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October 24, 2021 Inspiration

Recipe: Smoked meatballs

These Smoked Meatballs add a new dimension of flavor to any dish that you are preparing. Think meatball sub, spaghetti and meatballs, pizza, or as an appetizer for game day. The recipe is simple, straightforward, and the smoky BBQ flavor that results is a definite crowd pleaser! Rather than making just regular meatballs, why not put some pazzazz into your menu? These meatballs will definitely do that for you!

Prep Time:

15 min

Cooking Time:

1 hour 55 min

Additional Time:

10 min

Total Time:

2 hours 20 min




  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 2 sprigs of oregano, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh basil, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tbsp giardiniera relish (or 1 tbsp giardiniera minced)
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 14oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 14oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup tomato sauce


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, ground pork, shallot, garlic, bread crumbs, chopped oregano, chopped basil, giardiniera, pepper, salt, and red pepper flakes.
  2. Use your hands to combine, but do not over mix. 
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk to combine ricotta, milk, and eggs. Pour mixture into the meat, and use your hands to thoroughly mix.
  4. Place into the fridge for 10 – 15 minutes to cool.
  5. Preheat the smoker to 375 degrees F. for 15 minutes with the lid closed.
  6. Use a spoon or an ice cream scoop to form the meatballs into golf ball-sized balls. Place meatballs evenly spaced on a large baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper.
  7. Place the baking sheet directly on grill grates and cook for 25 minutes, flipping over the meatballs halfway through.
  8. Remove the meatballs from the baking sheet and add to a large cast-iron skillet. Pour crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce over the meatballs.
  9. Reduce the smoker to 300 degrees F. Place the skillet onto the smoker and cook for 90 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the meatballs reaches 165 – 170 degrees F.
  10. Top with sliced basil and serve over spaghetti.


You can find the full post for this recipe, including more great photography, on BBQing with the Nolands.

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About the Author

Ken Noland
Ken was born and raised in Western Canada. He grew up on the great wide open farmlands that produce some of the world’s best livestock and grains, and has always had a passion for eating great food. You can find recipes, tips and tricks, and more on BBQing with the Nolands and Noshing With The Nolands.

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