Spicy Smoky Bourbon Meatballs

It’s not long now until the Super Bowl, and if you are having friends round to watch the big game then these are an easy, prepare-ahead snack.

I sometimes find that meatballs can be a bit boring, but these are very juicy with plenty of flavour. The sauce is ideal for dipping – but your guests may want cups to drink it instead because it tastes so good.

I think that these are great to make ahead because you can roll the meatballs the night before and then complete the dish with minimal effort on the day you want to serve. You could even serve directly from your slow cooker, (set on ‘keep warm’ if you have that option), and let your guests help themselves.

If you don’t have a slow cooker, brown the meatballs in a deep frying pan, place on a plate then cook the sliced onions. Put the meatballs back in the pan, stir in the other sauce ingredients and simmer everything together for about 30 minutes.

Ingredients – makes 30 meatballs and lots of sauce:


  • 1 kg/ 2 lbs beef mince (ground)
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped jalapenos or green chillis
  • 1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten


  • 2 brown (or white) onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican chilli powder
  • 1 cup smoky BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup bourbon (I used Jack Daniels)


  • Put the meatball ingredients in a large bowl and use your clean hands to mix together.
  • Form the mixture into meatballs and place on a plate. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (or overnight if required).
  • Heat a non-stick frying pan and brown the meatballs all over. This is best done in two or three batches, depending on the size of your frying pan. Place the browned meatballs on a plate.
  • Spread the thinly sliced brown (or white) onions over the base of your slow cooker and sprinkle over the chilli powder.
  • Carefully place the meatballs on top of the sliced onion.

  • Pour over the BBQ sauce and bourbon.
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  • Serve the meatballs on a platter with the sauce on the side for dipping.
  • Enjoy!


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9 Responses to Spicy Smoky Bourbon Meatballs

  1. trixfred30 says:

    Like the booze in the sauce!

  2. These look great – I’ve never heard of anything like it though, sounds yum.

  3. Great game day snack. I’m sure all the men love the boozy savory treats. BAM

  4. Dying to make your sauce as I love the addition of bourbon. Great finger food recipe and perfect for days in in front of the telly.

  5. Pingback: Football Season: Food for Sharing | Recipe Adaptors

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