Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Easy Meatballs

We hosted a baby shower at our house last weekend to welcome the birth of a new great-nephew.  I'll post later on about the wonderful theme we used (books) as well as all of the wonderful food that we served to match the book titles.  It was a blast!

One of the things I served was BBQ meatballs.  When I saw the price of a bag of frozen meatballs, I knew I would be making them homemade.  What I didn't know was how easy and inexpensive they were to make!  I turned to a favorite blog (Lynn's Kitchen Adventures) for a meatball recipe that I could depend on to be delicious and easy.  The link to Lynn's recipe is HERE.  Lynn's recipe for the meatballs is perfect!  Most recipes I've seen for homemade meatballs use lots of ingredients and spices.  Lynn's recipe is very simple - ground beef, egg, and oats.  It can't get much easier than that!  Lynn uses bottled barbecue sauce on her BBQ meatballs.  Since I've made BBQ sauce lots of times (such as in my Crockpot Pulled Pork with Tangy BBQ Sauce), I knew mixing up BBQ sauce would be easy peasy.  I found a basic recipe for sweet BBQ sauce and then combined it with my own tangy BBQ sauce recipe.  The end result was marvelous!

I decided to bake my meatballs on my broiler pan.  The grease drains away leaving perfect meatballs!

I made my meatballs the day before the party, mixed up the BBQ sauce, placed the whole kit and caboodle in the crockpot insert and put it in the fridge.  The day of the party, I put the insert in the crockpot, plugged it in, and was ready for company!

The meatballs themselves (without any sauce) can be baked and then frozen, or placed on a cookie sheet unbaked, frozen, and then bagged.  I made mine fresh and served the next day but I will be certainly using this recipe to make ahead lots of meatballs.  They will be great added to spaghetti sauce  as "spaghetti and meatballs" or serving as meatball sandwiches; also for making with stroganoff, adding to soups or as the sweet little BBQ meatballs that we  all love to eat at parties!  Hey, some frozen meatballs and even bottled, purchased BBQ sauce would make a fast snack or meal when you have nothing planned.  What a great thing to have on hand!

Here's how I made Easy Meatballs with BBQ sauce at home my way:

Easy Meatballs
(and Sweet BBQ Sauce Recipe)
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup oats (quick or regular
  • Spices (optional) (I just used a little salt & pepper.)
Mix all of the meatball ingredients in a mixing bowl.  You can add some seasoning if you like.  I added a little salt and pepper.  I mashed together using a potato masher but you can just squish it all together with CLEAN hands.
Make meatballs by using a rounded Tablespoon of meat, and forming into balls.  Place on a sprayed cookie sheet or broiler pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Cool completely before freezing (if freezing).
Sweet BBQ Sauce for Meatballs
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup (not packed) brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Spicy Mustard
Mix in a small bowl until all combined and smooth.
Pour over baked/fully cooked meatballs and warm in a little crockpot or in the oven in a casserole dish until ready to serve.
A few pics of the meatball making process:
Place the thawed meat, egg, oats, and any spices
in a mixing bowl.

Mix well until all incorporated.
I made each ball of meat from a rounded Tablespoon.

Place rounded meatballs on a sprayed pan.
I used a broiler pan.
Bake them 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Not a pretty picture but they were MIGHTY TASTY!

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