BBQ Chicken Meatballs are a quick and easy weeknight dinner that you’re going to be overly impressed by. Made with ground chicken, plenty of flavorful herbs and spices, and simmered with your favorite barbecue sauce, this recipe is so tasty and takes just 20 minutes!
About these Meatballs
Holy moly! Move over regular meatballs, because these BBQ Chicken Meatballs are here to shine. These meatballs are SO flavorful and so satisfying.
Many people feel meatballs are intimidating to make. But believe me, this recipe is easy peasy and start to finish takes just 20 minutes. I think you'll love these P.F. Chang’s Cocktail Meatballs or these Zesty Turkey Meatballs, too!
These BBQ Chicken Meatballs are a great weeknight dinner, a fun party appetizer, and also great for meal prep for the week or to freeze. Barbecue sauce isn’t just for wings! Try these meatballs with your favorite sauce, too.
- Ground Chicken - I find 92-96% lean is best so there is some fat for flavor, but not too much that the meatballs become overly greasy.
- Panko Breadcrumbs and Egg - To give the BBQ Chicken Meatballs structure.
- Spices - I used cumin, paprika, and Green Goddess Seasoning. If you don't have a Trader Joe's near you to purchase this, you can instead use Italian seasoning.
- Dijon Mustard - Gives a bit of tang and a bit of spice.
- Minced Garlic - Garlic powder can work too.
- Barbecue Sauce - I used Low Sugar Hickory Smoked Barbecue Sauce. Use whatever is your favorite.
- Sriracha - For just a touch of heat. Omit if your barbecue sauce is already on the spicier side.
See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
How to Make This Recipe
1. First, finely dice a red onion and parsley and mince garlic if needed. Then in a mixing bowl, add all of the meatball ingredients together
2. Stir and ensure the egg is completely combined and breadcrumbs are evenly distributed throughout.
3. Then, heat a skillet to medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray. Use a medium sized cookie scooper (spray it with cooking spray so the meat mixture doesn’t stick) and scoop into meatballs (~12 meatballs). Place each meatball directly on the skillet.
4. Cook for 8-10 minutes, rotating 3-4 times to ensure the meatball is completely cooked on all sides. After flipping, cover the skillet to speed the cooking.
5. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the meatballs are cooked through (internal temp of 165°F). Use tongs and remove the meatballs from the pan and onto a plate.
6. Then, using the same skillet (no need to clean), heat to medium heat. Add BBQ sauce, water, sriracha, and salt to the skillet. Whisk it together until water is combined and you have a cohesive sauce. Add the meatballs back into the sauce and use a spoon to coat them.
7. Serve the meatballs with a fresh bag of sweet kale salad and also white rice. Enjoy!
Store the meatballs in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave prior to eating for 60-90 seconds, or until heated through.
Yes! You can freeze these meatballs two different ways:
1. Make and cook the meatballs through without the sauce. Store in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy, thaw in the fridge overnight then add the meatballs to a pan with the sauce to heat them through.
2. Finish the recipe all of the way through (meatballs + sauce) and store in an airtight container. Just thaw and reheat in the microwave when you’re ready to enjoy, no need to use a pan.
Air Fryer: You can also make these BBQ Chicken Meatballs in the airfryer. After forming the meatballs, generously coat your airfryer with cooking spray. Add meatballs and air fry at 400°F for 10 minutes. While cooking mix your sauce in a mixing bowl. Once the meatballs are finished, add them to the bowl with the sauce and coat thoroughly.
Oven: Making these BBQ Chicken Meatballs in the oven won’t give you the bit of browned outside you get when cooking stove top, but it is still possible. Form meatballs and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes. While their cooking, mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Remove meatballs from the oven, add to pyrex baking dish, coat with the sauce and return to the oven for 5-7 more minutes or until BBQ Chicken Meatballs reach an internal temp of 165°F.
There are a variety of ways you can enjoy these meatballs. I served them for dinner with rice and a fresh kale slaw. Some other ways to also enjoy:
- With toothpicks as a cocktail meatball appetizer
- On a sub for a BBQ meatball sub sandwich
- On skewers with grilled veggies
- Over spaghetti squash for a BBQ chicken squash bowl
More Recipes You'll Love
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BBQ Chicken Meatballs Recipe
- Mixing Bowl
- Rubber Spatula
- Cutting Board
- Measuring cups and spoons
- cookie scooper
- Meat Thermometer
For the meatballs:
- 1 lbs lean ground chicken
- ⅔ cup panko bread crumbs
- ½ cup red onion, diced
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, diced
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tbsp green goddess seasoning, Trader Joe's
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
For the sauce:
- ¾ cup barbecue sauce of choice, I used low sugar, hickory smoked barbecue sauce
- ½ cup water
- 1 tsp sriracha
- pinch of salt
- 1 bag sweet kale/cabbage salad mix
- 2 cups cooked white rice, divided amongst serving plates
- green onion, for garnish
- First, finely dice a red onion and parsley and mince garlic if needed.Then in a mixing bowl, add all of the meatball ingredients together and stir. Ensure the egg is completely combined and breadcrumbs are evenly distributed throughout.
- Heat a skillet to medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray. Use a medium sized cookie scooper (spray it with cooking spray so the meat mixture doesn’t stick) and scoop into meatballs (~12 meatballs). Place each meatball directly on the skillet.
- Cook for 8-10 minutes, rotating 3-4 times to ensure the meatball is completely cooked on all sides. After flipping, cover the skillet to speed the cooking.
- Use a meat thermometer to ensure the meatballs are cooked through (internal temp of 165°F). Use tongs and remove the meatballs from the pan and onto a plate.
- Using the same skillet (no need to clean), heat to medium heat. Add BBQ sauce, water, sriracha, and salt to the skillet. Whisk it together until water is combined and you have a cohesive sauce. Add the meatballs back into the sauce and use a spoon to coat them.
- Serve the meatballs with a fresh bag of sweet kale salad and white rice. Enjoy!
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I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. It’s my passion to create dishes that can be shared with others. Tell me something you loved or just say hi!
Courtney Paige says
This is one of my boyfriend's favorite recipes and gosh, I understand why! SO tasty, SO good. APOP doesn't miss.
Sydney Van Acker says
I need to get the notion out of my head that meatballs are difficult to make because these were silly easy and so dang delicious!!
Quick, easy, delicious, and healthy!! Definitely will make again!
Just made these and they are delicious! Just starting to get into cooking and these were super easy! I didn’t have bread crumbs so used crushed corn flakes and taste so good!
I LOVE this recipe!! Found it on tik tok and made them last week and they were perfect. I love a meal where I can easily eat it for leftovers and it checks all the boxes! Adding to the bi-weekly rotation