Honey BBQ Meatballs From Will Coleman

July 21, 2022
0 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland. Prop Stylist: Alya Hameedi. Food Stylist: Ericka Martins.
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • Serves 25 mini meatballs
Author Notes

These barbecue meatballs have been passed down in my family for many generations and the recipe is entirely fail-proof. They have a rich, sweet, and tangy flavor which is why they're so popular. This dish is ideal for feeding a crowd because it's make-ahead friendly and can be cooked, stored, and transported in a crockpot before serving.

You'll usually find these meatballs at my family’s baby showers, birthday parties, and funerals. I treasure how this recipe provides comfort and exists as a vessel to offer joy during celebratory gatherings. They're great served on small skewers for parties, and they also pair well with sides like macaroni and cheese, potatoes, pasta salad, or even served in between dinner rolls as a slider. —Will Coleman —Food52

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is shared in partnership with Pinterest as part of their Golden Recipe Contest, a call for recipes treasured by your family or community. To enter, submit your recipe by August 15. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • For the honey barbecue sauce:
  • 2 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • For the meatballs:
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large garlic cloves, grated
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons barbecue seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  1. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 375°F. Prepare a large sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. Place a large saucepan over medium heat and add all of the ingredients, then stir to combine. Once the sauce comes to a simmer, reduce the heat to low and cook for 25 to 30 minutes until the sauce has thickened, stirring occasionally. Once the sauce thickens and is able to stick to the back of a spoon, remove from heat and reserve for later.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the bread crumbs, heavy cream, eggs, garlic, parsley, barbecue seasoning, and salt in a large bowl. Once the mixture is well-combined, add in the ground beef and pork and mix until fully incorporated. Form the meat mixture into balls about 1 inch in diameter and place on the prepared sheet pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven.
  4. Return the barbecue sauce to the stove and cook over medium heat to bring to a simmer. Add the meatballs and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

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