If you love quick and easy healthy appetizers, these gluten free barbecue turkey meatballs have a special ingredient that makes these hard to resist!! All you need are a few simple ingredients to make these bbq turkey meatballs in an Instant Pot or stovetop!
Do you have an Instant Pot or pressure cooker? It makes cooking a total breeze! This Instant Pot meatball appetizer recipe is perfect for a party. Don't worry, I also include stovetop directions for those who don't have an Instant Pot.
This is the easiest gluten free barbecue meatball recipe ever! There is no precooking needed to make this family favorite recipe.
Why These BBQ Turkey Meatballs Are Great:
- These instant pot bbq meatballs are juicy, sweet from the barbecue sauce, and absolutely delicious. Ground turkey can turn out moist and delicious!
- Bacon. Yup, these turkey meatballs are also loaded with turkey bacon inside. Take a bite and try not to eat the whole batch of gluten free BBQ meatballs in one sitting! They aren't kidding when they say bacon makes it better.
- If you haven't used a pressure cooker yet, wait until you see how fast it works to cook your food...without heating up your whole house! Now you can use your stove and oven for other food!
- They make great high-protein snacks for the kids, and they are also the perfect appetizer for a get-together or game day. They are perfect for all good times!
Appetizers are our thing here and they make the best party foods. Here are more delicious gluten free appetizer recipes to try.
- Ground Turkey - I used ground turkey breast, but you can use dark meat ground turkey or use ANY ground meat like ground beef or pork.
- Bacon - I used turkey bacon, but regular bacon is also delicious.
- Egg - Use one egg, size large.
- Barbecue Sauce - I used First Street brand barbecue sauce for this recipe. There are quite a few great store-bought gluten free bbq sauces. Always read the labels to see which is gluten free! I include a list of my favorite gluten free bbq sauces in the FAQ section below.
- Jam - I absolutely love adding apricot jam to my recipe. It adds the right amount of tangy sweetness, and it helps keep the meatballs moist.
- Bread Crumbs - You can use a store-bought bread crumb like Ians, or make these Gluten Free Bread Crumbs. Making your own crumbs is a lot less expensive than buying them!
- Paprika - I used regular paprika, but smoked paprika also works well in this recipe.
Recipe Step By Step Directions:
Step 1: Grab a dishwasher-safe cutting board and a sharp knife. Chop your uncooked turkey bacon, or regular bacon into small pieces. In a large mixing bowl, add the bacon and the ground turkey meat.
One of the things I love about bacon is that it adds a smokey dimension and extra moistness to these meatballs.
Step 2: Add the bread crumbs, seasonings, minced garlic, and the egg to the ground meats. Mix the meats to combine all of the ingredients. For best results, I like to use my hands because it really gets all of the seasonings mixed into every bit!
Step 3: Pour half of the barbecue sauce and apricot jam into the pressure cooker. Stir them to mix them together. Use your hands to roll/form mini meatballs out of the meat. Drop the raw meatballs into the Instant Pot.
Step 4: Pour the second half of the barbecue sauce and jam over the meatballs to submerge them. This pressure cooker is going to cook these meatballs in just 20 minutes!
Step 5: Close and lock the lid on your Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Cook for 20 minutes on the beef stew setting. You can do a quick-release or slow release to let the pressure out when they are finished cooking.
Double check the internal temperature with a digital thermometer. Ensure they are 165º F. Serve them hot.
Make your meatballs the same way. Instead of an Instant Pot, add the barbecue sauce and meatballs to a pot. Add ¼ cup of water. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat.
When the mixture begins to boil, turn the heat down to simmer. Cook for 20-30 minutes until the meatballs are done. (Actual cooking time is going to depend on how large you make your meatballs.
Check the internal temperature of a few meatballs and make sure they are 165º F.
If you have an Instant Pot or pressure cooker, this is going to be a huge timesaver for you! If you love using ground turkey, next time try my Gluten Free Turkey Meatballs with Italian Seasonings. It is amazing for sub sandwiches!
Tips and Recipe FAQ:
You can find lots of gluten free barbecue sauces including Stubbs, Annie's, Sky Valley, Bone Sucking Sauce, Lillie's Q, Organicville, and Kraft. They all have great flavors of BBQ sauce.
Meatballs that are dry tend to be overcooked, or they are cooked dry (not covered in liquid.) Cooking these meatballs submerged in the barbecue sauce will help them stay moist and delicious.
These gluten free barbecue meatballs will keep for up to 4 days in an air-tight container or for up to 4 months in the freezer. I freeze them in a zip-style freezer bag.
This post was updated from an older December 2019 post with more details.
More Party Appetizer Recipes:
- Here are all of my most popular appetizer recipes in this roundup!
- Healthy Chicken Meatballs Four Ways
- Hot Cream Cheese Scallion Dip
- Black Bean Dip and Nachos
Easy Gluten Free Barbecue Turkey Meatballs
- 1 ½ pounds ground turkey * see note
- 6 slices raw turkey bacon * see note
- ½ cup gluten free bread crumbs * see note
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 cup apricot jam
- 1 bottle honey barbecue sauce
- Slice up the turkey bacon into small pieces.
- In a large bowl, add turkey bacon, ground turkey, bread crumbs, garlic and other spices. Mix well.
- Spray cooking oil in the internal pot in the pressure cooker. Add jam and barbecue sauce.
- Use your hands to roll small meatballs with the turkey meat mixture.
- Add the meatballs to the pressure cooker.
- Follow the instructions for operating your pressure cooker. I used on by Corsori, so I chose meat as my cooking option.
- Cook for 20 minutes.
- Allow pressure to ease before opening your pressure cooker. If in doubt, refer to the instruction guide that came with your pressure cooker.
- Enjoy the meatballs!
- Make your meatballs as directed above.
- Add the barbecue sauce and meatballs to a pot with ¼ cup of water. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat.
- When the mixture begins to boil, turn the heat down to simmer. Cook for 20-30 minutes until the meatballs are done. (Actual cooking time is going to depend on how large you make your meatballs.
- Check the internal temperature of a few meatballs and make sure they are 165º F.
- You can easily substitute ground beef, chicken, or pork if you prefer.
- You can buy gluten free breadcrumbs/panko, or make your own gluten free breadcrumbs.
- Gluten free barbecue sauce brands include Stubbs, Annie's, Sky Valley, Bone Sucking Sauce, Lillie's Q, Organicville, and Kraft. (There are others so always check the labels!)
- These meatballs will keep up to 4 days in an air-tight container, or up to 4 months in the freezer.
Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.
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(*this post was updated from an older 12/2017 post with more details.)