These Smoked Meatballs add a new dimension of flavor to any dish that you are preparing. Think meatball sub, spaghetti and meatballs, pizza, or as an appetizer for game day. The recipe is simple, straightforward, and the smoky BBQ flavor that results is a definite crowd pleaser! Rather than making just regular meatballs, why not put some pazzazz into your menu? These meatballs will definitely do that for you!
What do I need to make smoked meatballs?
These smoked meatballs don’t take long to prepare, and trust me, they are worth the effort! The combination of the beef and pork with all the herbs and spices is awesome. Keep in mind you can always make substitutions.
If you are looking to add some more flavor, you could sub Italian sausage for the ground pork. The possibilities go on and on from this basic recipe!
- Ground beef
- Ground pork
- Shallot, minced
- Garlic, minced
- Italian bread crumbs
- Giardiniera relish
- Fresh ground pepper
- Kosher salt
- Red pepper flakes
- Ricotta cheese
- Crushed tomatoes
- Diced tomatoes
- Tomato sauce
This meatball recipe is really simple; basically, you mix almost everything together, cook, and then finish off with the remaining ingredients. It’s a great recipe to get the kids involved in too, after all, kids love meatballs, right!
Preparing the smoked meatballs
Start with a large bowl and combine the ground beef, ground pork, shallot, garlic, bread crumbs, oregano, basil, giardiniera, fresh ground pepper, Kosher salt, and red pepper flakes. Using your hands, gently mix to blend. Be careful not to over mix, or your meatballs will be compact and a little tough.
In a separate bowl, combine the ricotta, milk, and eggs, whisking to combine. Pour the cheese and milk mixture over the meat, and again using your hands, mix to combine. Place the mixture in the refrigerator for 10 – 15 minutes to allow it to cool slightly before forming the meatballs.
Preheat your smoker or grill to 375 degrees F. If you are using your grill prepare a couple of foil smoker packets. I like to use hickory, but you could try apple or cherry wood; even oak or pecan would be great.
Using a spoon or an ice cream scoop for size, form into golfball-sized meatballs and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place the baking sheet directly on the grill grates and cook for 25 minutes.
Remove the meatballs from the smoker and transfer them into a large cast-iron skillet from the baking sheet. Pour the crushed and diced tomatoes and the tomato sauce over the meatballs.
Reduce the heat in the smoker to about 300 degrees F and smoke for about 90 minutes. Or until the internal temperature reaches 165 – 170 degrees F.
I use my trusty Thermoworks Thermapen instant-read meat thermometer. It is quick, easy to use, and gives me an exact temperature in a second every time!
Serving up the meatballs
Now for the best part, serving up your meatballs! Sprinkle a little chopped fresh basil over the pan. Because they have been smoked in the tomatoes and a tomato sauce, you can serve them directly from the skillet. Just boil up some spaghetti and spoon the cooked meatballs and sauce over top or serve them hot out of the pan as an appetizer.
Top with a little grated parmesan, serve with some garlic bread to sop up the tomato sauce, and there you have it. A hearty meal like this is sure to satisfy even the hungriest crowds.
Doesn’t that look absolutely mouthwateringly delicious? (is mouthwateringly a word?)
If you have any meatballs and sauce leftover, they make fantastic meatballs subs. Perfect for lunch the next day!
Pin it HERE!!
Pin it HERE!!
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 shallot, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup Italian bread crumbs
- 2 sprigs of oregano, chopped
- ½ cup fresh basil, chopped, plus more for garnish
- 1 tbsp giardiniera relish (or 1 tbsp giardiniera minced)
- 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 cup ricotta
- ½ cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 14oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 14oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, ground pork, shallot, garlic, bread crumbs, chopped oregano, chopped basil, giardiniera, pepper, salt, and red pepper flakes.
- Use your hands to combine, but do not over mix.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk to combine ricotta, milk, and eggs. Pour mixture into the meat, and use your hands to thoroughly mix.
- Place into the fridge for 10 - 15 minutes to cool.
- Preheat the smoker to 375 degrees F. for 15 minutes with the lid closed.
- Use a spoon or an ice cream scoop to form the meatballs into golf ball-sized balls. Place meatballs evenly spaced on a large baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper.
- Place the baking sheet directly on grill grates and cook for 25 minutes, flipping over the meatballs halfway through.
- Remove the meatballs from the baking sheet and add to a large cast-iron skillet. Pour crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce over the meatballs.
- Reduce the smoker to 300 degrees F. Place the skillet onto the smoker and cook for 90 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the meatballs reaches 165 - 170 degrees F.
- Top with sliced basil and serve over spaghetti. Enjoy!
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 615Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 215mgSodium: 956mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 4gSugar: 9gProtein: 51g
Recipe calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is estimation only. If you need nutritional calculations for medical reasons, please use a source that you trust.