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Pumpkin Barbecue Meatballs

  • Author: Joscelyn Abreu
  • Total Time: 50
  • Yield: 28 1x


Juicy bites of ground turkey (or beef) smothered in a delicious homemade pumpkin barbecue sauce. Gluten, dairy, and egg free.



Pumpkin Barbecue Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon dairy-free/grass-fed butter or ghee
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons mustard of choice (I’ve used honey or dijon)
  • 1.5 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/21 tablespoon coconut sugar, maple syrup, or brown sugar (to taste)
  • Generous pinch of the following spices (to taste)—
  • -salt
  • -pepper
  • -paprika
  • -cayenne pepper
  • -pumpkin pie spice (optional)


  • 1.25 lbs (20 oz) ground turkey or beef
  • 3/4 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used unsweetened, plain almond milk)
  • 2 tablespoons flax meal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


To Make The Barbecue Sauce

  1. In a medium saucepan, sauté onions and garlic in butter/ghee over medium heat. When the onions begin to turn translucent, stir in the ketchup, pumpkin, water, vinegar, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Add sugar and seasonings, to taste. It’ll depend on the flavor in your other ingredients. Let the sauce simmer on low until thoroughly heated. Set aside to use later.

To Make The Meatballs

  1. Combine the ground meat, oats, onion, milk, flax meal, salt and pepper. Roll into 1″ balls and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. I was able to make 28 meatballs, but it’ll vary depending on the size you roll them.
  2. Turn the broil feature on and let your oven preheat for a few minutes. Place the baking sheet on the middle rack in the oven and broil for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and reduce oven temperature to 350F. Use a spatula to transfer meatballs to a smaller baking dish. Pour barbecue sauce evenly over the meatballs, cover the dish with aluminum foil (optional) and return to the oven. Continue to bake the meatballs in the sauce for 15-20 minutes or until the meatballs are firm and cooked thoroughly on the inside. Serve hot.


  • Tip: You can use the pumpkin barbecue sauce in place of other barbecue sauces to glaze chicken, ribs, pork, etc..
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 35