Bacon Wrapped BBQ Meatballs - inspired by a prize winning recipe

This recipe is inspired by my husband’s classmate, who won first prize at the Big Bite Bacon Fest held at the Del Mar Country Fair in San Diego. His classmate is part of a Southern California competition grilling team, called Meat, Inc. He was nice enough to bring his winning dish to my hubby’s night class and my hubby was able to bring some home for us to sample. Unfortunately, he didn’t give my hubby the recipe and I had to improvise and make my own version of “Bacon Wrapped BBQ Meatballs”, which turned out pretty darn good, if I must say so myself.

I’ll be honest though, I’m not a fan of BBQ sauce or most things BBQ. I know…so un-American and I’ll often make the sacrifice and make dinners that I don’t really eat just to satisfy my BBQ sauce loving family. Can you see my glowing halo? LOL! But guess what? I can totally get down with these BBQ Bacon Wrapped Meatballs because they’re so good!

Bacon Wrapped BBQ Meatballs

Anyway, the next day my hubby brings home thick cut bacon, ground beef, and store made pork sausage (we used Albertson’s store made ground pork sausage). I guess it was a BIG hint that he wanted me to recreate his classmate’s winning dish. Well, it’s a good thing it has bacon on it because I’ll totally get down with anything with bacon ๐Ÿ™‚

Bacon Wrapped BBQ Meatballs

Shape the Meatballs

Since the ground pork sausage already had seasoning, I kept any added seasoning to a minimum. I just added ground beef, eggs, Italian bread crumbs, minced garlic, and onion powder into a large bowl with the pork and mixed everything together. To keep it quick and simple, I also used a store-bought BBQ sauce to coat the meatballs with.

Tips:

  • You can always use your own family favorite meatball recipe or premade store bought meatballs. *If using premade meatballs, adjust your cook time to ensure the meatballs are heated through and the bacon is cooked.*
  • If your meatball recipe contains Parmesan cheese, you may want to omit it. The bacon and Parmesan cheese will make it too salty.
Cheese filled BBQ bacon wrapped meatballs

Roll out approximately 28 meatballs the size of golf balls (maybe a little smaller). Optional – make holes in the center of each one and place a pinch of shredded Mexican cheese blend or a small cube of cheese into each center.

Wrap with Bacon

Bacon wrapped BBQ meatballs before baking

Wrap each meatball with a half slice of bacon and place on a foil lined baking sheet with the seam side down. Bake at 350F  for 20 minutes and drain the bacon fat out of the pan. Baste with BBQ sauce and return to the oven for 10 minutes. Check meatballs again and drain bacon fat again if needed. Baste for a second time with BBQ sauce and return to the oven for 5 minutes. Drain any remaining bacon fat.

Tips:

  • You can also buy bacon at the meat counter to get the exact amount of bacon needed. You’ll need approximately 14 pieces of thick cut bacon to wrap around the 28 meatballs.
  • You can place the meatballs on a cookie cooling rack to keep them out of the bacon fat when cooking. I prefer a quick clean up and just place the meatballs directly on the foil.
  • If you don’t care for too much BBQ sauce, you can always baste only once and serve BBQ sauce on the side.
  • You can slightly vary the taste of the meatballs by using different types of BBQ sauce. I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Cola-Q BBQ sauce.
  • Use thick cut bacon or the bacon will cook too fast and become too crispy.
  • This bake time makes a crispy bacon outside. Adjust the bake time for a less crispy bacon by cutting the bake time by 5 minutes. Just make sure the internal meatball temperature is 160F.
Bacon Wrapped BBQ Meatballs

Remove meatballs and serve. YUM!

So there is my version of a quick and easy Bacon Wrapped BBQ Meatballs. We ate ourย Bacon Wrapped BBQ Meatballsย with rice and corn. What will you eat yours with?

BBQ Bacon Wrapped Meatballs

Bacon Wrapped BBQ Meatballs

Yield: 28 meatballs
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

How to make meatballs coated with BBQ sauce and wrapped in thick bacon.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef (I used 85/15)
  • .75 - 1lb ground pork sausage
  • 2 packages thick cut bacon
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups Italian bread crumbs
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 T. onion powder (can use 1/4 cup finely chopped onions)
  • 1/4 cup shredded mexican cheese mix (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups BBQ Sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray's Sweet Cola-Q Sauce)

Instructions

    1. Place ground beef, pork sausage, eggs, bread crumbs, garlic, and onion powder into a bowl and thoroughly mix the ingredients together.
    2. Roll into approximately 28 golf-sized balls. Optional - Make a hole into the center of the ball and insert a pinch of cheese and pinch the ball shut. Shape back into a ball.
    3. Cut the bacon in half and wrap each meatball with a half slice of bacon.
    4. Place meatballs about an inch apart on a foil covered pan with the bacon seam down. Bake at 350F degrees for 20 minutes on the center rack. *You can also place the meatballs on a cookie rack in the pan. This will keep the meatballs out of the bacon grease.*
    5. At 20 minutes, take pan out and drain out bacon fat. Brush on BBQ sauce and place back into the oven for 10 minutes and brush on more BBQ sauce. Drain out pan again if needed. Brush on more BBQ sauce and place back into the oven for 5 minutes. *If you're not big on BBQ sauce, you can skip the third brushing of BBQ and serve BBQ sauce on the side*
    6. Drain any remaining bacon fat and serve.

Did you make this recipe?

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91 Comments

  1. A girl after my own heart. I, too, am not a huge fan of BBQ. But this looks really good! Never made meatballs with 2 types of meats so am looking forward to trying this on the Traeger.

  2. Omg. Great . I doubled the recipe and made them for football games at the bar. I won for best food and didn’t know there was a competition. Thank you for my new go to appetizer.

    1. I haven’t tried using frozen meatballs, but I would follow the package directions on cooking. I believe most frozen meatballs are precooked and you are just warming them up, so really the only thing that needs time to cook is the bacon wrapped around them.

  3. Had a question with the details… we’d serve 18 meatballs… but in the directions, it says 28? Typo? Just wanted to point that out… want to be clear with the directions

  4. I have made these 5 times for my bf… he loves them so much that I am currently making them for a family party… I am vegetarian so cannot tell you how they are but my bf always eats them up with a smile so I can safely say they must be DELICIOUS!!! โ™ก

  5. While I am nearly a vegetarian ( meat doesn’t agree with my digestion), I’ve decided my sweet husband of 42 years needs a big treat for the 4th of July and he will get bacon wrapped meatballs as an appetizer. Thanks so much for the recipe and this old woman really loves your blog and the content therein (recipes)!
    Hugs to ya!
    Ann

  6. I have made these twice now and it’s not turning put no where near your time. I followed your recipe.

  7. This is an amazing looking recipe, and would be perfect for a Super Bowl party! I’ll be sharing this on my social media pages today, thanks for sharing them at Friday Frenzy. Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚
    April recently posted…Friday Frenzy 1/30My Profile

  8. These looks so tasty ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for linking up to Creative Mondays, featuring this week at the hop..

  9. My oh My oh My! These meatballs look fabulous! I love this recipe so much I chose it as my personal favorite at this week’s Weekend Potluck party. Please be sure to stop by and share with us again. Hope you enjoy a wonderful weekend.

  10. I really love bacon and meatballs. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m featuring your recipe on Savoring Saturdays when it goes live at 7 pm Friday. Congrats and thanks for linking up with us!

  11. Wow, these sound amazing! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m going to feature it at tomorrow’s Savoring Saturday’s linky party. Hope you’ll join us again! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. So… my mouth is watering. Dripping. Oozing… I WILL be trying this at home! Thanks for sharing at the NEW #PinFest!

  13. Stopping by from the Do Tell Tuesday link party. I saw bacon and meatballs and thought hmmmm, then I saw that you put cheese inside and I fell in love. I love cheese, especially when it’s oozing out of something. Pinning, Diane @Mrs U Makes.

  14. OH WOW!!!! You had me at bacon wrapped+bbq+meatballs, but then I scrolled down and saw they were stuffed with CHEESE (my crack) and I just died!!!! I HAVE TO MAKE THESE!!! And the boyfriend is drooling over my shoulder, PINNING!!!!! Thanks so much for sharing, can’t wait to make ’em!
    Stopping by from Hump Day Happenings….
    B

  15. oh yeah, wrap about anything in Bacon and my boys will gobble it down. I don’t know if they will like the cheese so might have to do half and half to test. Will be making these meatballs this weekend! Thanks for sharing with us ๐Ÿ™‚ Over from Wine’d Down Wed., but I bet you came to Snickerdoodle too and we appreciate that Erlene!!
    Kristina & Millie recently posted…Retro Repin Pinterest Link Party #2My Profile

  16. Amazing!!! Thanks for linking up to Wonderful Wed. Blog Hop. I featured this amazing Bacon wrapped meatballs on my facebook page tonight.

    Blessings,
    Diane Roark

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