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My sister-in-law Erin mentioned to me the other day that she has been making some fabulous meatballs using our standard family recipe for Meatloaf. (Click here to see that fabulous recipe). She gave me a play by-play of how to make the meatballs happen I gave it a go this week.

It was the right thing to do, ladies and gentlemen. My family and I absolutely loved them. I served them with green peas and baked potatoes (click here for a tutorial on how to make the best baked potatoes of your life.)

These crispy meatballs are dripping with a sticky sweet and savory sauce. The inside is moist, flavorful and fabulous. They come together very quickly, you only need about 15 minutes prep and 40 minutes baking time to make them a reality.

Make ’em and love ’em, guys. They are a family pleasing kind recipe! Even MyHandsomeHusband (self-proclaimed hater of red meat) loved every last bite. They really are great.

Thanks for the idea, Erin! 🙂


Sweet and Savory BBQ Meatballs

Time: 15 minutes prep + 40 minutes baking
Yield: about 48 meatballs
Recipe slightly adapted from my awesome sister-in-law Erin Jepsen

1 onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 sleeves saltine crackers
2 pounds ground beef (I used 9% fat/91%lean)
3 eggs
salt and pepper
3 Tb honey mustard
1/2 C ketchup
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/4 C ketchup
3/4 C sweet baby rays
1 C brown sugar



1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
2. Chop an onion up into fine pieces. Now, just a word of caution here. Chop the onions much smaller than the onions you see in this picture. Mine ended up being a bit too big and I wished I had taken the time to chop them in to fine little pieces.


3. Pour 1 and 1/2 sleeves of saltine crackers into a gallon sized Ziploc bag. Crush the crackers with a rolling-pin…


until they are all crumbly and wonderful.


4. Into a large mixing bowl place the cracker crumbs, 2 pounds ground beef (I use 9% lean), 3 eggs, salt and pepper, 3 Tb honey mustard, 1/2 C ketchup
and 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce. Get your hands down into the bowl and mix all of the ingredients together well.


5. Line 2 large cookie sheets with tin foil and spray it with cooking spray. Roll the meat into 2 inch balls and lay them out evenly on the trays. (Look at those gigantic onions…do you see what I am saying here. Chop them up into teeny, tiny pieces won’t you?)
6. Bake them in the oven for 20 minutes.


7. While the meatballs cook away, combine 1/4 cup ketchup, 3/4 cup Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce and 1 cup brown sugar.


8. When the meatballs have a nice, crispy,  dark brown exterior take them out of the oven…


and drizzle about 2 teaspoons of sauce over each one. Pop them back in the oven for 15 minutes to allow the sauce to heat through and get all sticky and marvelous.

Serve and enjoy!

Sweet and Savory BBQ Meatballs from Jamie Cooks It Up

About Jamie

Thanks for dropping by today! I hope you find these recipes to be delicious!

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  1. Hi,
    I just wanted you to know that I make this recipe 1-2x per month and I do freeze the meatballs to make it easier. It’s amazing. My kids call is “Saucy Balls.” Just thought you deserved a call-out! 🙂

  2. I have found over the years many people like the flavor that onions give but not the texture of biting into one so I grate my onion on a hand held grater and it works GREAT no pun intended lol

  3. Great recipe. I did make some minor changes though just to suit my taste. I omitted onions because the baby in my belly doesn’t like onions and garlic. I added 2T of apple cider vinegar and 1t of seasoned salt to the sauce. Put the sauce and the baked meatballs into a cast iron and baked for the rest of the 15 minutes. So delicious, moist and tender! I usually suck at making meatballs because they come out dry and tough but not these. My go to from now on! Thank you!