BBQ Meatballs with Cheese Grits

BBQ Meatballs with Cheese Grits is the perfect cozy meal for for crisp fall evenings, football games, and afternoons spent raking leaves.

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It’s officially cozy comfort food time! These BBQ Meatballs with Cheese Grits are the perfect mix of tangy BBQ sauce, juicy meatballs, and rich and creamy cheese grits to create all those cozy vibes. And if you’ve never had cheese grits before, definitely go check out my cheese grits blog post because they’re a delicious southern staple that can be topped with all sorts of delicious goodies. And today’s delicious goodies are BBQ meatballs. ;)

Overhead view of a bowl of cheese grits with bbq meatballs and collard greens

What to Serve with BBQ Meatballs and Cheese Grits

This is a pretty rich bowl of deliciousness on its own, so I highly suggest pairing it with something green to balance out the weight of the meal. I paired my BBQ Meatballs and Cheese Grits with Jerk Seasoned Collard Greens. The jerk seasoning pairs perfectly with the tangy BBQ sauce. You could also pair this dish with Roasted Broccoli, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Vegetarian Mustard Greens, or Braised Red Cabbage.

Can I Use a Different Meat?

Yes, if you do not eat pork you can definitely substitute with a different type of ground meat. Ground beef or turkey will both work great for this recipe. I highly suggest using ground meat that has a slightly higher percent fat to keep the meatballs moist and tender.

What Kind of BBQ Sauce Do you Suggest?

I’m an equal opportunity BBQ sauce lover, so I don’t really have a favorite. For this particular dish, I’d probably go for something smoky or honey flavored, both of which will pair well with the cheddar cheese in the grits. I would probably avoid anything pineapple or teriyaki flavored.

If you want to try making your own BBQ sauce, check out my Homemade BBQ Sauce recipe.

A fork cutting into a bbq meatball on a bed of cheese grits
Overhead view of a bowl of cheese grits with bbq meatballs and collard greens

BBQ Meatballs with Cheese Grits

BBQ Meatballs with Cheese Grits is the perfect cozy meal for crisp fall evenings, football games, and afternoons spent raking leaves.
Total Cost $7.74 recipe . /$1.94 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 841kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

BBQ Meatballs

  • 1 lb. ground pork $3.49
  • 1 large egg $0.21
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs $0.07
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce, divided $0.54
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02

Cheese Grits

  • 2 cups chicken broth $0.26
  • 2 cups milk $1.25
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1 cup quick cooking grits $0.49
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.18
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar $1.15

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Add the ground pork, egg, breadcrumbs, 2 Tbsp BBQ sauce, salt, smoked paprika, and garlic powder to a bowl. Use your hands to mix the seasoning into the pork until everything is well combined.
  • Divide and shape the pork mixture into 16 meatballs about the size of ping pong balls. Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Transfer the meatballs to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until browned and cooked through.
  • While the meatballs are baking, prepare the cheese grits. Combine the chicken broth, milk, and garlic powder in a medium saucepot. Place a lid on top and bring it up to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to prevent the milk from scorching.
  • Once boiling, stir in the quick cooking grits and salt. Turn the heat down to medium-low and let the grits simmer for about 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove the grits from the heat and stir in the butter and pepper. Next, stir in the shredded cheddar, one handful at a time, until fully melted into the grits.
  • Once the meatballs have finished baking, add them to a clean bowl and pour the remaining BBQ sauce over top. Stir to combine. The heat from the meatballs will warm the BBQ sauce. If your BBQ sauce is cold from refrigeration, you may want to heat the meatballs and sauce in a saucepot over low for a few minutes.
  • To serve, place about one cup of the cheese grits in the bottom of a bowl. Top with four meatballs and some of the BBQ sauce. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 841kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 46g | Sodium: 2010mg | Fiber: 3g
side view of bbq meatballs and cheese grits in a bowl with collard greens

How to Make BBQ Meatballs with Cheese Grits – Step by Step Photos

meatball ingredients in a bowl

Preheat the oven to 375ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add 1 lb. ground pork, 1 large egg, ¼ cup breadcrumbs, 2 Tbsp BBQ sauce, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp smoked paprika, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper to a large bowl. Mix the ingredients together until well combined.

raw, shaped meatballs on the baking sheet

Divide and shape the pork mixture into 16 meatballs roughly the size of ping pong balls. Transfer the meatballs to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until browned and cooked through.

Milk being poured into a pot with chicken broth

While the meatballs are baking, prepare the cheese grits. Add 2 cups chicken broth, 2 cups milk, and ¼ tsp garlic powder to a medium sauce pot. Bring the liquid up to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.

grits being poured into the pot with the milk and broth

As soon as the liquid reaches a boil, stir in 1 cup quick cooking grits and ¼ tsp salt. Turn the heat down to medium-low and let the grits simmer for about five minutes, or until thickened.

butter and pepper added to the grits

Remove the grits from the heat and stir in 2 Tbsp butter and ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper.

Shredded cheddar being added to grits

Finally, stir in a handful of the shredded cheddar at a time until fully melted, repeating until all of the cheese has been added (1 cup total).

Baked meatballs on the baking sheet

Remove the baked meatballs from the oven and transfer them to a large bowl.

BBQ sauce coated meatballs in a bowl with a spatula

Pour the remaining BBQ sauce (about 1 cup) over the meatballs and stir to combine. The heat from the meatballs will warm the BBQ sauce. If your BBQ sauce was cold from refrigeration, you may want to do this in a sauce pot over low heat to help heat the sauce.

close up side view of bbq meatballs on cheese grits

To serve, place about 1 cup cheese grits in a bowl and top with 4 meatballs plus some of the sauce. Enjoy!

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Teriyaki Meatball Bowls

I’m kind of obsessed with meatballs. They’re easy to make, filling, they pack well for lunches, are freezer-friendly, and can be paired with so many different flavors. Plus, I just kind of think meatballs cute (is that weird?). This time I seasoned my meatballs with some garlic and ginger, and drenched them in a homemade […]

The post Teriyaki Meatball Bowls appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’m kind of obsessed with meatballs. They’re easy to make, filling, they pack well for lunches, are freezer-friendly, and can be paired with so many different flavors. Plus, I just kind of think meatballs cute (is that weird?). This time I seasoned my meatballs with some garlic and ginger, and drenched them in a homemade teriyaki sauce for these super easy and delish Teriyaki Meatball Bowls. You’re going to love the simplicity of this meal, and those juicy little pork and ginger meatballs!

Originally posted 1-20-2012, updated 12-6-2019

Homemade Teriyaki Meatball Bowls

Teriyaki meatball bowls with teriyaki sauce being drizzled on top with a spoon, a bowl of sesame seeds on the side.

Can I substitute the Pork?

I used ground pork for this recipe because it’s inexpensive and always juicy, but you could certainly use ground turkey or chicken instead. The bulk of the flavor comes in the potent teriyaki glaze that coats the meatballs, so any milder ground meat works great. Ground beef can be used, but I find the flavors work a little better with mild white meat.

How long do the Teriyaki Meatball Bowls last?

You can store these meatball bowls in the refrigerator for about 4 days. To reheat, simply microwave for about 2 minutes, or until heated through.

Can the Meatball Bowls be Frozen?

Most of the components of these bowls are freezer friendly—the meatballs, rice, and broccoli. The teriyaki sauce, however, is not. Sauces thickened with cornstarch don’t tend to hold up to freezing and thawing. So you have a few options here. You can freeze the cooked or uncooked meatballs to quickly reheat or cook on busy nights, and then make the rest of the dish fresh, or freeze the meatball bowls whole but without the teriyaki sauce. You can then make the teriyaki sauce fresh and drizzle over top after reheating the bowls.

Teriyaki Meatball bowls in rectangular glass meal prep containers

You can find these rectangular Pyrex meal prep containers in my Amazon Shop.

Other Ways to Serve Teriyaki Meatball Bowls

If you love pineapple with your teriyaki, simply stir a can of drained pineapple tidbits into the sauce, or use thawed frozen pineapple tidbits. These teriyaki meatballs also make a great appetizer! Just drench them in the sauce and serve with toothpicks.

Updated Recipe

As mentioned above, this is an updated version of an old recipe from 2012. The older version had more of a sesame sauce, whereas this newer version is a straight, classic teriyaki sauce. If you’re a fan of the older version, click here to download the old recipe.

 

Teriyaki Meatball Bowls

Teriyaki Meatball Bowls include fragrant jasmine rice, tender pork meatballs, hoemamde teriyaki sauce, and broccoli florets for an easy meal prep friendly meal!

PORK AND GINGER MEATBALLS

  • 1 lb. ground pork ($3.49)
  • 1 large egg ($0.23)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs ($0.13)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced ($0.08)
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger ($0.10)
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce ($0.02)
  • 2 green onions, sliced ($0.2)

TERIYAKI SAUCE

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce ($0.48)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar ($0.18)
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger ($0.20)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 1 cup water ($0.00)
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch ($0.06)

FOR SERVING

  • 1 cup jasmine rice ($0.66)
  • 2 cups water ($0.00)
  • 2 green onions ($0.08)
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds ($0.8)
  • 1 lb. frozen broccoli florets ($2.59)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Begin with the meatball mixture. Add the ground pork, egg, breadcrumbs, minced garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and sliced green onions to a bowl. Use your hands to mix the ingredients until evenly combined.

  2. Divide and shape the meatball mixture into 16 ping pong sized balls. Place the shaped meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Baked the meatballs for about 20 minutes, or until they are golden brown and have reached an internal temperature of at least 160ºF.

  3. While the meatballs are cooking, begin the rice. Add the jasmine rice and water to a sauce pot. Place a lid on top and turn the heat onto high. Bring the pot up to a full boil, then turn the heat down to low and allow it to simmer, undisturbed for 15 minutes. After simmering for 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let it sit, with the lid still in place, for an additional 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.

  4. While the rice and meatballs are cooking, prepare the teriyaki sauce. Combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, minced garlic, grated ginger, water, and cornstarch in a medium sauce pot. Stir to dissolve the cornstarch. Place the pot over medium heat. Stir and cook the sauce until it begins to simmer, at which point the sauce will thicken and turn from opaque to a shiny sauce. Remove the sauce from the heat.

  5. Finally, if serving the meatball bowls immediately, cook the frozen broccoli florets according to the package instructions. If you're packing the bowls as meal prep, the broccoli florets can be added in their frozen state.

  6. Once the meatballs have finished baking, add them to the sauce pot with the teriyaki sauce and stir to coat.

  7. To build the bowls, divide the cooked rice and broccoli florets between four bowls or containers. Add four meatballs to each bowl, then drizzle the extra sauce overtop. Finish the bowls by adding sliced green onion and sesame seeds to each bowl.

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Close up of teriyaki meatball bowls with sauce being drizzled over top

 

How to Make Teriyaki Meatball Bowls – Step By Step Photos

Pork and Ginger Meatball Ingredients in a bowl

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Combine 1 lb. ground pork, 1 large egg, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, 1 clove of minced garlic, 1 tsp grated fresh ginger, 2 sliced green onions, and 1/2 tsp soy sauce in a large bowl. Use your hands to mix the ingredients until they are evenly combined.

Shaped pork meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper

Divide and shape the meatball mixture into 16 ping pong sized balls, and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 

Baked pork meatballs on the baking sheet.

Bake the meatballs for about 20 minutes, or until they’re golden brown and the internal temperature has reached 160ºF.

Cooked Rice in a pot.

Once the meatballs are in the oven, begin the rice. Add 1 cup jasmine rice and 2 cups water to a sauce pot. Place a lid on top and put the pot over high heat. Bring the pot up to a full boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer with the lid in place for 15 minutes. After simmering for 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let it sit undisturbed for 5 more minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork before serving.

Teriyaki sauce in the pot uncooked

Once the meatballs and rice have started, it’s time to make the quick teriyaki sauce. In a medium sauce pot, combine 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 cloves of minced garlic, about 2 tsp grated ginger, 1 cup water, and 2 Tbsp cornstarch. Stir until the cornstarch is dissolved.

Cooked teriyaki sauce in the sauce pot

Place the sauce pot over medium heat and cook the sauce, stirring often, until it comes up to a simmer. When it reaches a simmer the sauce will thicken into a shiny glaze. Remove the sauce from the heat.

Frozen broccoli florets

If you’re going to be serving the teriyaki meatball bowls right away, heat 1 pound of frozen broccoli florets according to the package directions (or just heat in the microwave). If you’re going to be packing these bowls up for meal prep, the broccoli florets can go into the containers frozen.

Meatballs coated in teriyaki sauce in the sauce pot

By this time the meatballs should be finished baking. Transfer them to the pot with the teriyaki sauce and stir to coat.

Finished teriyaki meatball bowls with a fork, yellow napkin, and bowl of sesame seeds.

To build your bowls, divide the cooked rice and broccoli florets between four bowls. Add four meatballs to each bowl and drizzle the extra sauce over top. Finish the bowls by topping with more sliced green onion and some sesame seeds.

Teriyaki meatball bowls in rectangular glass meal prep containers

As with any meal prep, if you’re packing these up for later, make sure to get them into the refrigerator right away so they can cool down as quickly as possible to maintain quality and avoid food safety issues.

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