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Baked BBQ Chicken Meatballs

Don't let wings, nuggets, and strips have all of the fun: these baked bbq chicken meatballs are fast, fun, and macro friendly!

This is a picture of baked bbq meatballs. There's a small white bowl filled with meatballs coated in bbq sauce.

Baked Chicken Meatballs

If you're like a lot of people, the only two times you think of meatballs is 1) in a crock pot simmering away in a vat of sauce or 2) on top of a big dish of spaghetti at an Italian-American joint. I'm here to tell you: you should think of meatballs more often!

Meatballs are a total crowd pleaser. They're super fun to eat, a breeze to throw together, and can also be made in a macro-friendly way—like in this recipe for baked bbq chicken meatballs! Not convinced yet? Read on, reader!

BBQ Meatball Recipe

Like many bbq-flavored recipes, the flavor here is going to depend on what sauce you choose. For the past couple of years, I've used G Hughes Sugar Free bbq sauce. I'm not paid to say that or anything—I just like the sauce, and the lack of sugar helps me enjoy the flavor without taking a big nutritional hit.

You can definitely substitute whatever sauce you prefer, understanding that the nutritional profile can vary widely from product to product.

This is a picture of baked bbq meatballs. There's a small white bowl filled with meatballs coated in bbq sauce.

Baked Chicken Meatballs Ingredients

Have you ever tried to follow a recipe for meatballs and been mystified at the fact that it takes 20,000 ingredients to make what should be a simple dish? With this recipe, you're spared:

  • ground chicken
  • egg
  • breadcrumbs
  • parmesan cheese
  • kosher salt
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • paprika

And, of course, your favorite

  • bbq sauce!

How to make BBQ Chicken Meatballs in the Oven

The basic process goes like this: heat the oven, mix the meatball ingredients, form into balls, place on a baking sheet, and bake. Toward the end, pull out the meatballs, coat in sauce, and put back into the oven to finish.

Here's the full step-by-step process of making baked bbq chicken meatballs:

Prep

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • Mix all ingredients (except BBQ sauce) in a large mixing bowl.
  • Use your hands or a cookie dough scoop to roll the mixture into balls. Spread out evenly and place on a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Bake

  • Bake for 15 mins (or until internal temp reaches 165 degrees).
  • Add the BBQ to a bowl.
  • Add the meatballs to the bowl and stir to coat completely.
  • Place the meatballs back on the baking sheet and cook for 5 more minutes.
  • Serve with ranch dressing, pasta, salad, rice or whatever you wish!
This is a picture of baked bbq meatballs. There's a small white bowl filled with meatballs coated in bbq sauce.

Tips for Making Baked Chicken Meatballs

For me, the ratio of ingredients gives me consistent meatballs at the right texture—not too dry, not too wet. Obviously, different products (such as ground chicken) might yield different results, so you may need to do some tweaking to get things right.

Because this is a simple recipe, you're really just looking to balance the dry breadcrumbs with the wetness from the egg/chicken. It's definitely easier to add more breadcrumbs than to add more egg, so I'd err on the side of having a slightly more moist mixture, knowing that they will lose moisture as they bake in the oven.

FAQs about BBQ Meatballs

How do you know when chicken meatballs are done?

  • Although ground meat is sometimes hard to check, you can put a probe in these meatballs to check for doneness like you would a full piece of meat. Ultimately, you're trying to bring the chicken up to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Should meatballs be cooked before putting them in sauce?

For these baked meatballs, we cook them most of the way before adding sauce and finishing. You could cook them completely and sauce them, but that isn't necessary from a food safety standpoint.

What sides go with BBQ meatballs?

These can work as an appetizer or as a main accompanied by greens or rice. There have been times where I just had a serving as a snack. These play well with a lot of food combinations!

Do you need egg in meatballs?

For this recipe, an egg is used to bind the ingredients together. There are definitely some possible substitutes—greek yogurt or cheese, for example. I've even heard of someone using applesauce!

Is it better to bake or fry meatballs?

When you bake meatballs, you aren't introducing extra fat from oil that would come along with frying. Obviously, the final texture and flavor will be different, so it just depends. For my meal prep needs, baking works perfectly, and it's super easy to do.

Can I bake meatballs on aluminum foil?

Yes. Spray aluminum foil with cooking spray. Then add rolled meatballs.

Why are my chicken meatballs tough?

Chances are, you've tried to pack the meatballs too tightly. There's no need to cram everything together—using a cooking scoop, I get about 30 meatballs from this recipe.

Looking for more recipes?

Need something to go with the baked bbq chicken meatballs? I've got you covered:

This is a picture of baked bbq meatballs. There's a small white bowl filled with meatballs coated in bbq sauce.
This is a picture of baked bbq meatballs. There's a small white bowl filled with meatballs coated in bbq sauce.
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Baked BBQ Chicken Meatballs

Don't let wings, nuggets, and strips have all of the fun: these baked bbq chicken meatballs are fast, fun, and macro friendly!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bbq chicken meatballs, bbq meatballs, chicken meatballs
Servings: 4
Calories: 249kcal
Author: Jordan Smith

Equipment

  • oven
  • baking sheet

Ingredients

Meatball Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika

Sauce Ingredients

  • ½ cup BBQ sauce I use G Hughes low sugar BBQ sauce but you can use your favorite!

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • Mix all ingredients (except BBQ sauce) in a large mixing bowl.
  • Use your hands or a cookie dough scoop to roll the mixture into balls. Spread out evenly and place on a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Bake for 15 mins (or until internal temp reaches 165 degrees).
  • Add the BBQ to a bowl.
  • Add the meatballs to the bowl and stir to coat completely.
  • Place the meatballs back on the baking sheet and cook for 5 more minutes.
  • Serve with ranch dressing, pasta, salad, rice or whatever you wish!

Notes

If you use a cooking scoop, the recipe makes about 30 meatballs. Therefore one serving is about 7-8 meatballs. 

Nutrition

Calories: 249kcal | Carbohydrates: 5.7g | Protein: 24.3g | Fat: 14.4g | Saturated Fat: 4.7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 136.7mg | Sodium: 427.2mg | Potassium: 73.8mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.3g | Vitamin A: 20.1IU | Calcium: 56.2mg | Iron: 11.7mg
Recipe Rating




Pam

Tuesday 26th of April 2022

SO GOOD! Made these tonight and they are amazing (as usual with Jordo’s recipes). I loved how quick and easy they were. My whole fam loved them! Inserting them into my regular rotation.