You guys know how I feel about meatballs, right? Well I’m also a huge fan of cooking things on a sheet pan. So I decided to bring these two favorite things of mine together to make these Sheet Pan BBQ Meatballs, complete with roasted peppers and onions, and big slices of sweet pineapple. This meal is delicious, easy, and packs up well for meal prep! WIN.
Use Two Sheet Pans for Best Results
While you can do this all on one sheet pan, you’ll definitely get better results using two pans. Why? Because the peppers and onions caramelize better when they have room to breathe. If they’re too crowded, the steam will get trapped they’ll just get kind of soft instead of having those nice brown flavorful edges. Of course, if convenience is your priority, you may choose to use one pan.
Can I Use a Different Meat?
Absolutely! These meatballs work great with ground pork, beef, or chicken instead of the ground turkey listed in the recipe below.
Do I Need to Line The Sheet Pans?
This is really up to you. I ended up lining the sheet pan I used for my meatballs with parchment paper and left the sheet pan with the peppers, onions, and pineapple unlined. Lining the sheet pan makes clean up a lot easier, but you do get less caramelization since the vegetables are not in direct contact with the hot pan. So, if you prefer easy clean up, go ahead and line both pans. If you prize flavor over convenience, leave the pan (or pans) unlined.
Sheet Pan BBQ Meatballs
- 1 lb. ground turkey ($3.89)
- 1 large egg ($0.21)
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs ($0.07)
- 6 Tbsp BBQ sauce, divided ($0.20)
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.03)
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika ($0.05)
- 1/2 tsp salt ($0.02)
- 1 20oz. can pineapple slices (in juice) ($0.89)
- 1 yellow onion ($0.32)
- 1 red bell pepper ($1.50)
- 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.04)
- 1/8 tsp salt ($0.02)
- 2 green onions, sliced ($0.20)
- 1 cup long grain white rice (uncooked) ($0.40)
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Combine the ground turkey, egg, breadcrumbs, 2 Tbsp of BBQ sauce (reserve the remaining ¼ cup for later), garlic powder, smoked paprika, and salt in a bowl. Mix the ingredients together by hand until evenly combined.
- Divide and shape the meat mixture into 16 meatballs. This is easiest by first dividing the mixture into four equal portions, then dividing and shaping each of those portions into four meatballs. The mixture may be fairly wet. That is okay. Place the meatballs on a parchment lined baking sheet and set aside.
- Slice the bell pepper and onion into ¼-inch wide strips. Place the pepper and onion slices on a second baking sheet (lined or unlined, your choice) and drizzle with cooking oil. Toss to coat, then season with salt. Spread the peppers and onions evenly over one side of the baking sheet.
- Remove the pineapple slices from the can and blot them dry with paper towel. Lay the pineapple slices over the second half of the baking sheet with the peppers and onions.
- Place both baking sheets in the preheated oven and roast for 15 minutes.
- While the sheet pans are in the oven, begin cooking the rice. Add the rice and 1.5 cups water to a sauce pot. Place a lid on top and bring the water up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low. Let the rice simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let the rice rest, undisturbed and with the lid on, until the rest of the meal is finished.
- After roasting for 15 minutes, take the sheet pan with the vegetables out and give the peppers and onions a stir. Use a brush to lightly coat the pineapple slices with about 2 Tbsp BBQ sauce. Return that sheet pan to the oven.
- Remove the sheet pan with the meatballs and use the brush to lightly coat the meatballs with the remaining 2 Tbsp BBQ sauce. Return the sheet pan to the oven. Finish roasting both sheet pans for an additional 10 minutes.
- After the meatballs, peppers, onions, and pineapple have finished roasting, it's time to serve! Fluff the rice with a fork, then add about ¾ cup rice to each bowl or meal prep container. Divide the meatballs, peppers, onions, and pineapple slices between the four bowls. Top with sliced green onion, then enjoy!
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How to Make Sheet Pan BBQ Meatballs – Step by Step Photos
Begin by preheating the oven to 400ºF. Combine 1 lb. ground turkey, one large egg, ¼ cup breadcrumbs, 2 Tbsp BBQ sauce (save the remaining ¼ cup for later), ¼ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp smoked paprika, and ½ tsp salt in a bowl. Use your hands to mix the ingredients until evenly combined.
Divide and shape the meat mixture into 16 meatballs. I do this by first dividing the mixture into four portions, then dividing and shaping each of those portions into four meatballs. Place the meatballs on a parchment lined baking sheet. Set them aside.
Slice one yellow onion and one red bell pepper into ¼-inch wide strips. Place the peppers and onions on a second baking sheet and drizzle with 1 Tbsp cooking oil. Toss to coat in the oil, then season with ⅛ tsp salt.
Move the peppers and onions over to one side of the baking sheet. Remove the pineapple slices from the can and blot them dry with paper towel. Place the pineapple slices on the other half of the baking sheet with the peppers and onions. Transfer both sheet pans to the oven and roast for 15 minutes.
While the meatballs, peppers, onions, and pineapple are cooking, begin the rice. Add 1 cup long grain white rice to a sauce pot with 1.5 cups water. Place a lid on top, turn the heat on to high, and bring the water up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let the rice simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let the rice rest, undisturbed and lid in place, until the rest of the meat is finished.
After having roasted for 15 minutes, remove the sheet pan with the peppers, onions, and pineapple from the oven. Give the peppers and onions a stir. Use a brush to lightly coat the pineapple with 2 Tbsp BBQ sauce. Return the sheet pan to the oven.
Remove the sheet pan with the meatballs and use the brush to lightly coat them with the remaining 2 Tbsp BBQ sauce. Return the sheet pan to the oven. Finish roasting both sheet pans for an additional 10 minutes.
After the final 10 minutes you should have some nice caramelization on the peppers and onions and the meatballs will be cooked through.
Fluff the rice with a fork, then add ¾ cup rice to each bowl or meal prep container. Divide the peppers, onions, BBQ meatballs, and pineapple slices between each bowl or container. Top with sliced green onions and serve, or refrigerate until ready to eat (3-4 days).
What a delicious meal!!
Loved it. I used ground chicken because I found it on sale, and fried the meatballs for a couple minutes on the stovetop before adding them in after the initial 15 minutes roast time. So the meatballs cooked about 10 minutes total after the browning. Looking forward to eating more this week!
This is good. I used garlic scapes instead of onions.
I will say that I was under the impression that it was a one pan meal from the picture. It’s not! I am hoping to find a good one that is.
I love the concept of this meal, but I’m appalled at the high amount of fat and sodium in the nutrition analysis. What could be done to lower these two values to make this a healthier meal?
Hi Ron, ground turkey is naturally low in fat and the recipe only calls for a tablespoon of oil. To lower fat and sodium, I recommend using your favorite low sodium spice blend, and steaming the veggies instead of coating them in oil.
Here’s a few tweaks we make for health –
1. We buy a basic tomato ketchup (not high fructose corn syrup, low sodium, all organic) and use it to make our own ketchup. This lets us control the amount of sugar and other things.
2. Ground turkey is pretty lean, and you can use unsalted oats in place of breadcrumbs if the salt in the breadcrumbs is an issue. (We’re gluten free so tend to use oatmeal in place of breadcrumbs pretty often!)
3. Adding more veggies is always a great option too. Then you can portion control the amount of rice and meat you’re eating, but still feel full!
Just some suggestions!
Why show a picture of one pan, when it will take two pans to make this?
Searching for ground Turkey recipes and came across this one. Had all the ingredients plus microwave rice to make it even easier. Wow! I was not expecting to love this. I can’t believe something so simple was so good. Will be a regular in our house
This one was quite good!! Very easy to make ahead and cook a few hours later (stored in the fridge in the meantime). My 9 year old says “love the meatballs.” Thank you!
Would it be the same if I used fresh pineapple?
You could probably use fresh pineapple! I haven’t tried it, but it seems like it would work alright.
I tried this because it looked so easy. It was really good, a nice new idea for ground beef and rice. Will make again.
Great recipe! I used ground pork for the meatballs and used two cooking sheets as recommended. The only thing I would do differently is saute the meatballs before baking (they are good without doing this, but if you’ve got the time it would be worth it!). Definitely heed the advice of using parchment paper – it will save you a headache later on. We will definitely make this again!