Sweet and Spicy “Dirty” Meatballs

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Sweet and Spicy Meatballs combine both ground beef and pulled pork = Dirty Meatballs (a.k.a the best kind of meatballs).

Tender pulled pork is stuffed into these bite-size meatballs and then they’re coated in an irresistible sweet and spicy barbecue sauce. 

Sweet and Spicy Dirty Meatballs - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Served with roasted potatoes and plenty of barbecue sauce on the side for dipping, these Sweet and Spicy Meatballs have been my boys’ favorite meal for the past couple weeks.

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These Dirty Meatballs were inspired by the Filthy Burgers that we made last summer. Sweet and Spicy Meatballs are everything I love about pulled pork in a bite-size meatball.

The bits of pork along the edge of the meatball get a little bit crispy, the inside stays juicy and the whole thing is coated in a sticky sweet and spicy barbecue sauce.

Sweet and Spicy Dirty Meatballs (made with pulled pork and ground beef) - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

I highly recommend you set aside a bit of pulled pork next time you have it in the house because these meatballs are an excellent way to make the most of the leftovers.

I like to serve these Sweet and Spicy Meatballs with Roasted PotatoesMemphis Coleslaw, or Slow Cooker Baked Beans.

Here are some more meatball recipes you might like:
Kung Pao Meatballs by Iowa Girl Eats
Juicy Lucy Meatballs by Spend with Pennies
Chicken Parmesan Meatballs by Barefeet In The Kitchen
Baked Greek Meatballs by Kalyn’s Kitchen
Stuffed Bell Pepper Meatballs by Barefeet In The Kitchen
Teriyaki Meatballs by Mom On Timeout

Did you know you can make Air Fryer Meatloaf? I’m betting that method would work nicely with these meatballs too!

Kitchen Tip: I use these baking sheets to make this recipe.

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Sweet and Spicy Dirty Meatballs

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 48 1-inch meatballs


  • 2 cups cooked pulled pork roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups of barbecue sauce divided


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Combine the pork, beef, and ½ cup barbecue sauce in a large mixing bowl. Mix with your hands to evenly mix the different meats. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Scoop and shape into small 1-inch meatballs and place on two foil lined baking sheets. 
  • Set aside ½ cup barbecue sauce for serving and refrigerate until needed. Top each meatball with a generous teaspoon of the remaining sauce, and brush to coat the tops if needed. Bake for 16 minutes.
  • Remove meatballs from the oven, brush with an additional teaspoon or so of sauce and bake an additional 2 minutes. Serve with the remaining sauce on the side for dipping, if desired. Enjoy!


My first choice is to use my Sweet And Spicy Barbecue Sauce for these meatballs. However, I’ve made the meatballs several times now and in a pinch, Sweet Baby Ray’s Original Barbecue Sauce is a great store-bought alternative. (Ha, nope, they don’t have a clue who I am, it’s just the only non-fake-smoke-flavor sauce I’ve found that we actually like!)


Calories: 56kcal · Carbohydrates: 2g · Protein: 4g · Fat: 3g · Saturated Fat: 1g · Cholesterol: 14mg · Sodium: 98mg · Potassium: 78mg · Sugar: 1g · Vitamin A: 15IU · Calcium: 5mg · Iron: 0.4mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

{originally published 4/4/16 – recipe notes and photos updated 8/25/21}

Sweet and Spicy "Dirty" Meatballs - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Karen @ The Food Charlatan says

    I am down for anything with "Dirty" in the title. Haha! These sound amazing! I love putting unexpected things in meatballs. It's so fun, and this sounds delicious. My mom used to give out prizes to dinner guests if they could guess what was in her meatloaf. I'm not even kidding. Haha!

    • Mary says

      The amount of sauce shouldn’t affect the overall amount of meat too much. If it’s extra saucy, just figure mostly meat in the measurements.

    • Charli says

      Thanks! Any differences? I’m going to slow cook some pork today for the pulled pork part of these – do you have any tips on ingredients to put in the slow cooker?