Perfect little appetizers or part of a main meal. These BBQ beef meatballs are sweet, savory and packed with juicy flavor! The brown sugar BBQ sauce is everything!
One of my all-time favorite flavors of food is.. barbecue! I love the sweet, tangy, smoky and spicy touches. I grew up eating BBQ chips very often, and my love of BBQ chips and flavors is still going strong.
When it comes to ground meat, I often have a more difficult time trying to figure out how to use it in my recipes. I’ve made a Korean “ground beef” rice bowl, turkey fried rice, turkey basil burgers and turkey meatballs! It’s a bit harder to work with compared to chicken breast in my opinion. I’ve been trying out different meatball recipes and I landed on this recipe I needed to share!
These brown sugar sesame BBQ meatballs would be perfect for an appetizer to bring to a party, a game night or an appetizer for a family dinner night in!
I formed all the grounds into meatballs with gluten-free breadcrumbs, egg and nutritional yeast (can sub parmesan cheese). It was such a simple recipe! This is truly all about the sauce though.
Many homemade BBQ sauces require liquid smoke or dry mustard but I didn’t have either. These two ingredients are less common in a pantry too. I didn’t use liquid smoke and subbed dijon mustard!
Although this would make a great appetizer, it’s also delicious served on top of rice as the protein option in a main dish.
Of course, when there are asian flavors in a dish, I always gotta add green onions and sesame seeds on top 🙂
Ground Beef: You can sub ground chicken or ground turkey!
Breadcrumbs: I used gluten-free breadcrumbs, but you can sub any other breadcrumbs you have. This would not be a gluten-free recipe anymore though. When I don’t have breadcrumbs, I add plain crackers into a bag or bowl and mash it until it gets really fine.
Nutritional Yeast/Parmesan: Either one works, as long as it is a grated cheese or replacement.
Sesame BBQ Beef Meatballs
- 1 lb ground beef can sub ground chicken/turkey
- 1/3 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs can sub 1/3 cup finely crushed plain crackers
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast or grated parmesan
- 1 egg
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
Brown Sugar BBQ Sauce
- 1 cup ketchup
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- Prepare brown sugar bbq sauce by mixing all ingredients into a small bowl. Transfer to a small sauce pan and warm up on low heat, stirring until thickened, about 1-2 minutes.
- Prepare meatballs by mixing ground beef, breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast/parmesan, egg, garlic, salt and pepper together in a large mixing bowl.
- Form all meat into 1 1/2 inch meatballs, about 2 tbsp portions.
- Preheat skillet to low-medium heat with ghee or sesame oil. Cook all meatballs until browned on the outside, about 3-4 minutes. Add in bbq sauce and allow to simmer for another 8-10 minutes! To check for doneness, cut open the thickest meatball to check the insides. Toss in a handful of edamame if desired!
- Top with roasted sesame seeds and sesame seeds!