Amish Meatball Recipe
These homemade BBQ meatballs are classic meatballs slathered with delicious homemade barbecue sauce. They are the perfect combination of savory, sweet, and smokey, making it impossible to eat just one.
This recipe makes a large batch, which is perfect for a potluck or to feed a party crowd. Or perhaps you like to do some make-ahead meal prep. This Amish meatball recipe freezes very well, so you can have homemade meatballs in the freezer for a handy meal on a busy night.
Amish meatballs are easy to make and loved by all.
Baked BBQ Meatballs for an Amish/Mennonite Wedding Dinner
I was a member of the Beachy Amish/Mennonite church when my husband and I got married almost twenty-one years ago. The Beachy group does not consider themselves as Amish, but they are still very conservative.
We invited between three and four hundred people to our wedding. Thankfully the Beachy groups have a church house, so we didn't have the wedding on our farm, as the Amish do. But we had a lot of rules that we had to follow. I sewed my wedding dress, which was white, and in the same dress style that we always wore.
We had a two-hour church service with the ceremony at the end. Then we served a large family-style dinner afterward. A lot of prep went into the meal, and that's usually about the biggest expense for a plain wedding. Family and church friends pitched in to help prepare and serve the meal.
Everyone seems to love homemade barbecue meatballs. And we had gotten a cow butchered several weeks before the wedding, so we had plenty of ground beef. Therefore, we decided to serve homemade bbq meatballs, scalloped potatoes, peas and carrots, coleslaw, buns with honey butter, and berry cheesecake dessert for our wedding meal.
And this is still one of my favorite go-to meals. It's a meal that most people enjoy.
Frozen Meatballs in Oven with BBQ Sauce
Since we had the freshly ground hamburger from butchering the cow, my mom decided that we should go ahead and make the meatballs right away and freeze them for the wedding. It was several weeks till the wedding, but these meatballs freeze well. So this allowed us to get some wedding meal prep done in advance.
You can make these barbecued meatballs and freeze them (unbaked) for handy meals at a later date. Mix the meatballs, shape the meatballs (Affiliate links - a cookie scoop or meat baller are handy tools for the job), and place them in a single layer on parchment-lined cookie sheets. Freeze them until solid. Then store the meatballs in freezer bags until ready to use. They should be fine in airtight freezer bags for several weeks and even up to a couple of months.
And you don't need to thaw the meatballs before baking. Place the frozen meatballs, single-layer, in a baking pan. Cover with the bbq sauce and bake covered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and continue baking for another 30 minutes.
Or you could also prebake the meatballs on a large baking sheet at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes until browned. Cool completely and freeze. Remove from the freezer, slather with bbq sauce and bake for 25 - 30 minutes. And if you want to take them to a potluck, you could even warm them in a crockpot. If the meatballs are prebaked they can be piled on top of each other. And pour the sauce over the top.
How to Make BBQ Meatballs in the Oven
Mix all the seasonings, crumbs, oats, eggs, and milk. Then add the hamburger and shape the meatball mixture into about 1 1/2" balls. Overmixing will result in tough meatballs.
Place the meatballs in a single layer in a cake pan or baking sheet with sides. Mix the bbq sauce ingredients and pour it over the top of the meatballs.
Bake the meatballs in bbq sauce for about 40 - 45 minutes.
What to Serve with my Homemade Barbecue Meatballs
These oven meatballs in barbecue sauce pair well with many different sides for dinner. Of course, Scalloped Potatoes are a great side dish. Creamy Amish Mashed Potatoes are another great side with meatballs. Or Pennsylvania Dutch Potato Filling, buttered noodles, Amish Potato Salad, and the list goes on.
A few things I love about this barbecue meatball recipe...
#1. They are great as a main dish for dinner. Or you can serve them as an appetizer.
#2. They are a crowd-pleaser. Everyone comes back for more.
#3. These meatballs are easy to make, and you can make them in advance. You can freeze them for an easy dinner on a busy night. And, if you're like me, I don't like getting up extra early on Sunday mornings to prepare lunch before church. So I make the meatballs on Saturday, refrigerate them overnight, and put them in the oven (on Delay Start) before church.
Check out my YouTube channel at My Amish Heritage
Homemade Oven-Baked BBQ Meatballs Recipe
- 3 lb. ground beef
- 1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk (or 1 1/2 c. half & half)
- 1 c. crushed saltine cracker crumbs (about 28 crackers)
- 3/4 c. quick oats
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 c. chopped onion
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 3/4 tsp. black pepper
- 2 1/2 c. ketchup
- 3/4 - 1 c. brown sugar
- 1/4 c. chopped onion, or 2 tsp. dried onion flakes
- 1 tsp. liquid smoke
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Combine the seasonings, milk, oats, crumbs, and eggs. Mix well.1 c. crushed saltine cracker crumbs (about 28 crackers), 3/4 c. quick oats, 2 eggs, 1/2 c. chopped onion, 2 tsp. salt, 2 tsp. chili powder, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 3/4 tsp. black pepper, 1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk (or 1 1/2 c. half & half)
- Add the hamburger and mix only to combine. Overmixing will create tough meatballs.3 lb. ground beef
- Roll the mixture into 1 1/2" balls and place single-layer into a baking dish.
- Spoon the barbecue sauce over the top of each meatball and bake, uncovered, for 35 - 45 minutes.
- If you want to freeze some of these meatballs for later use. Shape the meatballs and place them in single-layer on parchment-lined cookie sheets. Freeze until solid. Then store the meatballs in freezer bags until ready to bake. Place frozen meatballs in a baking dish, pour the sauce over them, and bake for approx. 1 hour.
- Combine all the ingredients and stir until sugar is dissolved. Spoon the sauce over the top of each meatball.2 1/2 c. ketchup, 3/4 - 1 c. brown sugar, 1/4 c. chopped onion, or 2 tsp. dried onion flakes, 1 tsp. liquid smoke, 1 tsp. garlic powder