Let's skip the slow cooker and have these delicious sweet and savory stove top BBQ Meatballs ready in 15 minutes with no grape jelly! This is a great recipe for last minute dinners or an easy appetizer.
- Ingredients for Stove Top Barbecue Meatballs
- How To Make Stove Top BBQ Meatballs
- Recipe Tips
- How to Make Homemade Frozen Meatballs
- Side Dishes for Stove Top Barbecue Meatballs
- How to Cook Frozen Meatballs on the Stove Top
- Drink Pairings for Stovetop BBQ Meatballs
- More Delicious Recipes You’ll Love
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- Easy, Stove Top BBQ Meatballs
Looking for a different (and delicious) recipe for tasty meatballs instead of the same one you have at every party? This is a great recipe to use for appetizer meatballs. It draws on the same sweet-savory concept but instead uses natural sugars and your favorite bbq sauce. It’s also easy to scale up for a large batch or use as written for a weeknight main dish.
Crockpot BBQ meatballs are a popular party appetizer and Super Bowl snack, but I don’t always like having my slow cooker out when I’m entertaining. A stove top BBQ meatballs recipe is much quicker and just as easy as using my slow cooker, but without the 2-3 hours of waiting.
Many popular meatball recipes are made with a mixture of chili sauce and grape jelly. But I don’t keep sweet chili sauce in the house and I hate making a last minute run to the grocery store.
Which means if I’m trying to pull together a barbecue meatball dinner or quick appetizer for last minute guests, I need to use ingredients that are always at hand. Like store-bought BBQ sauce, oranges, and maple syrup. I love this easy recipe for creating a quick dinner that's a family favorite.
Homemade frozen meatballs are one of my favorite things to keep stocked because they can go from freezer to stove and let me have dinner on the table super fast. There's no need to defrost or thaw frozen meatballs, making these BBQ Meatballs ideal for the nights when I forgot to plan ahead for dinner.
BBQ flavor not your thing? Try my Stove Top Italian Meatball Appetizer.
Ingredients for Stove Top Barbecue Meatballs
- Barbecue sauce - Choose your favorite for this recipe.
- Real maple syrup - Skip the pancake syrup and use 100% pure maple syrup.
- Fresh orange - Squeeze a fresh orange for this sauce.
- Frozen meatballs - Homemade or store bought, your choice.
How To Make Stove Top BBQ Meatballs
Place the BBQ sauce and maple syrup in a large pot.
Juice the orange and add the fresh orange juice to the pot. Whisk everything together until combined.
Add 12-18 frozen meatballs to the pot and gently stir to coat with the BBQ mixture.
Place the pot over medium-low heat, cover, and allow the meatballs to thaw as the sauce heats up. About 10-15 minutes.
Note: If you prefer a thicker sauce, remove the lid after the meatballs have mostly thawed and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes to allow some of the liquid to evaporate.
Serve warm or at room temperature with your favorite side dishes or party snacks.
- Turn these easy bbq meatballs into the perfect appetizer by making a double or triple batch of this recipe. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Leftover meatballs are delicious as a sandwich in a hoagie bun with some cheddar cheese and fresh lettuce.
How to Make Homemade Frozen Meatballs
My large batch meatballs recipe is perfect for making ahead and freezing so you’ll always have meatballs on hand for dinner or guests. This recipe for homemade meatballs is my go-to and what I use in these bbq meatballs. It combines ground beef with ground pork or ground turkey for super moist baked meatballs that freeze easily.
Side Dishes for Stove Top Barbecue Meatballs
There are lots of good options to go along with barbecue meatballs and turn them into a delicious dinner. Mashed potatoes, cheesy polenta, or noodles are all delicious sides for BBQ meatballs.
My favorite side dishes to pair with stove top barbecue meatballs are these parmesan potato rounds and my chili and garlic roasted carrots. Both bake in the oven, so I can toss them in together and let the oven do the work.
How to Cook Frozen Meatballs on the Stove Top
To cook frozen meatballs on the stove top, please 1 to 2 cups of your favorite sauce in a medium pot. Add your desired number of frozen meatballs, pasta meatballs in the sauce to cook them, and put a lid on the pot. Heat your sauce and meatball combination over medium low heat, stirring frequently, until The sauce is hot, the meatballs are thawed and pierce easily with a fork.
Typically, frozen store-bought meatballs are fully cooked so then the only concern is that they are heated through. Which means you can use a fork to test it they're done. If the fork pierces the meatball easily, the meatballs are warmed through. If your meatballs are starting out raw, or you are concerned about the internal temperature, use an instant read the meat thermometer and make sure it reads 165° when inserted into the center of a meatball.
To help ensure that I always serve a juicy meatball, I reheat them in a pot of sauce on the stove top over medium low heat, with a lid on top. This helps the meatballs reheat evenly. I like this better than cooking them in the Crock Pot since I can watch them more carefully and make sure they don't get dried out and I end up with juicy meatballs.
Yes! One of the best things about frozen meatballs is they are pre-cooked and can go from freezer to the stove without any defrosting time necessary. Simply add them to a pot of your favorite sauce and allow them to thaw as the sauce comes to temperature.
While you can cook meatballs in the sauce, I like to cook the meatballs in the oven first so that they get a good crust on them with minimal effort on my part. Then I place the cooked meatballs into a pot to warm up with sauce and served for dinner or snacking.