Any sports lovin’ grillin' enthusiast loves this time of year as the greatest basketball tournament roars to life. March Madness is here with 68 teams fighting for the championship, and Grillsanity sets the menu with addictively delicious gameday revelry. Get set for the three days of back-to-back, edge-of-your-seat action with Bacon Cheeseburger Meatballs. These homemade meatballs are packed with bacon, swiss cheese, and spices for a salty and savory explosion of flavor. March Madness is the perfect excuse to create glorious appetizers and dishes to enjoy throughout the next three weeks of mayhem.
To make the ground beef mixture for the meatballs, create our own Montreal steak seasoning by combining paprika, pepper, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, coriander, dill weed, and cayenne pepper. By hand, combine the beef with spices, eggs, crumbled bacon, finely chopped dill pickles, and tiny cubes of swiss cheese. Use a ¼ cup measuring cup to keep the meatballs uniform in size, which helps with consistency when grilling. To help them keep their shape, refrigerate the meatballs on a baking sheet for 30-40 minutes. Using a preheated grill pan accessory, grill the meatballs over medium-high heat until browned and beautiful. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce or fry sauce for a platter of tasty goodness to enjoy while relishing the madness. With 36 games over the next three days, it’s time to get grilling so you can cheer on your team and see how your bracket unfolds – this is Grillsanity!
Makes 18 meatballs
Bacon Cheeseburger Meatballs Ingredients
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 4 teaspoons steak seasoning
- 1 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 2 egg
- 12 slices bacon, crumbled
- 1/2 cup chopped dill pickle (not relish)
- 8 oz. Swiss cheese, cut into tiny cubes (Or use other cheese of your choice.)
- olive oil for brushing meatballs
- 3 tablespoons paprika (I used sweet paprika)
- 2 tablespoons black pepper
- 3 tablespoons salt (I used kosher salt)
- 3 tablespoons garlic powder (or granulated garlic)
- 2 tablespoons onion powder (or granulated onion)
- 2 tablespoons ground coriander
- 2 tablespoons dill weed
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
Bacon Cheeseburger Meatballs Directions
- Crumble the beef into a plastic bowl and sprinkle with the steak seasoning and black pepper; add the egg.
- Crisp the bacon and crumble, dice the dill pickles, and cut the cheese into small cubes.
- Add the crumbled bacon, diced pickles, and cubes of cheese to the ground beef, and use your hands to gently combine ingredients. (Don't over-mix; that will make the meatballs tough.)
- Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop out the beef mixture and then form it into a meatball, tucking the cheese cubes inside as you make the meatballs.
- Put formed meatballs on a small baking sheet and put them in the fridge to chill for 30-40 minutes. This will help the meatballs keep their shape on the hot grill.
- When you're ready to cook, put the grilling pan on top of the grill grates to heat while you preheat the grill to medium-high heat. (You can also cook on a Stovetop Grill Pan, which should also be preheated.)
- Remove meatballs from the fridge and brush on both sides with a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking.
- Put meatballs on the grilling pan to cook, turning them about every 2 minutes, so they're getting browned on all sides.
- Start checking for doneness after about 15 minutes. (We used an instant-read meat thermometer to check for an internal temperature of at least 160F/102C. If you don’t have a thermometer like that and don’t want to buy one, you can cut open a meatball and make sure the inside is cooked through.)
- Serve hot, with dipping sauce for dipping meatballs if desired.
- These meatballs reheat well, so you may want to double the recipe to be sure you'll have plenty leftover to reheat for another meal!
- Combine all spices in a small bowl and stir together.
- Store unused portion in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.
- When using, be careful to apply the steak seasoning with one hand and rub with the other, so you don't contaminate the unused portion.