Joe’s B.B.Q Barbecue Meatballs

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. Bake: 10 min.


about 3-1/2 dozen

Updated: Jun. 27, 2023
Originally, I had created this as a meatloaf and then thought it would make a great game-day snack. It now goes with me to every party I'm invited to. —Joe Hendrick, Gabbs, Nevada


  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dried minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 3/4 pound ground beef
  • SAUCE:
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 400°. In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Add sausage and beef; mix lightly but thoroughly. Shape into 1-1/4-in. balls. Place on a greased rack in a shallow baking pan. Bake 10-12 minutes or until cooked through.
  2. Meanwhile, for sauce, in a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir until tender. Stir in tomato sauce, brown sugar, barbecue sauce, Italian seasoning and mustard; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 6-8 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add meatballs and stir gently to coat. If desired, sprinkle with cheese and let stand, covered, 5 minutes.