Made with ground beef, cheddar, grated sweet potatoes, and BBQ sauce, these meatballs are oven-baked and quick to put on the dinner table. A crowd-favorite, these BBQ Cheddar Meatballs make a great dinner or a party time snack.
These tender and flavorful BBQ Cheddar Meatballs are slightly addictive. Usually, before I even get these plated and on the dinner table, I've popped enough in my mouth to be considered a meal. Ground beef is mixed together with cheddar, shredded sweet potato, and store-bought barbecue sauce before getting baked in the oven. The addition of the sweet potatoes is purely to add in a little extra nutrition to this already delicious meatball, and it's totally not noticed by the veggie adverse kids.
In our house, we love to serve them with typical BBQ sides like mac and cheese, cornbread, and coleslaw as well some untraditional BBQ sides like quick-cooking cheesy polenta.
So let's get to making it! The text below offers some tips for making it, or you can scroll down to the bottom for the complete recipe.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Here is a brief overview of the ingredients needed for this recipe. The full recipe with quantities is listed below this text in the recipe card. If substitutions are available for this recipe, they'll be listed here. If you don't see a substitution you are looking for, feel free to leave a comment below.
- lean ground beef (feel free to swap in chicken or turkey here and if using ground beef, lean is best when making meatballs to prevent an excessive amount of fat seeping out while baking)
- store-bought bbq sauce (any kind of bbq sauce works well here, so long as you like the taste of it!)
- sweet potato (these meatballs encorporate a little hidden veggie for a more complete protein)
- sharp cheddar cheese (this can be omitted, but it really helps tenderize the meatball)
- unseasoned panko bread crumbs
- spices: garlic + powder powder + smoked paprika
- kosher salt
Useful Tools for Making Quick Work of Meatballs
Here are the tools used in this recipe. You won’t necessarily choose to use them all, but sometimes tools make for quicker work in the kitchen! Some of these links may contain affiliate links.
- mixing bowl
- rimmed sheet pan
- cookie / portioning scoop (this makes forming the meatballs super quick)
- your hands (ok, this is kind of a joke but seriously using your hands to mix the meatball mixture is truly the most efficient way of doing it)
- instant-read thermometer (always useful when checking the temperature of meat)
Baking BBQ Meatballs
Baking meatballs are a quick and hands-off way to get a batch cooked off. The directions for this recipe calls for baking them in a high-temperature oven for about 15-18 minutes.
However, this timing is based on making somewhat bite-sized meatballs made from about 2 tablespoons of meat. You can make them any size you want, but the time needed to cook them will increase or decrease depending on if you make them bigger or smaller.
Also, using a scoop is the easiest way to portion out meatballs as mentioned above. Sometimes when I’m feeling really in a rush I don’t even roll them in a ball, but instead, scoop out the mixture and put it directly on the baking sheet. Nobody cares if the meatballs aren’t perfectly round.
Have you ever broiled meatballs before? Broiling is a little bit like indoor grilling, in the sense that you are cooking with somewhat direct heat, though from the top. You can also broil these to get a crispier meatball with a deeper flavor. Broil them in a preheated 500ºF for about 10-12 minutes. Just take care to rotate any meatballs that are getting very charred about halfway through the cooking time.
Storing, Freezing and Reheating BBQ Meatballs
Store leftover meatballs in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. They reheat really well and make great leftovers.
Meatballs are freezer champs. They freeze well for about 3-6 months. To freeze them, initially lay them on a clean sheet pan with parchment. Once they are completely frozen, transfer them to bags or another long-term storage container. This prevents them from sticking together when freezing.
They should be defrosted overnight in the refrigerator. Then bake in an oven or toaster oven at 350ºF until warmed through. They likely can be reheated in the microwave but I haven't tried that.
More Meatball Recipes
Making the recipe? Be sure to leave a comment with a star review on your experience! Have a question? Leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you as quickly as I can!Print
Made with ground beef, cheddar, grated sweet potatoes, and BBQ sauce, these meatballs are oven-baked and quick to put on the dinner table. A crowd-favorite, these BBQ Cheddar Meatballs make a great dinner or appetizer.
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup unseasoned panko bread crumbs
- ¾ cup favorite bbq sauce, divided (½ cup for meatballs, ¼ cup for the top)
- 1-½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 cup grated peeled sweet potato (about 5 ounce sweet potato)
- 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1.5 pounds lean ground beef
- Preheat oven to 425º and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or lightly oil it.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, panko, ½ cup of bbq sauce, salt, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika until combined. Add in sweet potato, cheddar cheese and ground beef and mix together.
- Scoop out about 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture (a 2 ounce cookie scoop works amazing here), roll into meatballs and place on the baking sheet. Brush the remaining bbq sauce on the tops of the meatballs.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the meatballs are a bit crispy on the outside with an internal temperature of 165ºF.
- Serve with your favorite BBQ side dish.
This recipe makes enough for about 6 servings with some leftovers. Meatballs keep well for a few days in the refrigerator or in the freezer for a few months.
Keywords: BBQ Cheddar Meatballs