These Sweet Heat Instant Pot BBQ Meatballs make a great appetizer for your next party, tailgate, or potluck! Featuring sweet notes on the front and heat on the back these deliver complex flavor with every bite! Serve on top of my Creamy Instant Pot Mac and Cheese for a weeknight homerun meal! You can also pair it with my Instant Pot Green Beans with Onions to add a veggie side dish!
What are BBQ meatballs?
BBQ meatballs are another delicious flavor of meatballs. Meatballs are typically made with ground beef or chicken then combined with a fattier meat like ground pork or sausage then mixed with breading, egg, and spices then baked then stewed in sauce.
Italian meatballs are much smaller than their American cousins. They are called polpettes. They are typically served as a main dish sans sauce, and possibly served in broth. Every country and culture seems to have produced endless varieties of meatballs over the centuries. This economical and delicious dish is a mainstay for family meals and parties. If you would like to learn more about the history of meatballs head over to The Atlantic to read this interesting article.
Prep the meatball mixture
Combine in a mixer or large bowl the ground beef, pork breakfast sausage, breadcrumbs, egg, smoked paprika, ground mustard, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, molasses, and hot red pepper flakes. Combine the ingredients thoroughly.
Form the mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls, and place on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Broil for about ten minutes in the oven.
These will make roughly two dozen meatballs. When I made this I got a yield of 28 meatballs.
Prep the BBQ sauce
In a small bowl or two-cup measuring glass combine the jarred BBQ sauce, grape jelly, beef broth, white pepper, and cayenne pepper. Whisk together until combined. You can use your favorite regular BBQ sauce.I used Stubb’s but I am not being compensated for saying so.
Remove the seeds and membrane from two jalapenos, and dice finely. Dice one extremely small sweet onion. Set the Instant Pot to saute. Add one tablespoon each of olive oil and unsalted butter to pot. Saute both the diced sweet onion and jalapeno until softened or about 3-5 minutes.
Cook the BBQ meatballs
Add the broiled meatballs to the Instant Pot and stir with the vegetables.
Pour the BBQ sauce mixture over the meatballs and stir to coat. Seal the lid on the Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes then follow with a 10-minute natural pressure release.
Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to one week.
Sweet Heat Instant Pot BBQ Meatballs
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound bulk pork breakfast sausage
- 1/2 cup Italian Seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp ground mustard
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp molasses generous
- 1 tsp hot red pepper flakes
- 1 cup prepared BBQ sauce
- 1/2 cup grape jelly
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 jalapenos with seeds and membrane removed, finely diced
- 1 sweet onion very small, and finely diced
- Combine all the ingredients from the Meatball Mixture ingredient list into a mixer or large bowls. Combine well. Form into 1 1/2-inch balls and put on a cookie sheet. Broil for ten minutes.
- Whisk together all the ingredients in the BBQ sauce group together except the jalapeno and onion. Set aside.
- Finely dice both the onion and jalapeno then saute in the Instant Pot until softened. About 3-5 minutes.
- Add the meatballs and BBQ sauce mixture to the Instant Pot. Stir to coat meatballs.
- Seal the lid on the Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes then follow with a 10-minute natural pressure release.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to one week.