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Stout Meatballs with Beer Barbecue Sauce Glaze

Stout Meatballs with Beer Barbeque Sauce Glaze_


It’s hard to find anyone who grew up in America that doesn’t have childhood memories of meatballs. And in the grand tradition of our great country, we stole these from someone else, and no one can agree how they are really supposed to be made.

They can be in a sandwich, over pasta, by themselves, with rice, with cheese, spicy, herby, pork, or beef. But there are some things to keep in mind when making these savory little balls of meat, regardless of how you want them to taste.

First, the less you handle the meat the better, overworked meat gets tough and mealy. Second, add some flavor. Spice, or herbs or cheese, these big bites of meat need a kick. Feel free to experiment.

Stout Meatballs with Beer Barbeque Sauce Glaze 2

Lastly, if you want them to be round there are a few things you can do:

Make sure the meatballs are really cold before cooking, they’ll hold their shape better.

Boiling them in sauce or liquid will help them stay round but rob them of the nice caramelization that pan frying can give. a combination of cooking methods works best if you want both a nice caramelization as well as a nice shape. But err on the side of flavor, taste always wins over glamour.

Last, don’t be afraid to make them your own. These guys lend themselves to adventure, from chorizo mole meatballs to Bree cheese stuffed meatballs with cherry shallot sauce, these culinary gypsies can go where you send them.

And of course, they like beer. So they can stay for dinner.

For this recipe I used a Pacific Northwest treat, Ninkasi Oatis. A beautiful, creamy oatmeal stout that’s really easy to find now that I live in the Emerald City.

Stout Meatballs with Beer Barbeque Sauce Glaze 3


Stout Meatballs with Beer Barbeque Sauce Glaze


For the meatballs:

  • 1 lb ground chuck or a combination or ground pork and ground beef
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup stout beer

For the sauce:

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tbs tomato paste
  • 1 ½ tsp Sriracha red chili sauce
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 cup stout
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar


  • In a large bowl add all the meatball ingredients (except the 1 tablespoon oil), stir until just combined (about two of three turns with your hands). Over handling the meat will make it tough and mealy.
  • Place bowl in the fridge for 1 hour and up to 1 day (this will help keep it’s shape during cooking.
  • While meat is chilling make the sauce.
  • Add the olive oil to a pot over medium high heat, add that garlic and stir for about 30 seconds. Add the remaining sauce ingredients, simmer until thickened and reduced, about 15 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 400.
  • Using a cookie scoop, make balls just smaller than a golf ball with the chilled meat. Place on a cookie sheet that has been covered with parchment paper. Cook for 12 minutes.
  • Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat until very hot. Add the meat balls, pull the skillet back and forth over the burner to roll the meat balls around in the pan. Cook until meatballs are just starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat and add the barbeque sauce, cooking at a simmer until meatballs are glazed and sauce is very thick.
  • Remove meatballs, add toothpicks to serve.


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Rebekah {aCricketSang} May 9, 2014 um 5:09 am

Those look amazing. I would have a hard time restraining myself from eating them all at once!


Samantha May 9, 2014 um 7:40 am

I love your choice of stout! Any plans for a mole version using a chocolate stout?


Brenda May 9, 2014 um 9:37 am

Yes please, a mole version!


Eileen May 9, 2014 um 9:51 am

I actually have very few childhood memories of meatballs! Probably because my mom thought they were too much work–so we got our spaghetti with browned ground beef in the sauce. It’s fine, but it’s not the glorious meatball! These sound excellent, especially with an oatmeal stout! Ninkasi is one of my favorites, which is unfortunate, since I live in Silicon Valley and it’s not the easiest thing to find. Oh well–I can hoard. 🙂


Jesse May 10, 2014 um 12:29 am

I’m vegetarian and gluten free. I quit eating land-based meats last year. My gluten allergy/intollerance isn’t anaphylaxis, so I sometimes treat myself to regular gluten beers then eat a handful of gluten defense/gluten relief pills. Stouts are among my favorites. In one word, these Stout Meatballs with Beer Barbeque Sauce Glaze look: decadent. Nice. 🙂


addie | culicurious May 13, 2014 um 4:45 am

These meatballs look amazing. 🙂 I love your stout glaze as well. Delish!


Meggles February 20, 2015 um 4:31 pm

Just made this recipe using 3 Floyd’s Alpha Klaus porter and served with sweet potato pierogi.



Kellee August 29, 2015 um 3:06 pm

I’m trying to make a meatball that will compliment a Knuckle Sandwich Imerial IPA by Bootleggers. I think I’d like to use your recipe to start with and add some blue cheese to the mix. How does that sound, Jackie? I’d love your opinion and recommendation for what beer to use; should I use an IPA instead of a stout? Would that work? Thanks!


Jackie August 29, 2015 um 4:19 pm

You run the risk of a really bitter sauce with the IPA. You can use the IPA in the meatballs and then make the sauce with a stout but you can finish it with just a 1/4 cup of the IPA right at the end to get those hoppy flavors, but without the bitterness that comes with reducing a high IBU beer.
Let me know how it goes!


Jim May 23, 2017 um 5:44 am

Made these last night. While they were very delicious, I didn’t taste any beer at all. I used Guinness for the stout. I’ll totally make it again, but have to find a way to make the beer come through more.


Jackie May 23, 2017 um 5:41 pm

Use a bigger beer! Guinness isn’t a strongly flavored stout, use an Imperial or a BA stout for a bigger beer flavor.


Catherine October 8, 2018 um 6:41 pm

Hi Jackie,

I’ve made these a few times, love them!! And they’re a big hit at parities. I’m having another party this weekend and want to serve these but need a way to make ahead, as its a big event. Could I make them the day before, and day of, pan fry them and stick them in a slow cooker with the sauce to keep them warm? Thank you for your help!!


Jackie October 9, 2018 um 10:01 am

Yes, that sounds good! I think that will work great 🙂


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