could be mixed with any type of sauce.
  • This recipe starts with homemade meatballs that you’ll bake in the oven first. Store-bought frozen meatballs OR sauce can be substituted.
  • See "make-ahead instructions" to save time on cooking day.
  • Makes about 45 1-tablespoon sized meatballs. This will serve about 15 people as an appetizer or 6 people as a main meal.
  • The sauce makes 1 ½ cups.
  • Cost and nutrition information is an estimate.

Nutrition

Calories: 147kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 416mg | Potassium: 415mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 329IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 2mg