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+ servings
White skillet filled with bacon bourbon meatballs and topped with fresh parsley.
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4.94 from 49 votes

Bacon Bourbon Meatballs

These indulgent meatballs are made with bacon and ground beef and simmered in a bourbon bbq sauce. Perfect to serve as an appetizer for the big game or on a sandwich for family dinner!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24 meatballs
Calories: 113kcal
Author: Serene


  • 6 slices bacon
  • ½ yellow onion chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp parsley chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • ½ cup beef broth
  • 3 tbsp bourbon


  • Blend: Place the uncooked bacon into a food processor and process for about 1 minute or until bacon is finely ground up. Add in the onion and process until onion is finely chopped and mixed in.
  • Meat Mixture: Spoon bacon and onion mixture into large bowl. Add ground beef, breadcrumbs, parsley, egg, chili powder, and salt. Stir to combine.
  • Form Meatballs: Scoop out the meat mixture and roll into balls using your palms, should make about 24 1 inch meatballs.
  • Saute: Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Place the meatballs into the sauce pan and cook, turning every couple minutes to ensure all sides cook evenly. Cook for about 8-10 minutes until fully cooked.
  • Grease: Remove the meatballs and set aside. Remove the pan from the heat and pour out the excess grease.
  • Simmer: Add the barbecue sauce, broth and bourbon to the saucepan and return to heat. Stir to mix the sauce together. Add in the meatballs and allow them to simmer in the sauce for at least 10 minutes.



*Recipes containing alcohol are intended for those 21 years of age and older only. Please drink responsibly. If you are cooking for someone who is unable to have any amount of alcohol in their system I would advise against adding the bourbon. Be aware that cooking does not remove all traces of alcohol.
  • Ground Beef: an 80/20 mixture is good, you want to keep some fats in the meat. And all excess grease will be drained after cooking before adding the sauce. 
  • BBQ Sauce: use your favorite kind. Some good store-bought options include: Sweet Baby Rays or Kraft, or you can grab your favorite specialty sauce. 
  • Breadcrumbs: use an original style, not already seasoned. 
  • Bourbon: use what you have on hand, a favorite, or grab a mini bottle of Maker’s Mark from the liquor store.
  • Don’t overwork: mixing by hand makes it easier to mix the ingredients together without overworking the meat mixture.
  • Use a cookie scoop to make your meatballs, this helps keep them the same size which is important for even cooking.
  • How to taste test: you can always test your meatballs before cooking up the entire batch by making one small patty of meat and cooking it completely. This allows you to taste and adjust before cooking up all the meatballs. 
  • Freezing: Cook the meatballs completely through, then allow to cool. Lay them on a cookie sheet in a single layer, not touching, and freeze until solid (overnight is great). Then transfer the meatballs to a freezer bag or freezer safe container for up to 2 months.


Calories: 113kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 290mg | Potassium: 104mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 98IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg