Barbecue Meatballs: Family Favorite!

Barbecue Meatballs: Family Favorite!

I actually got out for a run this morning! Seems like my workout routine has been failing lately so it felt good to get out and break a sweat! It was a peaceful, cool morning on our gravel road. Cows grazing, corn swaying in the breeze and a beautiful pink and orange sunrise peaking over the trees. (I didn’t mean to rhyme there, haha!) Absolutely worth getting up early to see that!

This morning made me realize I do have a LOVE for summer! My favorite season hands-down is fall! It’s the best here in Missouri but I sometimes forget how wonderful summer really is when I’m blinded by the hot sun and choked by the thick humid air here in August! I love summer mornings, pop-up showers, swimming, float trips, fresh food, camping, boating, fishing, baseball and tanlines (though I don’t get many of those these days)! I guess it takes the near end of something for us to truly appreciate it. I’m looking forward to the fall but it will get here soon enough. So here’s to holding onto the last weeks of summer!

I know school will be back in session soon but I hope you all still have some summer get-togethers planned with friends and family. Here is a great appetizer for your next party!

Barbecue Meatballs

easybbqmeatballs (5 of 10)

This recipe is in our family cookbook but I don’t think anyone really knows where it originated. It is one of those recipes that everyone makes because they are SO. DARN. GOOD.

easybbqmeatballs (1 of 10) easybbqmeatballs (2 of 10) easybbqmeatballs (3 of 10)

I sometimes make these for dinner too! Dan loves these and now that Ren is old enough, I’m sure he would gobble them up too!

easybbqmeatballs (4 of 10)

Next time I make these, I’m going to make a double batch and freeze them. My mom does that all the time! She’s a smart cookie! 😉

easybbqmeatballs (6 of 10)

The meatballs are delicious themselves but this sauce… I can’t even describe! It takes them to another level!  easybbqmeatballs (7 of 10) easybbqmeatballs (8 of 10)


After you bake them up, toss them into a slow cooker to keep them warm for your party. I promise you, this recipe is a keeper!

easybbqmeatballs (9 of 10)



  • 3 lb. ground beef
  • 1 (12oz) can evaporated milk
  • 2 c. oatmeal
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. onion powder (or 1/2 cup minced onion)
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. chili powder


  • 2 c. ketchup
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder (or 1/2 cup minced onion)


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Mix meatball ingredients and shape into walnut size balls. Place on a greased baking sheet one layer deep. (I like to place them on a greased and foil covered baking sheet because it makes cleanup a breeze!)
  2. Combine sauce ingredients, mixing well. Pour over the meatballs.
  3. Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes until cooked through. Keep warm in a slow cooker for parties!
  4. TIP: Try making these meatballs ahead of time, freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet, then bag them up until you need them. Make the sauce when ready to bake and adjust the cooking time.

Question of the day: Are you sad to see summer go? Have any more summer gatherings planned?

Thanks for stopping by and visiting!



  1. Your recipes are my favorite! I want to buy the famous family cookbook.

    • laurenrustichoney says:

      Thanks Sara! My mom and I were just talking about ordering more copies! Maybe I should think about selling them in my shop! 😉 I would definitely let you buy one off of me if we get more anytime soon. I use that cookbook more than any of my others!

      • Oh my goodness yes please!!!! I would love that. You have my paypal email. : ))

      • Thumbs up on selling the cookbook in the shop. I know other small shops like yours sell them. You could order a small quantity and see how they go. If they don’t sell well (which I doubt will be a problem), you could give any remaining stock away as prizes and gifts.

  2. I’m with you Sara! My husband has started asking if I’ve checked the blog for more recipes (as I make whatever is posted and everything has been amazing so far!).

    • laurenrustichoney says:

      This makes my day, Hannah! So funny! Glad all the recipes have been hits in your home! 🙂