Honey Barbecued Meatballs

The other day I got the bottle of barbecue sauce out of the fridge and took a look at the ingredients. The first ingredient was high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)! Hmmm, why was I buying this for my family? With all the research about the negative effects of HFCS on our health, Elizabeth and I decided to try making our own. We were very happy with the result and we didn’t use any refined sugars! We used our favorite sweetener, Pruiett Apiaries raw honey along with organic molasses.

It feels so good to make a healthy “substitute.” I usually find that the healthy “substitute” almost always tastes better too.

We mixed up the ingredients for the meatballs, shaped them into balls, lined them up on a jelly roll pan, and popped them in the oven.

While they were baking, we combined all of the BBQ sauce ingredients in a saucepan. I didn’t have tomato sauce so I used tomato juice. I think it would be fine to use either tomato sauce or juice.


We found it was much easier to incorporate the ingredients with a wire whisk.


We left it simmer to thicken up. Makes sure to leave a lid on slightly ajar because it likes to bubble up and splatter on the stove as well as the cook. Take my word on this one; flying sauce is rather unpleasant!


When the meatballs were finished baking, we popped them in the crock pot.


Finally, we poured the sauce over the meatballs and left the crock pot do its thing. Yummy!


We decided to make extra sauce and ended up using that with shredded cooked chicken for a super quick and easy meal the next day. I am finding endless possibilities for this amazingly tasty and healthy sauce.

Honey Barbecued Meatballs


3 lbs. grass-finished ground beef

1 c. quick oats

¾ c milk

2 pasture-raised eggs

1 c. chopped onion

½ tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

½ tsp chili powder


Honey BBQ Sauce:

1 can tomato sauce — (15 ounces)

1 can tomato paste — (6 ounces)

1/3  c. apple cider vinegar

¼  c. raw honey

¼  c. molasses

2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp dry mustard

1 tsp garlic powder

½  tsp salt

½  black pepper

¼ tsp chipotle or cayenne pepper — don’t skip this because it gives the sauce a little bit of kick that is needed for a great sauce

Combine all meatball ingredients and shape into balls. Bake uncovered at 350 for 45 minutes. While meatballs bake, prepare sauce. In a medium saucepan, stir together all of the sauce  ingredients. Bring to a simmer over medium low heat. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 10 to 15 minutes.  Place baked meatballs in crock pot and pour BBQ sauce over top.  Cover and cook on High for 1 hour or low for 2-3 hours.