BBQ Chicken Meatballs

This BBQ chicken meatball recipe is so good you’ll never need another BBQ chicken meatball recipe again. The BBQ sauce is tangy with small pieces of delicious veggies for an added pop of flavor. I love that the sauce is slightly chunky because it adds depth and texture to the recipe. 

BBQ Chicken Meatballs – Healthyish Foods

In fact, this BBQ sauce recipe has been in my family for years and has been passed all the way down to me. Its origin is Western Pennsylvania and while we might not be known for BBQ sauce, this recipe could definitely put us on the map. 

BBQ Chicken Meatballs – Healthyish Foods

I love this recipe because it’s perfect as an appetizer or as a main dinner entree! Serve these chicken meatballs with toothpicks for easy lifting or on a skewer for a fun Summery twist. Enjoy these chicken meatballs with a side my ditalini pasta salad. The cool creamy dressing would taste great with the tangy BBQ sauce! You could also make a side of white or brown rice to keep things simple!

BBQ Chicken Meatballs – Healthyish Foods
BBQ Chicken Meatballs – Healthyish Foods
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5 from 1 vote

BBQ Chicken Meatballs

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bbq chicken meatballs
Servings: 4 people


  • baking tray
  • saute pan


Crazy Good BBQ Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons butter salted
  • ¾ cup onion diced VERY small
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • ½ cup celery minced
  • 1 cup green pepper diced small – about 1 pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice fresh squeezed
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon liquid smoke

Chicken Meatballs

  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup plain breadcrumbs
  • cup parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
  • salt and pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Gently spray a baking tray with cooking spray and set it aside.
  • In a large sauté pan with sides, add the butter, onions, celery and garlic. Sweat until it begins to brown.
  • Next, you will add everything else including, the green pepper, ketchup, dry mustard, water, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, cracked black pepper and liquid smoke. Simmer over low heat for 35 – 40 minutes.

Next, you’ll prepare the meatballs:

  • In a large mixing bowl combine the ground chicken, breadcrumbs, egg, parmesan cheese, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and dried parsley. Mix until well combined.
  • Roll into evenly sized balls. I got 11 meatballs from my mixture.
  • Bake for 24- 25 minutes or until fully cooked through. Make sure to turn them halfway so they do not get too brown on one side.
  • Remove from the oven, toss them in the sauce and serve immediately.
Sarah Thomas-Drawbaugh

Author: Sarah Thomas-Drawbaugh

Sarah Thomas-Drawbaugh is a recipe developer and creator of the brand, Healthyish Foods®. Sarah makes plant-based, fish and chicken recipes that are simple and delicious. Her work can be seen in Healthy-ish by Bon Appetit and Bon Appetit Magazine (digital), Women’s Health Magazine (digital) and Mind Body Green. Sarah is a Pittsburgh, PA native but currently lives in Vail, Colorado with her husband, Dan and rescue dog, Graci!

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