Healthy Dinner in No Time: Make-Ahead Barbecue Meatballs

For a quick and easy make ahead meal idea, check out these homemade meatballs. They're simple and make getting a healthy meal on the table during the week super simple. Click through the for the recipe.

Let me guess. Some days you feel rushed at the end of the day when you’re coming home from work, getting settled into the evening, and trying to get a healthy dinner on the table? As I’m sure you’re well aware, you’re definitely not alone.

Our evenings aren’t yet packed with extracurricular activities. T and J aren’t enrolled in any scheduled activities currently. For now, I think school/daycare is enough structure for the day (and I’m not the least bit interested in further complicating our evenings). But I know we all have lots on our scheduling plates causing us to struggle to adequately fill our dinner plates.

No matter what your calendar looks like after work, you probably won’t complain about an easy meal that can be ready to serve when you walk in the door.

Once a month or so, I make a large batch of meatballs and most of them land in the freezer. In anticipation of a busy week, I throw the meatballs in the slow cooker with some store-bought barbecue sauce in the morning and dinner is ready when we get home.

You can serve them on bread as a meatball sandwich or by themselves. Sometimes, we might even add them to a pizza. We leave cleaned and cut up fruit and vegetables in our fridge in small bowls, all ready to eat. We set the bowls on the table and have a balanced (albeit far from beautiful, but who’s judging) meal.

Often times, we just need to keep things simple.

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Healthy Dinner in No Time: Make-Ahead Barbecue Meatballs

Healthy Dinner in No Time: Make-Ahead Barbecue Meatballs

Yield: 60
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 30 minutes


  • 3 lb ground turkey or ground beef, sometimes we mix them
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 8 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino romano
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper


  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees.
  2. Add onion powder through pepper in a large bowl and mix.
  3. Mix in the turkey.
  4. Shape the turkey mixture into 1 1/4 in diameter meatballs.
  5. Place on a baking sheet (we cover the baking sheet in foil for easier clean up).
  6. Bake for 6 -8 minutes.
  7. Flip meatballs.
  8. Bake for another 6 - 8 minutes or until cooked throughout.
  9. (Freeze, if desired)
  10. Cook in barbecue sauce in slow cooker on low for 8 hours.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 60 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

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