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Spicy BBQ Meatball Bowls

Spicy BBQ Meatball Bowls
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The following recipe and photography were provided by local blogger Carolyn Hodges of The Dinner Shift.

Heinen’s is now carrying Ian’s Chicken Meatballs, which are prepared without any of the major allergens, including gluten. They’re tender, flavorful and a quick protein option for busy weeknights. Look for them in the freezer section. They also carry an Italian variety, which is perfect for dropping into a simmering pot of your favorite marinara!

While these meatballs are totally delicious on their own, here’s a simple way to jazz them up for something a little different! Toss the meatballs in a homemade Korean-style BBQ sauce (which can be prepared in 5 minutes), then serve them over brown rice alongside a simple and refreshing cucumber salad.

Spicy BBQ Meatball Bowls

Spicy BBQ Meatball Bowls


For the Cucumber Salad

  • 1 large English cucumber, very thinly sliced or shaved
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • ½ cup green onions, thinly sliced

For the BBQ Sauce and Meatballs

  • 1 package of Ian's Gluten-Free Chicken Meatballs
  • ⅓ cup reduced sodium tamari
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. chili paste, like sambal oelek
  • 1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch

To Serve

  • 2-3 cups cooked brown rice


  1. Bake the chicken meatballs according to the package instructions. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Using your hands, toss the sliced cucumber with the salt in a large bowl. Set aside for 10-15 minutes, then drain and rinse under cold running water. Drain again and transfer to a bowl.
  3. Toss the cucumbers with vinegar, toasted sesame oil and green onions. Add additional salt or vinegar to taste.
  4. Bring the tamari, brown sugar, chili paste, rice wine vinegar, toasted sesame oil, garlic powder and ginger to a boil in a small saucepan.
  5. Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to simmer, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes.
  6. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the water and cornstarch, then stir into the simmering tamari mixture.
  7. Continue to simmer, stirring constantly for 1 minute, or until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat.
  8. Toss the cooked meatballs in the BBQ sauce, using more or less to taste. (Leftover sauce can be refrigerated for 2-3 weeks.) Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  9. To serve, divide the cooked brown rice among 4 wide, shallow bowls. Top with 4-5 meatballs and cucumber salad.

Korean BBQ Meatball Bowls


Carolyn Hodges

By Carolyn Hodges

Carolyn is a mom of boys and culinary dietitian in Cleveland, Ohio. The Dinner Shift is dedicated to helping busy moms get dinner on the table after the weekday grind, however that is defined for you and yours.

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