You can’t go wrong with BBQ Meatballs as a party appetizer any time of year.
Whether you start with homemade meatballs (like our basic (delicious!) meatballs or these baked turkey meatballs) or buy them frozen, the secret to making the best barbecue meatballs is making this delicious slightly sweet and smoky barbecue sauce to go with them.
Homemade BBQ Sauce
I know you’re thinking, “Make my OWN barbecue sauce? Impossible.” Guess what? Making homemade barbecue sauce is not hard AT ALL. All you do is add ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and spices in a skillet and bring it all to a boil.
Feel free to use 1/2 cup of brown sugar instead of 1/4 cup if you like your sauce sweeter.
Once you bring the BBQ sauce to a boil, add the meatballs and simmer for about 10-15 minutes. That’s it. And I know I called them a party appetizer, but you can serve ’em to your family for dinner too. They go great with rice or our favorite Mashed Potatoes. I know your family’s going to love them.Print
- 1 bag (32 oz.) store-bought frozen meatballs (or homemade)
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- Make meatballs according to the package instructions (or homemade following this recipe).
- In a skillet, add the ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low.
- Add meatballs and simmer, uncovered, until heated through, 10-15 minutes.
This post originally appeared in January 2018 and was revised and republished in January 2021.