Easy BBQ Turkey Meatballs

The BEST baked meatball recipe! They’re quick & easy, full of flavor and always a crowd favorite!

BBQ turkey meatballs sitting on a gray plate served with corn tomato and avocado salad

If there’s one thing I’m well known for in my group of friends, it’s got to be my bbq turkey meatballs! I can’t even begin to tell you how many times they’ve asked me to bring these to pretty much every party or potluck we’ve have. And they’re always the first thing to go too! (I remember one time I completely underestimated the right amount to make and these babies were gone within the first hour…😲 Note to self (and to all of your reading this:) ALWAYS MAKE MORE THAN YOU THINK YOU NEED!) Especially when it comes to this specific recipe! These meatballs are so easy, only require a handful of ingredients, are perfectly moist and tender AND have the best bbq flavor! (Plus they’re made with better for you ingredients too!)

Close up of baked turkey meatballs covered in bbq sauce abd served with a fresh summer corn salad

Ingredients for bbq turkey meatballs

  • Ground turkey: The base of your bbq meatballs!
  • Eggs: Used as a binder in your meatballs.
  • Panko breadcrumbs: Helps to hold your meatballs together and adds to their smooth texture. (I love using panko instead of regular breadcrumbs because it gives your meatballs a light and airy mouthfeel. Regular breadcrumbs can make your meatballs way too dense chewy. You can also find gluten free panko breadcrumbs online too!)
  • Red onion (or white onion): Adds flavor and gives your turkey meatballs a little bit of texture.
  • Paprika: Adds color and a little mild flavoring.
  • Salt & pepper: Ground turkey can be a pretty bland meat but just a touch of salt and pepper can really brighten up your flavors!
  • Barbecue sauce: Adds so much flavor and helps to keep your turkey meatballs tender and moist. (Because turkey is very lean it needs some moisture & “fat” to keep them from drying out.) Feel free to use your favorite bbq sauce for this turkey meatball recipe!
Easy baked bbq meatballs on a gray plate surrounded by a blue linen napkin, fresh parsley and a plate with avocado and tomatoes

How to bake bbq meatballs in the oven

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray a broiler pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Next mix all of your meatball ingredients together and form your mixture into 1-1½ inch balls. Place the balls onto your prepared broiler pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. (Make sure the balls aren’t touching before baking them!)
  3. Meanwhile, heat up your bbq sauce on the stove until it warmed to your liking.
  4. Once the meatballs are done, toss them with your sauce and serve immedately. (We usually serve them with a little extra bbq sauce on the side!)

Do I have to use a brolier pan? Short answer – no. BUT I would strongly suggest using one because it allows all the excess fat and moisture to drip away from your meatballs. If you use a cookie sheet or something flat instead then your meatballs will be sitting in their own juices and won’t form a crispy crust all around.

A plate of 7 bbq turkey meatballs covered in bbq sauce sitting next toa plate of corn salad and a bundle of fresh parsley

Tips for making BBQ turkey meatballs

  • Turkey mixture sticking too much to your fingers? Try wetting your hands with water before rolling them to avoid a sticky mess.
  • Meatballs not holding their shape when you roll them? Add a sprinkle more of panko to your mixture to thicken it up a bit.
  • Want to serve these for a party? Bake your meatballs the day before your party, then place them in a crockpot a few hours before and pour your sauce over the top. Turn the crockpot on to low and let them warm to your perferred temperature. Then turn your crockpot on “warm” for the rest of the party and serve up!

Why you’ll love this bbq turkey meatball recipe

  • Moist & tender! These meatballs have that melt-in-your-mouth texture that just can’t be beat!
  • Perfect for meal prep! Bake your meatballs over the weekend for some easy lunches throughout the week!
  • Make a great light lunch or easy dinner! Just add your favorite cooked veggies and some potatoes are rice for a well balanced meal!
  • Easily made gluten free! Just swap out the regular panko for gluten free panko!

Moral of the story- if you love meatballs, then I know you’re going to absolutely LOVE these bbq meatballs too!

More meatball recipes you might like:

[Made one of my recipes? Make sure to tag my social media @kalefornia_kravings – I love seeing what you create!]

BBQ turkey meatballs sitting on a gray plate served with corn tomato and avocado salad
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5 from 1 vote

BBQ Turkey Meatballs

My go-to recipe for baked bbq meatballs! These meatballs are so easy to make, are packed with flavor and can easily be made gluten free too!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American, BBQ, Dairy free, Healthy, Meal prep
Keyword: bbq, dairy free, easy, healthy, meal prep, turkey meatballs
Servings: 15 meatballs
Author: Caitlin Monson


  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp panko bread crumbs
  • cup red onion, chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ cup barbecue sauce (plus extra to coat the meatballs)*


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a baking rack with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Form the mixture into decent sized balls and place them on your baking rack. Place the rack in the oven and bake the meatballs for 25-30 minutes.
  • Once done, either coat them in additional bbq sauce or serve them plain with extra bbq sauce on the side.


**I used Stubbs Smokey Mesquite sauce for the recipe.
Gluten free version: Use gluten free panko in place of regular panko!


  1. These look terrific!! I am going to check out your other recipes. I saw some really good ones on Pinterest. Your cooking style is just up my alley!!

  2. Hi Caitlin! Love your recipes, made these bbq meatballs tonight and they were delicious! I used sweet baby ray’s sauce, had a side of yukon gold mashed potatoes and made a copy of your zucchini and corn. Looking forward to trying more!

    • Hi Marc! Thank you so much, I’m so glad you loved them! They’re definitely a family favorite over here that’s for sure! And that meal sounds amazing too! Let me know if you try anything else! 🙂

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