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 easy entertaining.
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, but I don’t always like having my giant 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.
Many popular meatball recipes include a mixture of chili sauce and grape jelly. But I don’t keep chili sauce in the house. Which means if I’m trying to pull together a BBQ 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.
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 sauce
- Real maple syrup
- An orange
- Frozen meatballs
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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
And frozen meatballs are fully cooked, the only concern is that they are seated through. Which means you can use a fork to test their done this. If the fork pierces the meatball easily, the meatballs are warm through. If your meatballs are raw, or you are concerned about the internal temperature, use an instant read the meat thermometer and make sure it reads 160° 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.
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.
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. But my personal favorite is frozen french fries or tater tots. BBQ meatballs are often what I make when I’m in a hurry, or forgot to thaw something out for dinner, so a quick frozen side like french fries along with the frozen veggie help me get dinner on the table fast.