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Meatballs in Barbecue Sauce

This recipe came from my home ec teacher in high school. I enjoy making it because you can throw it in the oven and still have time to do other things.—Yvonne Nave, Lyons, Kansas
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Bake: 30 min.
  • Makes
    about 4 dozen


  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 can (5 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
  • SAUCE:
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon Liquid Smoke, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


  • In a large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 1-in. balls.
  • Place meatballs on a greased rack in a shallow baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 18-20 minutes or until meat is no longer pink; drain.
  • Meanwhile, combine the sauce ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour over meatballs. Bake 10-12 minutes longer.
Nutrition Facts
8 each: 474 calories, 18g fat (7g saturated fat), 119mg cholesterol, 973mg sodium, 51g carbohydrate (35g sugars, 2g fiber), 28g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • LaDene
    Dec 24, 2020

    These meatballs are easy and oh so delicious! My family has loved these for so many years! We used to make them for a Thanksgiving potluck along with the Turkey and all of the other dishes and I swear they went over better than the Turkey did! Everyone requested them year after year! I’m going to Christmas potlucks with my significant other now (3rd year) but this is my first year making these meatballs. I hope my “new” family likes them as much as my other! I’ll let you all know soon!

  • Michelle
    Jan 30, 2020

    No comment left

  • Evan
    Nov 10, 2019

    Really nice recipe overall. I was looking for a crock pot meatball recipe and couldn't fine any that didn't call for frozen meatballs. So I made these and fried them in a skillet to give a little crisper outside and then placed them in a crock pot and poured the sauce over the top, let it cook on low for about 4 hours and it turned out great! I did adjust the sauce a little bit because it was very sweet. I added a few dashes of hot sauce, some smoked paprika and a 1/4 tsp of lime juice to give it some acidity and I think it really helped cut into the sweetness. Overall a wonderful meatball recipe

  • Kimberly
    Jul 18, 2019

    Wanted a quick lunch one day, so I threw about 10 frozen meatballs in the microwave just long enough to thaw them out, then made a 1/4 batch of the sauce and cooked it with the meatballs in it for a bit longer than it called for. Yum!

  • OakHillCafe
    Dec 21, 2015

    Made these for our family Christmas and they were loved. My mother thought they were wonderful and said this recipe was a keeper. When forming the balls the mixture was very soggy and I was concerned they wouldn't hold up, but they baked up fine. I prepared them the night before and then put them in a crock pot with the sauce to warm up and they held up just fine there too. I did have to adjust the sauce, hence the 4 stars instead of 5. It was way too sweet, so I added more ketchup and some already prepared bottled bbq sauce. It turned out very delicious.

  • cindymarza
    Jan 23, 2015

    I double this recipe and replace 1 lb of the beef with Bob Evans Sausage. I also have to leave out the egg, but they don't fall apart. I use these Meatballs with the barbecue sauce or with marinara sauce. They are fantastic!

  • Amy the Midwife
    Jul 1, 2014

    I didn't have liquid smoke and in my opinion the sauce needs a little something to balance with the sweetness, so I used a little Worcestershire and I added more garlic powder. If I would have had more time I would have tweaked it a bit more.As suggested in other reviews I baked them for the 20 minutes and then simmered them in the sauce the rest of the time.

  • dschultz01
    Dec 3, 2013

    Excellent recipe! I've been making this one for years. Very easy and fast to make!

  • luigimon
    Oct 31, 2013

    These are yummy! I did the same as Cindy, and did the meatballs in the oven for the 18 minutes and then let them simmer in the sauce for a bit. Excellent!

  • rossmom229
    Aug 12, 2013

    The first time I tried this recipe, it moved to the top of our REPEAT list! It's astounding how good these meatballs are. I make them when we are having company and when they are done I put them in the crockpot on warm with a double batch of the sauce. It stays nice and hot and that way if we are in or out or some people are not ready to eat at the same time, we all get a fresh, hot, delicious meal! I love serving them with the recipe she accompanied them with in the original publication, a cheesy hashbrown bake! YUMMY! I also use this sauce on meatloaf when I'm in a rush!