I think we are officially into comfort food season, and these BBQ Meatballs with Cheese Grits make it even easier to relax and enjoy all the cozy moments in the house.

There is no better way to get cozy than with tangy BBQ sauce, juicy meatballs, and rich and creamy cheese grits.

For those of you who have never tried cheese grits before, make sure you check out my post about cheese grits because they are an amazing southern staple that can be topped with all sorts of delicious goodies. And today we are talking about BBQ meatballs. Try it now with Apronese.

Overhead view of a bowl of cheese grits with bbq meatballs and collard greens

BBQ Meatballs and Cheese Grits: What to Serve

As a bowl of deliciousness on its own, it is a pretty rich dish that I strongly recommend pairing with something green to make it balance out the heavy weight of the meal.

A delicious dish I chose was my BBQ Meatballs and Cheese Grits served on top of jerk seasoning collar greens. I am a big fan of the flavor of jerk seasoning.

Alternatively, you could pair this dish with roasted broccoli, roast Brussels Sprouts, vegan mustard greens, or braised red cabbage.

Can I Use a Different Meat?

The meatballs are moist and tender even if you do not eat pork, so if this is not something you eat, you can certainly substitute with another type of ground meat, such as ground beef or turkey.

My suggestion is to use ground meat that has a higher fat percentage to make the meatballs more moist and tender.

Do You Have Any Recommendations for Bbq Sauce?

I don’t really have a favorite BBQ sauce as I am an equal opportunity lover of it. For the purpose of this dish, I would probably prefer something smoky or honey flavored, as those flavors will complement the cheddar cheese in the grits very well. For me, anything pineapple or teriyaki flavored would be out of the question.

I have included a recipe for my homemade BBQ sauce in case you are interested in trying your hand at making your own.

A fork cutting into a bbq meatball on a bed of cheese grits

BBQ Meatballs with Cheese Grits

This delicious and cozy BBQ Meatballs with Cheese Grits is the perfect fall meal to enjoy on cool autumn evenings, while watching football games and clearing leaves in the afternoon.

Author: Beth 

Prep Time: 20 mins/ Cook Time: 20 mins/ Total Time: 40 mins

Servings: 4


BBQ Meatballs

  • 1 lb. ground pork ($3.49)
  • 1 large egg ($0.21)
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs ($0.07)
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce, divided ($0.54)
  • 1/2 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)

Cheese Grits

  • 2 cups chicken broth ($0.26)
  • 2 cups milk ($1.25)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
  • 1 cup quick cooking grits ($0.49)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • 2 Tbsp butter ($0.18)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper ($0.02)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar ($1.15)


  • Prepare a baking sheet by spreading parchment paper on it. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a bowl, combine the ground pork, egg, breadcrumbs, salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce. Make sure everything is well combined with your hands.
  • Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper and dividing the pork mixture into 16 meatballs, about the size of ping pong balls.
  • After the meatballs have been browned, bake them for 20-25 minutes, or until they have reached the desired doneness.
  • The cheese grits are prepared by mixing the chicken broth, milk, and garlic powder in a medium saucepot. Stirred occasionally to prevent scorching, bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat while the meatballs are baking.
  • Stir in the quick cooking grits and salt once the water boils. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the grits simmer for 5 minutes or until thick.
  • Grits should be removed from heat, melted, and topped with butter, pepper, and cheddar. Once the cheddar is fully melted, add each handful until grits are topped.
  • If you like, you can also add the meatballs to a clean bowl, add the remaining BBQ sauce over them, and stir to combine. As the meatballs will heat up the barbecue sauce, you may want to heat it in a saucepot for a few minutes in order to warm it. It will be best if you heat your BBQ sauce over low for several minutes if it has been refrigerated.
  • A bowl of cheese grits should be placed on the bottom. Top with four meatballs and some BBQ sauce. Serve immediately.


Serving: 1 serving ・ Calories: 841 kcal ・ Carbohydrates: 71 g ・ Protein: 37 g ・ Fat: 46 g ・ Sodium: 2010 mg ・ Fiber: 3 g
The nutritional values shown here are only estimates. Please see our nutrition disclaimer.

side view of bbq meatballs and cheese grits in a bowl with collard greens

How to Make BBQ Meatballs with Cheese Grits – Step by Step Photos

meatball ingredients in a bowl

As soon as you heat the oven to 375-degrees, line the baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine 1 pound of ground pork, 1 large egg, 14 cups of breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons of BBQ sauce, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, and 1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper. Mix the ingredients together until well combined.

raw, shaped meatballs on the baking sheet

In the meantime, divide and shape the pork mixture into 16 meatballs giving them a size that is roughly similar to ping pong balls.

Bake the meatballs in the oven for 20-25 minutes until they are golden brown and cooked through.

Milk being poured into a pot with chicken broth

It is recommended that you prepare the cheese grits during the time that the meatballs are baking. In a medium sauce pot, pour 2 cups chicken broth, 2 cups milk, and 14 tsp garlic powder.

Bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat when it begins to boil, stirring constantly.

grits being poured into the pot with the milk and broth

The grits will thicken as soon as they are stirred in. Once the liquid reaches a boil, stir in 1 cup quick cooking grits and 1 tablespoon salt.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir for five minutes, until the grits thicken.

butter and pepper added to the grits

When the grits are ready, remove them from the heat and mix them with 2 Tbsp butter and 1/4 tbsp freshly cracked black pepper.

Shredded cheddar being added to grits

Last but not least, stir a handful of the shredded cheddar into the sauce one handful at a time until the cheese is fully melted, repeating this procedure until all the cheese has been added (1 cup total).

Baked meatballs on the baking sheet

After the meatballs have been baked in the oven, remove them from the oven and place them in a large bowl.

BBQ sauce coated meatballs in a bowl with a spatula

As soon as the meatballs are done frying, pour the remaining sauce over them, stirring to combine them. Warming up the BBQ sauce with the heat of the meatballs will help to warm the sauce.

If your BBQ sauce was cold from refrigeration, you might want to heat it in a sauce pot over low heat to help it heat more evenly.

close up side view of bbq meatballs on cheese grits

In a bowl, place about one cup of cheese grits, along with four meatballs and some of the sauce, and top with a few pieces of cheese. Serve immediately.