Tangy Meatballs Recipe
Tangy Meatballs Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Tangy Meatballs Recipe

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These hearty meatballs are a family favorite and a big hit wherever they go! In their delicious barbecue sauce, they're a perfect dish to pass and also work well as hors d'oeuvres. —Jane Barta, St. Thomas, North Dakota
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 50 min. Bake: 20 min.
MAKES:12 servings
Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 50 min. Bake: 20 min.
MAKES: 12 servings


  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups quick-cooking or rolled oats
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • SAUCE:
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (4 each) equals 423 calories, 12 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 100 mg cholesterol, 991 mg sodium, 51 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 27 g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Add oats, milk, onion, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Add the ground beef; mix well. Shape into 1-1/2-in. balls. Place meatballs on greased racks in shallow baking pans. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 30 minutes; drain.
  2. Place all of the meatballs in one of the pans. In a saucepan, bring all sauce ingredients to a boil. Pour over meatballs. Return to the oven and bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until meatballs are done. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Tangy Meatballs in Taste of Home June/July 1993, p39

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Reviewed Oct. 17, 2014

"I have been making these for what seems like forever. I have tried some newer meatball recipes, but I keep coming back to this one because none others beat it. AMAZING classic meatball."

Reviewed Aug. 17, 2010

"When imake these meatballs I need to make a double batch because they very quickly. I also need to save some for my family members when I take them to a party"

Reviewed Jan. 7, 2010

"I LOVE this recipe!!! I have made it for holiday gatherings as well as luncheons for work. Even my six-year-old and 2-year-old love these meatballs. I do use minced onion instead of chopped onion though. It is more kid friendly. They make great leftovers and snacks also!!!"

Reviewed Nov. 6, 2008

"These are wonderful! If nothing else, make the sauce its delicious!"

Reviewed Oct. 25, 2008

"This recipe is one of my family's favorite for any get together. My son has friends come when they hear mom's fixing meatballs. My daughter wants them for her graduation party. I like this recipe because you can make the meatballs up way ahead of time and freeze them until your ready to bake them.


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