This recipe is by far the easiest (and most delicious) baked meatball recipe you’ll ever find! They’re healthy, loaded with flavor and are always a crowd favorite!
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 count how many times I’ve been asked to bring these little balls to a potluck, or party or any other social event really. And they always seem to want these exact bbq meatballs too! If I try to bring something else? No, they want meatballs… If I try to bring a different kind of meatball? Nope, only bbq will do! Ayyyy! So I think I’ve finally given up and have come to accept my apparently very important role in the group as the Meatball Mistress. 😉 But I’m taking that as a win and have decided to impart some meatball wisdom on you all today in the form of sharing this incredibly easy no-fail meatball recipe!
Best part about this recipe? The ingredients are so simple! All you need are the few items listed below:
- Ground turkey
- Panko breadcrumbs (These are key! You can also use gluten free panko as well.)
- Red onion (or white onion)
- Salt & pepper
- Barbecue sauce (use your personal favorite)
What type of breadcrumbs do I use to make these meatballs?
Most meatball recipes will call for regular or “Italian style” breadcrumbs. Personally, I don’t prefer using these in my recipe because I think it can make the balls rather dense and chewy. Instead I use panko breadcrumbs. If you’re not familiar with what panko is, they’re the type of breadcrumbs that are used to make tempura in many Japanese/Asian restaurants. The reason I love using panko instead of regular breadcrumbs is because panko is so much lighter and gives the meatballs that “melt in your mouth” feel to them. You can usually find these breadcrumbs in the Asian aisle at most grocery stores or possibly mixed in with the other breadcrumbs too. (You can also find gluten free panko online too if you’re gluten free.)
How do I cook bbq turkey meatballs?
Unlike some other recipes, these meatballs MUST be cooked in the oven! Because the mixture is more on the softer side, the meatballs can easily “deflat” when cooked in a saute pan and can also “fuse together” if cooked in a crock pot. That being said, I’ve always found the oven to be the best way to cook meatballs anyways; especially if you have the right equipment! Here’s what you’ll need below:
- Broiler pan: I’ve found that this type of pan works the best for cooking meatballs because it allows the excess moisture from the balls to drain off into the bottom part of the pan and leaves the balls super crispy on the outside. You can also use a large cookie tray in place of the broiler pan too. However, the meatballs will be crispy on top but not on the bottom because they’ll be sitting in their own moisture while they cook.
Can I add anything else to these meatballs?
Absolutely! I usually use this recipe as a base/starting point and just start adding from there! And the great thing about these meatballs is that you can as much or as little of an ingredient as you want! Just make it to fit your taste buds and you’re good to go! Here are some add-in ideas below:
- Chopped bell pepper
- Chopped green onion
- Grated zucchini
- Riced cauliflower
- Minced garlic
- Chopped spinach
How can I serve these meatballs for a party?
Simply bake your meatballs beforehand (even a few days before if you prefer), then place them in a crock pot with some sauce and turn the pot on to low. I usually check them after 30 minutes to see if they’re hot enough and then keep the slow cooker on “warm” until the end of the party. It works every time! (And it’s so easy to clean up too!)
Even More Reason to love these BBQ turkey meatballs:
- They’re incredibly moist and tender.
- They’re great for meal prepping during the week.
- They perfect for a light lunch or easy dinner.
- You can sneak a bunch of veggies in them and no one will ever notice!
Moral of the story- if you love meatballs, then I know you’re going to absolutely LOVE these bbq meatballs too!
Hope you’re having a great Monday babes! 🙂
More recipes like this:
- Baked Cajun Chicken Wings with Avocado Cilantro Lime Sauce
- Green Chile Turkey Burgers
- BBQ Chicken Quesadillas
- Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Gnocchi with Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip
[Made one of my recipes? Make sure to tag my social media @kalefornia_kravings – I love seeing what you create!]
BBQ Turkey Meatballs
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbsp panko bread crumbs (can be replaced with gluten free panko/breadcrumbs)
- ⅓ cup red onion, chopped
- 2 Tbsp water
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅛ 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.