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Beer BBQ Meatballs

Ditch that grape jelly cocktail meatball recipe. Spoil your guests with these savory beer BBQ meatballs instead!

Ditch that grape jelly cocktail meatball recipe. Spoil your guests with these savory beer BBQ meatballs instead!

Ditch that grape jelly cocktail meatball recipe. Spoil your guests with these savory beer BBQ meatballs instead!

Meatballs are the best. I always have frozen homemade meatballs in my freezer. It’s easy to fix a quick dinner on busy/lazy nights. It’s also effortless and delicious to feed a crowd!

When it comes to sauce, my husband and I dislike the old grape jelly cocktail meatball sauce. I tried with other jellies as well, but it’s no-go in our family. Too sweet, too strong, simply not for us.

Ditch that grape jelly cocktail meatball recipe. Spoil your guests with these savory beer BBQ meatballs instead!

Well, I’ve been experimenting with different sauces for cocktail meatballs and came up with this simple, yet flavorful sauce. Beer BBQ sauce was absolutely delicious! You can use any kind of beer. Just like wine, whatever you like to drink would be perfect for cooking. Except darker stouts would probably give bitter taste, so I’d steer clear from them. 🙂

Ditch that grape jelly cocktail meatball recipe. Spoil your guests with these savory beer BBQ meatballs instead!

I picked up this tip to use fine Panko (japanese breadcrumbs) in meatballs from Food Network a while back. What a genius idea! I hated when no matter how well I mixed the meat with soaked bread, some meatballs would still end up with chunks of bread. (<- Have you had this problem?) My biggest pet peeve! That’s been forever resolved with fine Japanese breadcrumbs. Perfectly moist, juicy meatballs without any weird bread hanging out inside! 🙂

To make perfectly uniform meatballs, I use this medium cookie scoop. Shaping the meatballs never been so easy!

Ditch that grape jelly cocktail meatball recipe. Spoil your guests with these savory beer BBQ meatballs instead!

Definitely give this recipe a try for your next game day gathering.

Beer BBQ Meatballs

Ditch that grape jelly cocktail meatball recipe. Spoil your guests with these savory beer BBQ meatballs instead!

Yield: 54 meatballs

Ingredients:

For meatballs:

  • 1 cup Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 2lbs ground beef
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the sauce:
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1 cup beer
  • Few squirts of Sriracha
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (177°C).
  2. In a food processor, pulse Panko until fine crumbs. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine beef, panko, garlic, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Dig in with your hands and thoroughly mix all the ingredients.
  4. To make uniform meatballs use a medium cookie scoop and form 1.5-inch meatballs. With a wet hand, squeeze each balls to smooth out the surface. At this point you can freeze the meatballs for later use.
  5. To make the sauce, whisk together BBQ sauce and beer. Add a few squirts of Sriracha (by a few, I mean 4-5, and it wasn’t too spicy) and salt to your taste.
  6. In a baking dish lined with aluminum foil, arrange the meatballs and pour the sauce over. Bake for 40-45 minutes. (If you’re using frozen meatballs bake for 1 hour.) You can also use slow cooker to cook the meatballs. Simply place the meatballs with sauce and cook for 5 hours on low.

For step-by-step photos and additional notes, read the post above.

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38 comments

  1. These meatballs look incredibly delicious but the hero of this dish is definitely that beer and barbecue sauce! It sounds seriously amazing and jam packed full of yummy flavour. Thanks for the great recipe!

  2. These look amazing and I love the idea of flavorful beer barbecue sauce! Sriracha is my favorite hot sauce! You have a great blog and picture are amazing! Found you through food gawker and I’m glad I did! I have to save and pin so many from the recipes here, because I love them!

    • Welcome to my blog, Mira. I’m so glad you found it. “When in doubt, add Sriracha” is my mantra. Haha jk, but really I almost always add Sriracha when I need a little kick! 🙂

  3. I can’t wait to try these on Game Day! I know you said any flavor beer, but what do you think about using Redds Apple Ale? Thanks

    • Hmm, I’ve never had Redds Apple Ale, and honestly have no idea what to say. Quick google search gave me an impression that it’s a light fruity beer. So it might get overpowered by BBQ sauce. I usually drink medium bodied beers and they usually work great. For this particular recipe, I used Samuel Adams Octoberfest that I had on hand.

  4. Sounds great, but what is Sriracha?

  5. what kind of bbq sauce…sweeet?

  6. I love serving meatballs over couscous for dinner. It’s so fast and simple. This sauce sounds awesome. Plus, my husband will love an excuse to buy beer.

  7. Made these tonight and they were delicious!!! Even the hubby gave it two thumbs up! Thank you for sharing.

  8. You are SO right that these will knock the socks off of those grape jelly meatballs! Yum!

  9. Can I marinate the meatballs in the sauce overnight and then slow cook it all the next day?

  10. Wow- made these to test out for a later party. Used 1-ish pound ground chuck, 1-ish pound ground sirloin and 1-ish pound ground pork.

    Doubled the sauce ingredients. Tossed the garlic in to the panko to whirl thru the food processor. Skipped the pan lining of foil (wasteful and I’m always afraid i’ll get a small piece in my mouth-ugh!) Followed the directions on baking but next time I’ll roll ’em over half way thru to get all that yummy sauce glazed on all sides well. AMAZINGLY GOOD! They will be made again and again.

    • Hi, Madeline! I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed the meatballs. I love that you used the mixture of cuts and types of meat! I bet it added even more flavor. 🙂 Thanks for trying my recipe and for your feedback!

  11. Those loook soooooooo yum. Meatballs with beer <3 <3 <3! love it. 

  12. I can’t wait to try these…the beer and bbq combo sounds fantastic! YUM!

  13. Yes, please! This is an appetizer I can get behind. I’ll take a whole batch, thanks! 🙂

  14. I made these twice! Once just for my hubby & me and then again for an Octoberfest we hosted at our house. They were a huge hit! The flavors are outstanding. This will be my “party” dish when invited to bring a covered dish! Thank you!

  15. Have you ever frozen these? What would the freezer instructions be?

    • Emily, you can freeze the meatballs before cooking in the sauce. To freeze the meatballs, I usually shape the meatballs and arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. I put the baking sheet with meatballs in the freezer until completely frozen. Then I just put them in a freezer bag to store, or if I’m storing for a long time, I vacuum seal them. Hope this helps.

  16. These sound amazing! My husband would love it if I made these for the football game!

  17. Did you use a high or low fat ground beef (20% or 7%)

    • We usually make our own ground beef, so not really sure what’s percentage. I suggest to go with 7% fat, as ours isn’t very fatty. Hope this helps, Laurie.

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