These Apple Cider BBQ Meatballs are a sweet and savory meal that's delicious and WW friendly!

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apple cider bbq meatballs

Every now and again, I create a recipe that knocks my own socks off of this is one of them. As you guys know, I am a sucker for anything sweet and salty, and these apple cider bbq meatballs deliver. Sweet, salty, smoky, and so dang tasty, all while being Weight Watchers. Friendly! They make for a perfect fall dinner, and I can’t wait for you to try them.   

apple cider bbq meatballs

Making Apple Cider BBQ Meatballs

I made these in the air fryer, which gave them a perfectly crisp outside while keeping the inside super juicy. You can also pan fry or bake these – anything works! The sauce is made separately so you’ll toss your meatballs when they’re cooked.

To make the meatballs, you’ll combine ground chicken with plain bread crumbs, egg, fresh garlic, fresh chopped rosemary, grated onion, chopped green onion, and finely diced apple. Mix it all together, and then using wet hands, form into meatballs. I use a large cookie scoop to make them uniform, and it makes about 16 meatballs. Spray well with cooking spray and then air fry until the internal temperature reaches 165F (I use a meat thermometer to check). I typically air fry at 375F for 15-18 minutes.

apple cider bbq meatballs

While they cook, you’ll make your apple cider bbq sauce. The sauce combines real apple cider with bbq sauce (I use Stubb’s which is delicious and WW friendly), dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, and a little bit of corn starch to thicken it. Combine all ingredients (minus cornstarch) in a saucepan and simmer over medium low heat for 15 min to reduce. Then, combine cornstarch with a tiny bit of water to create a smooth slurry, and add half into the sauce and mix well. If needed, add more cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce (it should be the consistency of maple syrup).

Toss meatballs in sauce and enjoy! I serve these with carrot fries (or your favorite vegetable) and store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

apple cider bbq meatballs

Apple Cider BBQ Meatballs

Jacklin Altman
These meatballs are a simple meal that's sweet, savory and oh-so-tasty.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 16 meatballs
Calories 74 kcal


  • Saucepan
  • Air Fryer
  • Mixing Bowls


  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 2 cloves garlic pressed
  • 1 Tsp rosemary chopped
  • 1 small apple diced finely
  • 1/2 small onion diced finely
  • 2 tbsp green onion chopped
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 Tsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 tbsp bbq sauce
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch mixed w 1 tbsp water (start w half)


  • Combine all meatball ingredients in a large bowl and mix until uniform. Scoop into 16 meatballs and spray well with cooking spray. Air fry at 375F for 15-18 minutes, until they reach an internal temperature of 165F.
  • While the meatballs cook, combine all sauce ingredients (minus cornstarch slurry) and simmer sauce over medium heat for 15 min to reduce.
  • Then add half of corn starch slurry and mix. If it’s still not thick enough, add the rest of the slurry and mix well. Sauce should be about the consistency of maple syrup when done.
  • Toss meatballs in sauce and serve immediately. Garnish with fresh rosemary and serve with your choice of sides. Enjoy!


A serving is 4 meatballs which is 2 WW points. Click here to add to WW app.


Calories: 74kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 6gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 80mgPotassium: 199mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 39IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 9mgIron: 0.5mg
Keyword WW, air fryer, meatballs, apple, apple cider, chicken, dinner
Tried this recipe?Add your thoughts below in the comments or post on social media and tag @foodbythegram!

1 thought on “Apple Cider BBQ Meatballs”

  1. 5 stars
    This is such a great fall recipe. The rosemary and apple together – unreal. These felt light and delicious, full of flavor. Will definitely be making again!

5 from 2 votes (1 rating without comment)

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