BBQ Glazed Cheese & Spinach Meatballs

Almost 20 years ago my husband and I were served this recipe for BBQ Glazed Cheese & Spinach Meatballs at our friend Carla’s home in Central California. We thought they tasted incredible, and I have been making them ever since!BBQ Glazed Cheese & Spinach Meatballs / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I don’t know where she got the original recipe… all I know is my little handwritten 3×5 recipe card is stained from nearly 20 years of making this recipe. The meat is mixed with spinach and grated cheddar cheese, onions, and spices, formed into meatballs, browned in a skillet, then baked in the oven with a wonderful homemade BBQ glaze coating them. Amazingly delicious!

These meatballs are absolutely delicious, and are very simple to make. They’re also very economical, because a pound and a half of ground beef can make several servings. Our two sons are grown men and no longer living in our home, so when I make these meatballs nowadays (for just my husband and I), I make extra rice as a side dish, so my husband and I can enjoy another meal with the leftovers!

Ingredients ready to mix…

Hamburger meat, cheese, onion and spinach in bowl

Okay… now that the ingredients are mixed, it’s time to shape the meat into meatballs…

Beef is mixed with other ingredients in bowl

Shape the meat into a meatball using your clean hands! It’s size is about 2 inches.

Beef shaped into a meatball being held in a hand

The pound and a half of hamburger meat made 15 meatballs. Here they are, formed and resting before I brown them in a skillet.

Meatballs formed on aluminum foil

Here they are browning in the skillet. If you do not have a large enough skillet… no problem! Just cook the meatballs in two batches.

Meatballs cooking in a skillet

Brown the meatballs on all sides, but don’t cook all the way through.

Browned meatballs in skillet

Place the browned meatballs into a small bowl of flour. Turn (carefully) to coat.

Browned meatballs coated in flour in small bowl

Browned meatballs have been coated with flour… now ready for the sauce!

Flour coated meatballs in glass baking dish

BBQ sauce has been made, and poured over the tops of each meatball. Ready to bake!

Sauce covering meatballs in dish

Hot, right out of the oven… they smell sooo very good right about now!

BBQ glaze covered meatballs out of oven

Drizzled with some of the sauce, garnished with a bit of parsley, and served atop a bed of rice. Dig In!

Glazed meatballs on top of cooked rice

These meatballs are delicious when served with a side of rice, and a good salad or veggie. I sure hope you will give them a try… I think you’re gonna love ’em!

Author's signatureRecipe Adapted from: My friend Carla Merrill

BBQ Glazed Cheese & Spinach Meatballs
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins
You're going to love these meatballs, filled with cheddar cheese and spinach, and topped with a homemade BBQ glaze.
Category: Entree
Servings: 15 meatballs
Calories Per Serving: 235 kcal
Author: JB at The Grateful Girl Cooks!
For Meatballs:
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 package frozen chopped spinach , thawed completely and drained well
  • 1 small brown onion , finely chopped
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 Tablespoons grated cheddar cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
For sauce:
  • 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 6 Tablespoons ketchup
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Pinch dried parsley , for garnish (if desired)
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, thawed and *drained spinach* (see note), onion, salt, garlic powder, pepper, and grated cheddar cheese. (*Note: Make sure the spinach is drained very well. Press the spinach between paper towels to absorb a lot of water!) Completely combine the ingredients.
  3. Using both hands, roll/shape the meat into 2" meatballs (should make approximately 15). Set meatballs (once made) onto non-stick paper or foil while making the rest of the meatballs.
  4. In a large non-stick skillet, heat the oil on medium-high. When skillet is hot, add the meatballs. Do not move them for the first couple of minutes (so they won't break apart). Brown all sides of the meatballs (but do not cook all the way through). Remove meatballs to paper towel to drain.
  5. Place flour into a small bowl. Gently roll browned meatballs in the flour, to completely coat.
  6. Place browned and floured meatballs into an 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish. Set aside.
  7. In a medium saucepan, combine the sauce ingredients: vinegar, mustard, butter, ketchup, and brown sugar. Simmer for a couple of minutes on low heat until butter is melted and ingredients are thoroughly combined. Pour the sauce over the tops of the meatballs (spoon it up to help cover them all).
  8. Bake meatballs, uncovered, at 325 degrees for 45-50 minutes.
  9. When ready to serve, place meatballs onto a bed of rice (or serving plate), and spoon additional sauce from pan over the tops of each meatball. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.
  10. Serve and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

If you want to make more than 15 meatballs, use 2 pounds of hamburger meat. Everything else in the recipe remains the same. You should be able to get about 20 meatballs this way.
A serving size is 3-4 meatballs.

Nutrition Facts
BBQ Glazed Cheese & Spinach Meatballs
Amount Per Serving (1 meatball)
Calories 235 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 23%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 46mg 15%
Sodium 430mg 18%
Potassium 170mg 5%
Total Carbohydrates 13g 4%
Sugars 11g
Protein 9g 18%
Vitamin A 3.8%
Vitamin C 1.1%
Calcium 6.3%
Iron 6.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!BBQ Glazed Cheese & Spinach Meatballs / The Grateful Girl Cooks!








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