Easy Homemade Meatballs

These easy homemade meatballs are freezer-friendly and versatile. Keep a batch in the freezer for quick weeknight dinners later!

The post Easy Homemade Meatballs appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I love meatballs and have several recipes for fun meatball recipe variations on the website already, but I wanted to have one good basic and easy homemade meatball recipe that could be used in several different meals. That way you can keep a batch of these tasty meatballs in your freezer and use them in different quick weeknight meals later. I’m all about making things easy and uncomplicated!

A plate full of spaghetti and meatballs with a fork twirling the pasta

This homemade meatball recipe is super simple, pared-down, and basic for when you need something fast, easy, and uncomplicated. The other advantage to keeping these meatballs simple is that it makes them more versatile! Because the flavor profile is simple, you can pair these meatballs with a variety of sauces and meals.

And as always, I’ve got a couple of upgrade options for you below if you do want to take these meatballs up a notch and make something a little fancier.

Why Do Meatballs Have Egg and Breadcrumbs?

Egg and breadcrumbs are added to meatballs to help hold together, and the combination helps give the meatballs a slightly more tender texture. While I have made some meatballs without eggs and breadcrumbs in the past (see my Beef Kofta Meatballs), they don’t hold together quite as well and the meat has a more firm texture, similar to that of a hamburger.

If you need to replace the egg or breadcrumbs for dietary reasons, you can experiment with using a flax egg (1 Tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 3 Tbsp water) for the egg, and using oatmeal, rice, or crushed gluten-free crackers in place of the breadcrumbs.

Can I Use Different Meat?

Yes, meatballs work great with several different types of ground meat. Just keep in mind that different types of ground meat contain different amounts of fat and moisture, so substituting the meat can change the texture and flavor of the meatballs.

The recipe below uses Italian sausage, which has a ton of herbs and spices already in the meat. Because of that, the meatballs only needed a small amount of extra seasoning added. So if you substitute the Italian sausage with a different type of ground meat, make sure to increase the seasoning in the meatballs accordingly.

How to Use Homemade Meatballs

There’s nothing easier or more satisfying than a plate of spaghetti with red sauce and meatballs, but that’s not the only way to eat meatballs! Here are some other things you can do with homemade meatballs:

  • Make meabtall subs (hoagie rolls, red sauce, meatballs, mozzarella)
  • Add the meatballs to a soup (they’d be great in Minestrone)
  • Use them in place of plain beef in Stroganoff
  • Serve on top of mashed potatoes with a brown gravy
  • Toss with pesto and serve on veggie noodles
  • Stuff inside of a calzone or slice and use to top a pizza
  • Add to a bowl meal (rice, veggies, any sauce)
  • Add to baked pasta (like Roasted Vegetable Baked Ziti)

What Else Can I Add?

If you want to take your meatballs up a notch and make them a little fancier, there are several things you can add. Try adding some fresh minced onion or garlic for an extra punch of flavor. Or try using some flavor add-ins like crumbled bacon, sun-dried tomatoes, or fresh herbs (basil, parsley, oregano). You can also try swapping out the milk for a different flavored liquid, like broth or even some of your red sauce. And I’m always a fan of adding a pinch of crushed red pepper to just about anything!

Meatballs in a pot of red sauce with a spoon holding two meatballs
Meatballs in a pot of red sauce with a spoon holding two meatballs

Easy Homemade Meatballs

These easy homemade meatballs are freezer-friendly and versatile. Keep a batch in the freezer for quick weeknight dinners later!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Total Cost $10.92 recipe / $1.37 serving
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 about 5 meatballs each
Calories 418kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs $0.32
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan $0.88
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp pepper $0.03
  • 2 large eggs $0.42
  • 1/4 cup whole milk $0.11
  • 1 lb. bulk Italian sausage $3.00
  • 1 lb. ground beef $5.99

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. In a separate small bowl, lightly whisk the two eggs.
  • Add the breadcrumb mixture, eggs, milk, Italian sausage, and ground beef to a large bowl. Use your hands to mix the ingredients together until evenly combined. Avoid over mixing the meat.
  • Let the meatball mixture rest for five minutes to allow the breadcrumbs time to soften. Divide and shape the meat into about 40 meatballs, approximately 2 Tbsp in volume each.

Oven Cooking Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Place the meatballs on the baking sheet about one inch apart from each other.
  • Bake the meatballs for about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  • Transfer the meatballs to a pot of red sauce and simmer for five more minutes in the sauce. If not using a red sauce, add an additional 3-5 minutes to the bake time, or until the meatballs are cooked through.

Stove Top Cooking Instructions

  • Add a tablespoon of cooking oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Once hot, swirl the oil to coat the surface of the skillet. Add half of the meatballs to the skillet.
  • Cook the meatballs, turning every couple of minutes, until browned on all sides and cooked through. Repeat with the second batch of meatballs.
  • Transfer the cooked meatballs to a pot of red sauce and simmer for a few minutes more before serving.

Freezing instructions

  • You can freeze the meatballs either cooked or uncooked. I prefer freezing them already cooked so they can go straight from the freezer into a pot of red sauce and then just simmer until heated through. Cooked meatballs should be completely cooled before placing in a gallon-sized freezer bag and transferred to the freezer.
  • To freeze uncooked meatballs, place the raw meatballs on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze on the baking sheet until solid (1-2 hours) before transferring to a gallon-sized freezer bag for longer storage. Thaw completely before cooking.

Nutrition

Serving: 5meatballs | Calories: 418kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 33g | Sodium: 691mg | Fiber: 1g
Side view of meatballs on a plate of spaghetti with red sauce

How to Make Homemade Meatballs – Step by Step Photos

egg and breadcrumb mixture

Lightly whisk two large eggs in a small bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine ½ cup breadcrumbs, ½ cup grated Parmesan, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp onion powder, ½ tsp Italian seasoning, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Pre-mixing these ingredients helps them incorporate more evenly into the meat without having to overmix the meat.

Meatball ingredients in a bowl

Add the whisked egg, breadcrumb mixture, ¼ cup milk, 1 lb. Italian sausage, and 1 lb. ground beef to a bowl.

meatball mixture in a bowl

Let the meatball mixture sit for five minutes to allow the breadcrumbs to absorb some of the moisture.

shaped meatball held in a hand over the bowl

Divide and shape the meatball mixture into about 40 meatballs, 2 Tbsp each. I have small hands, so this may actually look bigger than they were. I used a 2 Tbsp measuring cup to portion the meat.

Meatballs on a baking sheet ready to bake

To bake the meatballs, preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the meatballs on the baking sheet with about one inch between each.

baked meatballs on the baking sheet

Bake the meatballs for about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned, then transfer to a pot of red sauce and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. If not using a red sauce, bake for 3-5 minutes longer, or until cooked through.

Meatballs cooked in a skillet

To cook the meatballs in a skillet, heat one tablespoon cooking oil in a large skillet over medium. Once hot, swirl to coat the skillet in oil, then add the meatballs. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side or until browned on all sides and cooked through.

Meatballs in a pot of red sauce

Whether you cook your meatballs in the oven or on the stove top, finishing them off with a brief simmer in red sauce adds an extra dose of flavor and helps keep the meatballs nice and tender.

Meatballs in a freezer bag

To freeze the cooked meatballs, cool them completely in the refrigerator first, then place them in a freezer bag and transfer to the freezer for longer storage (about 3 months). Once frozen they can be dropped straight from the freezer into a pot of red sauce and simmered until heated through.

Meatballs in a pot of red sauce with spaghetti and herbs on the sides

Try These Other Meatball Recipes:

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Glazed Ham Steaks

Glazed ham steaks are a quick and easy dinner idea that only takes a few ingredients and about 15 minutes to prepare.

The post Glazed Ham Steaks appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I don’t know about you, but it feels like Thanksgiving was just yesterday and I’m not ready to make another big dinner yet. So for Christmas, I’m making these super simple ham steaks instead of a full glazed ham. They’re so incredibly quick, I get my ham fix, and I can spend Christmas day relaxing. 😎 These glazed ham steaks are so good and so easy that they’ll probably be making their way into my normal dinner rotation, too.

Two glazed ham steaks on a plate with Brussels sprouts and sweet potato

Shown with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and a baked sweet potato.

What Kind of Ham to Use

I like a thick-cut (½-inch thick) sliced ham steak for this recipe because it gives it more of a main-dish type feel. There are many options for sliced ham or sliced ham quarters in the grocery store (near the refrigerated cured meats) and you can use just about any of them. If you end up with ham that is sliced more thinly, you’ll just cook for a shorter amount of time during the browning step below. And you may need to make more glaze if you’re trying to cover more pieces.

Other Glaze Options

The glaze I used here is a sweet and slightly tangy mix that reduces to a nice sticky glaze. You can’t really taste the Dijon mustard in the end, but if you don’t like Dijon or simply don’t have any on hand, you can also use a sweet-spicy-smoky rub like I used in my Glazed Pork Chops recipe.

How are the Leftovers?

I love, love, loved eating the leftovers of this ham. So much so that I think I might meal prep this on a regular basis! Glazes like this don’t stay clear and glossy after refrigeration, but they still taste great!

What to Serve with Glazed Ham Steaks

I served my glazed ham with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and a baked sweet potato, but it would also go great with classics like Homemade Mac and Cheese, Potato Salad, Three Bean Salad, Roasted Broccoli, or a Broccoli Cheese Casserole.

For something like a mini Christmas Dinner, I’d probably pair it with Potatoes Au Gratin, Balsamic Glazed Carrots, Roasted Brussels, and Apple Walnut Stuffing.

Side view of glazed ham steaks on the plate with sides
Side view of glazed ham steaks on the plate with sides

Glazed Ham Steaks

Glazed ham steaks are a quick and easy dinner idea that only takes a few ingredients and about 15 minutes to prepare.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $5.48 recipe / $1.37 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 4oz. each
Calories 220kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar $0.12
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard $0.18
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce $0.02
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves $0.02
  • 2 8oz. ham steaks $5.00
  • 1 Tbsp butter $0.10

Instructions

  • Combine the brown sugar, Dijon, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, garlic powder, and cloves in a small bowl.
  • Cut the ham steaks in half to create four 4oz. portions.
  • Add the butter to a skillet and heat over medium. When the butter is melted, swirl the skillet to coat the surface. Add the ham steaks and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side, or until browned.
  • Spoon half of the glaze mixture over the ham steaks, flip, then add the second half of the glaze. Cook for 1-2 minutes more on each side, or until the glaze becomes thick and sticky. Serve hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 8g | Sodium: 1525mg | Fiber: 1g
Glazed Ham Steaks in the skillet close up

How to Make Glazed Ham Steaks – Step by Step Photos

Ham glaze ingredients in a bowl

Make the glaze first. In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup brown sugar, 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, ⅛ tsp garlic powder, and ⅛ tsp ground cloves.

ham steak packages

These are the ham steaks I used. You can use any type of ham steak available, but if they are thinner than ½-inch, you’ll need to reduce the cooking time from the estimates I have given.

Ham steaks cut in half

Each of the ham steaks were 8oz., so I cut them in half to create four 4oz. portions. Portion your ham as you see fit.

Browned ham steaks in the skillet

Add 1 Tbsp butter to a large skillet and heat over medium. When the butter is melted, give the skillet a swirl to coat the surface. Add the ham and cook for a few minutes on each side, or until browned.

Glaze being spooned over the ham steaks in the skillet

Spoon half of the glaze mixture over the ham steaks, then flip them over and add the rest.

Finished glazed ham in the skillet

Cook the ham for a minute or two more on each side, or until the glaze has reduced.

Overhead view of glazed ham on a plate with sides

Serve hot with your favorite sides!

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Sautéed Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta

Sautéed Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta is the best Brussel sprout recipe! Lightly pan fried until slightly browned on the edges, it’s my favorite way to cook and eat them! Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta Sauteed brussels sprouts are delicious when shredded and sautéed with pancetta (or bacon), garlic and oil. If you don’t think […]

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Sauteed brussels sprouts are delicious when shredded and sautéed with pancetta (or bacon), garlic and oil. If you don't think you like Brussels sprouts, I challenge you to try these! Lightly pan fried until crisp and slightly browned on the edges, this is my favorite way to cook and eat them!

Sautéed Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta is the best Brussel sprout recipe! Lightly pan fried until slightly browned on the edges, it’s my favorite way to cook and eat them!

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta is the best Brussel sprout recipe! Lightly pan fried until crisp and slightly browned on the edges, it's my favorite way to cook and eat them!Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta

Sauteed brussels sprouts are delicious when shredded and sautéed with pancetta (or bacon), garlic and oil. If you don’t think you like Brussels sprouts, I challenge you to try these! I love when people tell me they don’t like Brussels sprouts, then quickly change their mind after tasting them prepared this way. I too once thought I didn’t like Brussels sprouts until my girlfriend Nicole turned me on to shredded them before sauteing in garlic and oil. Now I love them! You can easily prep everything to make this a day or two before if you are making this for Thanksgiving. You should also try Brussels Sprouts Gratin,  or  Maple Soy Glazed Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash with Bacon.

(more…)

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Bratwurst and Sauerkraut

Juicy bratwurst simmering in tangy sauerkraut, sweet apples, onions, and broth is an easy and flavorful way to enjoy this German sausage.

The post Bratwurst and Sauerkraut appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I don’t know if I’ve told you yet, but I’m obsessed with bratwurst. Every time I eat it, it doesn’t matter how often I eat it, I swear it’s the best thing I’ve ever tasted. I also love sauerkraut. So I don’t know why it took me so long to make Bratwurst and Sauerkraut together. It’s a classic! But now that I have, I’m probably going to be making it constantly. It’s really easy, and the leftovers are so good, so it’s an instant winner in my book.

Bratwurst and Sauerkraut on two plates, one with buns and one with mashed potatoes

What is Bratwurst?

Bratwurst is a fresh, German-style sausage made with pork, and sometimes veal or beef. It’s incredibly juicy and flavorful, and tastes great whether cooked over an open grill, roasted in the oven, or cooked in a skillet.

In Germany, you’ll find several different types of bratwurst depending on the region, but in the U.S. you’ll usually either find regular bratwurst or beer bratwurst (or “beer brats” for short). Both types will work fine in this recipe.

You’ll find bratwurst in the fresh meat department of your grocery store, near Italian sausage. Johnsonville brats are pretty common in most major grocery stores, but I also enjoy ALDI’s store brand bratwurst.

What Kind of Sauerkraut Should I Use?

I used a German-style sauerkraut purchased in a jar (ALDI’s Deutsche Küche brand), but you could use fresh refrigerated sauerkraut as well. Flavored sauerkraut, like garlic or jalapeño, would also be really awesome in this dish. The only type of sauerkraut that I would suggest avoiding is red cabbage sauerkraut only because the color would likely bleed throughout and turn everything kind of blue-ish.

How to Serve Bratwurst and Sauerkraut

There are two main ways that I would serve bratwurst in sauerkraut. First, in toasted buns with a delicious grainy mustard, and maybe some German Potato Salad on the side. Second, on a plate with the sauerkraut as a bed and a side of either mashed potatoes or potato salad. And while you’re at it, grab a cold German Beer to go with the meal! :)

Bratwurst and sauerkraut in a skillet with beer, potatoes, and mustard on the sides
Bratwurst and sauerkraut in a skillet with beer, potatoes, and mustard on the sides

Bratwurst and Sauerkraut

Juicy bratwurst simmering in tangy sauerkraut, sweet apples, onions, and broth is an easy and flavorful way to enjoy this German sausage.
Total Cost $6.26 recipe / $1.25 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 5
Calories 440kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.28
  • 1 apple* $0.41
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 19 oz. bratwurst (5 links) $3.49
  • 24 oz. sauerkraut $1.69
  • 1/4 tsp caraway seeds (optional) $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp paprika $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper $0.02
  • 1 cup chicken broth $0.13

Instructions

  • Slice the onion and the apple, and mince the garlic.
  • Add the cooking oil to a large deep skillet or wide pot. Heat over medium. When the pan and oil are hot, add the bratwurst. Cook on each side until well browned (it does not need to be cooked through at this point). Remove the browned bratwurst to a clean plate.
  • Add the sliced onions, apples, and garlic to the pan and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft.
  • Drain the sauerkraut and add it to the skillet, along with the caraway seeds, paprika, pepper, and chicken broth. Stir to combine with the apples and onions. Nestle the browned bratwurst down into the sauerkraut.
  • Place a lid on the pan and allow the broth to come up to a simmer. Lower the heat slightly and continue to simmer the bratwurst in the sauerkraut and broth for 20 minutes, or until the bratwurst is cooked through. Serve hot.

Notes

*Use a sweet variety of apples to compliment the sour sauerkraut. I used a Gala apple.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 440kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 35g | Sodium: 1984mg | Fiber: 5g
Bratwurst and sauerkraut on a plate with mashed potatoes and mustard

How to Make Bratwurst and Sauerkraut – Step by Step Photos

Sliced onion and apple on a cutting board

Slice one yellow onion and one apple, and mince two cloves of garlic. Use a sweet variety apple, like Gala or Fuji.

Browned bratwurst in a skillet

Add a tablespoon of cooking oil to a deep skillet or wide pot and heat over medium. Once hot, add five links of bratwurst (about 19oz.) and cook on both sides until well browned. The bratwurst does not need to be cooked through at this point. Remove the sausage to a clean plate.

onions and apples added to the skillet

Add the onions, apples, and garlic to the skillet.

sautéed onion, apple, and garlic in the skillet

Sauté the onions, apples, and garlic over medium for about five minutes, or until the onions are soft.

sauerkraut, spices, and broth added to the skillet

Drain the sauerkraut and add it to the skillet along with ¼ tsp caraway seeds, ¼ tsp paprika, ¼ tsp pepper, and 1 cup chicken broth. Stir to combine and dissolve any browned bits off the bottom of the skillet.

bratwurst added back to the skillet

Add the Bratwurst back to the skillet and nestle it down into the sauerkraut. Place a lid on the skillet and allow the broth to come to a simmer. Once simmering, lower the heat slightly and continue to simmer the bratwurst for about 20 minutes, or until it is cooked through.

bratwurst and sauerkraut on plates with beer on the sides

Serve hot with a bun or without, with some grainy mustard and a cold beer!

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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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Mexican Adobo Rubbed Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Make this flavorful grilled pork tenderloin seasoned with homemade Mexican adobo seasoning for a tasty weeknight dinner! Mexican Adobo Grilled Pork Tenderloin Lean pork tenderloin, rubbed with homemade Mexican adobo seasoning is perfect for the summer. Grilled (or broiled) this is a great tasting, smoky, tender piece of meat. Perfect with Cilantro Lime Rice to […]

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Make this flavorful grilled pork tenderloin seasoned with homemade Mexican adobo seasoning for a tasty weeknight dinner!

Mexican Adobo Rubbed Grilled Pork Tenderloin
Mexican Adobo Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Lean pork tenderloin, rubbed with homemade Mexican adobo seasoning is perfect for the summer. Grilled (or broiled) this is a great tasting, smoky, tender piece of meat. Perfect with Cilantro Lime Rice to make it a meal.

(more…)

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Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

This easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork is made with my homemade BBQ sauce – it smells incredible while it slow cooks all day and comes out tender and delicious. Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Pulled pork is one of those dishes you can serve all year round. Perfect for potlucks or large gatherings to feed a […]

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This easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork is made with my homemade BBQ sauce – it smells incredible while it slow cooks all day and comes out tender and delicious.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Pulled pork is one of those dishes you can serve all year round. Perfect for potlucks or large gatherings to feed a crowd without spending a ton of time in the kitchen. I came up with this leaner version of pulled pork using boneless pork loin roast and homemade BBQ sauce, which gave me complete control of what was added. See more slow cooker recipes for easy dinner ideas.

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Country Sausage Gravy

Make this easy Country Sausage Gravy from scratch in under 20 minutes for a hearty southern style breakfast at home.

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If you don’t live in the south, you might have never tried this classic southern breakfast dish, and believe me when I say you’re missing out. Sausage gravy is rich, comforting, inexpensive, and surprisingly easy to make from scratch. So you don’t have to wait 45 minutes in line at your favorite brunch spot to get some good biscuits and gravy. Let me show you how to do it at home for way less time and way less money.

Biscuits and gravy on a plate with eggs, a fork taking a bite

What Kind of Sausage to Use for Sausage Gravy

The sausage is the most important part of sausage gravy because the herbs and spices in the sausage end up flavoring the gravy, and the fat from the pork makes everything extra rich. Look for a fresh pork sausage (not in links or patties) that is labeled either “pork sausage,” “country sausage,” or “breakfast sausage.” You’ll usually find it packaged in a tube or roll.

Here are some examples of sausage that you can find in most grocery stores in the U.S. that can be used for Country Sausage Gravy: Tennessee Pride Country Sausage, Jimmy Dean Pork Sausage, or Bob Evans Original Sausage Roll. Most major grocery stores also sell their own store brand of country sausage.

What to Serve with Country Sausage Gravy

Traditionally, sausage gravy is spooned over homemade biscuits (or you can use store-bought biscuits as a shortcut), but this rich gravy is pretty good on just about any starchy vehicle. Here are some fun alternatives to biscuits for your sausage gravy:

  • Breakfast Potatoes or hashbrowns
  • Tortilla Chips (make it like breakfast nachos)
  • English Muffins
  • Grits
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Hearty toast

And if you want something on the side? Definitely some fried or scrambled eggs!

Can You Make it Ahead?

While this sausage gravy is definitely best when made fresh (and it only takes a few minutes), you can make it ahead if you need to. Sausage gravy will stay good in the refrigerator for a couple of days. To reheat, simply add it back to a skillet and reheat over medium-low, stirring often until heated through, and adding a splash of milk to loosen it up if needed.

Side view of biscuits and gravy on a plate with eggs

P.S. Don’t forget you can double the recipe below by simply changing the number in the “servings” box to 8 and it will automatically double the ingredient amounts for you! :)

Side view of biscuits and gravy on a plate with eggs

Country Sausage Gravy

Make this easy Country Sausage Gravy from scratch in under 20 minutes for a hearty southern style breakfast at home.
Total Cost $2.53 recipe / $0.63 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 ¾ cup each
Calories 296kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb. pork sausage $1.45
  • 1.5 Tbsp butter $0.16
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.02
  • 2 cups whole milk $0.82
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper (optional) $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.02

Instructions

  • Add the pork sausage to a skillet and cook over medium heat, breaking it into chunks as you stir, until it is cooked through. Do not drain the fat from the skillet.
  • Add the butter and flour to the skillet with the pork. Continue to stir and cook for about 2 minutes more.
  • Whisk the milk into the skillet, making sure to dissolve all the browned bits off the bottom of the skillet as you whisk. Continue to stir and cook until the milk begins to simmer lightly, at which point it will thicken into a nice gravy (5 minutes).
  • Season the gravy with red pepper, freshly cracked black pepper, garlic powder, and salt. Serve over biscuits or your favorite starchy breakfast item.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.75cup | Calories: 296kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 23g | Sodium: 523mg | Fiber: 1g
Close up of country sausage gravy in a skillet with a spoon lifting a bite

How to Make Sausage Gravy From Scratch – Step by Step Photos

browned sausage in a skillet

Add ½ lb. fresh pork sausage to a skillet and stir and cook over medium heat until browned. Break the sausage into pieces as you stir.

butter and flour added to cooked sausage in a skillet

Add 1.5 Tbsp butter and 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour to the skillet. Continue to cook and stir for about two minutes more.

Milk being whisked into the skillet

Whisk 2 cups whole milk into the skillet, dissolving all the browned bits off the bottom of the skillet as you whisk.

Thickened gravy in the skillet

Continue to cook and stir until the milk comes up to a gentle simmer, at which point it will thicken into a nice gravy (5 minutes).

Seasonings added to gravy in the skillet

Season the gravy with ⅛ tsp crushed red pepper, ⅛ tsp freshly cracked black pepper, ⅛ tsp garlic powder, and ⅛ tsp salt.

Finished sausage gravy in the skillet

Give the gravy a taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.

A fork taking a bite of biscuits and gravy off a plate with eggs

Serve over biscuits or with your favorite starchy breakfast food!

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Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

This quick and simple Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin cooked in the air fryer is perfect for weeknight dinners and packed with so much flavor! Air Fryer Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin Pork wrapped in more pork – how could this not be good?! You’re going to love this easy pork tenderloin wrapped in crispy bacon and cooked in […]

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This quick and simple Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin cooked in the air fryer is perfect for weeknight dinners and packed with so much flavor!

Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin
Air Fryer Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

Pork wrapped in more pork – how could this not be good?! You’re going to love this easy pork tenderloin wrapped in crispy bacon and cooked in the air fryer, just two ingredients not counting salt and pepper. I tested this recipe several times to make sure it was perfect before sharing. My daughter smelled the bacon-wrapped meat and came running – she ate nearly half the batch! For more bacon-wrapped recipes, try my Air Fryer Bacon-Wrapped Scallops and Air Fryer Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Bites.

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Pork Chops and Pears with Spicy Mustard Greens

Juicy pork chops are topped with pears in an orange-sage sauce and served with spicy mustard greens for a healthy one-pan dinner. Pork Chops and Pears with Mustard Greens Boneless pork chops cook on the stove with sweet D’Anjou pears in a fresh orange juice and sage sauce. The sauteed mustard greens with garlic and […]

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Juicy pork chops are topped with pears in an orange-sage sauce and served with spicy mustard greens for a healthy one-pan dinner.

Pork chops and pears
Pork Chops and Pears with Mustard Greens

Boneless pork chops cook on the stove with sweet D’Anjou pears in a fresh orange juice and sage sauce. The sauteed mustard greens with garlic and crushed red pepper are a nice alternative to spinach with their bold, bright taste. The pears’ sweetness balances out the greens’ spiciness, but feel free to reduce the red pepper if you’d like a milder meal. For more savory pear recipes, try this Kale and Butternut Squash Salad with Pears and Almonds and Stuffed Chicken with Prosciutto, Pears, and Brie.

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