DinnerRecipes

BBQ Meatball-Topped Mac & Cheese

Need an excellent gluten-free meal for cheat day? Make this tangy and incredibly cheesy BBQ Meatball-Topped Mac & Cheese! Homemade meatballs are roasted and then simmered in your favorite BBQ sauce until sticky, and are then laid atop from-scratch GF mac & cheese!

For those of us with spouses that love comfort food, this recipe is for you. Sometimes the lean protein and the salads get tired. We all want to be healthy and happy, and sometimes a good, old cheat meal is the thing that brings joy.

For a stick-to-your-ribs weeknight meal, try this insanely delicious BBQ Meatball-Topped Mac & Cheese! Each element is homemade, rich, and comes together in less than an hour. Juicy, tender meatballs are made with ground pork, beef, and oats before baking at a high temperature until the outside is crisp and the inside is tender.

And don’t forget about the bed of mac & cheese on the bottom! Made with brown rice pasta, heavy cream, spices, and melty cheese, this will be your new go-to recipe and is way better than the stuff from a box. You won’t believe how good this dish is!

Also, feel free to use this meatball recipe separate from the mac & cheese recipe. They go great together, but can also be used as your go-to meatballs or M&C!

Gluten-Free Pasta: a Dilemma

As someone who has been gluten-free for years, pasta is still hard for me to eat without wheat. I love rice noodles and the like, but something is often missing from gluten-free noodle varieties. True al-dente pasta has to have the right chew and consistency for one to enjoy, and many GF varieties quickly turn to mush.

Some of the best gluten-free pasta varieties that are toothsome and enjoyable are:

  • Brown rice pasta (found in this recipe)
  • Cassava pasta
  • Chickpea pasta
  • Buckwheat pasta
  • Blanched zucchini noodles

Choose any of the above pasta varieties and cook until *just* done. Any longer and you can compromise the consistency!

Ingredients in BBQ Meatball-Topped Mac & Cheese

For the Meatballs:

  • ½ onion, diced fine
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¾ lb. ground beef
  • ¾ lb. ground pork
  • ⅓ cup gluten-free oats
  • ½ cup grated carrot 
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • ⅓ cup milk or oat milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp Worchestershire sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar, packed
  • a tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 cup gluten-free BBQ sauce, your favorite kind

For the Mac & Cheese:

  • 6 oz. gluten-free brown rice pasta, rigatoni or elbows, cooked and cooled slightly
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp mustard powder
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ⅛ tsp turmeric 
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper

How to Make BBQ Meatball-Topped Mac & Cheese

Begin by making the meatballs.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a small saucepan, add the diced onions and oil over medium-low heat. Cook 5 minutes until the onions soften, then transfer to a bowl.

To the same bowl as the onions, add the ground meats, oats, ketchup, milk, egg, Worchestershire, garlic, sugar, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Using a fork or your hands, mix all of the ingredients together until you have one homogenous mixture.

Grease a baking dish for baking the meatballs.

Using an ⅛-cup measuring spoon, scoop and roll your meatballs. Place them into the greased baking dish in one single layer.

Bake for 30-40 minutes until browned on the outside and cooked through.

Once cooked, add your BBQ sauce to a skillet. Turn the heat to medium and add the meatballs. Simmer the meatballs in the BBQ sauce until it becomes sticky, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, make your Mac & Cheese.

Cook and drain your noodles.

To a medium saucepan, add the heavy cream, butter, garlic powder, mustard, and cayenne. Bring to a simmer then reduce the heat to medium-low, allowing the cream to reduce and thicken. After 2-4 minutes and the cream is thickened, cut the heat. Add the cheese and stir gently, allowing the cheese to melt into the cream. Do not boil or simmer the cheese, otherwise, the sauce will break.

Stir in the salt and pepper before tossing the sauce with your cooked noodles.

To assemble, fill a shallow bowl with Mac & Cheese. Top with your BBQ-glazed meatballs. Garnish with fresh chives.

BBQ Meatball-Topped Mac & Cheese

BBQ Meatball-Topped Mac & Cheese

Tracy Nawara
Need an excellent gluten-free meal for cheat day? Make this tangy and incredibly cheesy BBQ Meatball-Topped Mac & Cheese! Homemade meatballs are roasted and then simmered in your favorite BBQ sauce until sticky, and are then laid atop from-scratch GF mac & cheese!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2 servings

Ingredients
  

For the Meatballs:

  • 1/2 onion, diced fine
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 lb. ground beef
  • 3/4 lb. ground pork
  • 1/3 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1/3 cup milk or oat milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp Worchestershire sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup gluten-free BBQ sauce

For the Mac & Cheese:

  • 6 oz. gluten-free brown rice pasta, cooked
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Instructions
 

  • Begin by making the meatballs.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • In a small saucepan, add the diced onions and oil over medium-low heat. Cook 5 minutes until the onions soften, then transfer to a bowl.
  • To the same bowl as the onions, add the ground meats, oats, ketchup, milk, egg, Worchestershire, garlic, sugar, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Using a fork or your hands, mix all of the ingredients together until you have one homogenous mixture.
  • Grease a baking dish for baking the meatballs.
  • Using an ⅛-cup measuring spoon, scoop and roll your meatballs. Place them into the greased baking dish in one single layer.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes until browned on the outside and cooked through.
  • Once cooked, add your BBQ sauce to a skillet. Turn the heat to medium and add the meatballs. Simmer the meatballs in the BBQ sauce until it becomes sticky, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  • Meanwhile, make your Mac & Cheese.
  • Cook and drain your noodles.
  • To a medium saucepan, add the heavy cream, butter, garlic powder, mustard, and cayenne. Bring to a simmer then reduce the heat to medium-low, allowing the cream to reduce and thicken. After 2-4 minutes and the cream is thickened, cut the heat. Add the cheese and stir gently, allowing the cheese to melt into the cream. Do not boil or simmer the cheese, otherwise, the sauce will break.
  • Stir in the salt and pepper before tossing the sauce with your cooked noodles.
  • To assemble, fill a shallow bowl with Mac & Cheese. Top with your BBQ-glazed meatballs. Garnish with fresh chives.
Keyword BBQ Meatball-Topped Mac & Cheese
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




Back to top button