I know it is hard to believe but sometimes I get cook’s block.  It is like writer’s block except I can not think of a single thing to make for dinner.  So earlier this week Dana requested something from chicken and something from ground beef.  I went to the store  and picked up the basic ingredients.  With the chicken I ended up making Bourbon Chicken.  However, the beef was harder for me. I scoured my cabinets and found the stuff to make pasta, but I have done meatballs many times before. I had no idea what to do.  Then I happened to stumble across Grilled meatballs over at NibbleMeThis.  It was a great idea, it would add a nice smokey flavor to the meatballs. I thought, what the heck, why not make meatballs and cook them on the grill.  So I went to my basic meatball recipe and took out a tad bit of liquid in order to make sure that they did not fall apart on the grill.  Then it was on.

Grilled Meatballs

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tbs dried parsley
  • 2 tsp basil
  • 4 tbs grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • pinch kosher salt

In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients minus the bread crumbs and meat.  Mix together.

Add the ingredients to a bowl

Then add the ground beef and the bread crumbs.

Add the meat and bread crumbs

Next mix everything together.  Your hands are the best tool for this.  I have found that picking up some rubber gloves from the pharmacy helps out a ton.  That way you are not picking out bits of meat from under your finger nails for the next week.

Perfect little meatballs

Once mixed, form the mixture into meatballs.  I would use about 1-2 tbs of meat to form each ball.  A cookie scoop is a great way to portion the meat so that all of your meatballs are the same size.  Using your hand roll each one into a perfectly formed ball and set aside.

Preheat your grill to medium/high.

Place the meatballs directly over the heat on the grill.

Grill the meatballs

Rotate the meatballs every 3-4 minutes so that they get browned on all sides.

Rotate and continue cooking

Rotate so that all of the edges of the meatballs are browned.  This will take about 16-18 minutes in total.  Cook till the centers of the meatballs are 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fully cooked Meatballs

Remove the meatballs from the grill and place them in a simmering pan of your favorite sauce.

Sauce them up

Simmer the meatballs for 10-15 minutes.

During this time cook your favorite pasta.  Dana loves angel hair pasta.  So it is our staple.

Plate the pasta and top with the meatballs and sauce.

Angel Hair with Meatballs

I added a tad bit of fresh parmigiana and dinner was ready.

Pasta with Grilled Meatballs

Not a bad meal for only having ground beef to work with.

The meatballs were moist and delicious! The added hint of smokey flavor from grilling really complemented the hearty red sauce.  It was a great meal.

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.


  1. Nice one, Rex. I do like that something different that the grilling brings out in the meatballs.

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