Like many Americans, I grew up thinking there was no food with quite the comfort food potential as bacon cheeseburgers, and I confess I still really like that flavor combination. So when the idea for these Low-Carb Grilled Bacon Cheeseburger Meatballs popped into my mind, I had to try it, even if this isn't quite the kind of healthy food I try to focus on!
When I shared the idea with Kara and Jake, they both liked the sound of it, and I had to make it with both of them to get a version I wanted to share with you. The keeper recipe in this post has all the flavors I love in bacon cheeseburgers, and that includes dill pickles and burger sauce in addition to the beef, bacon, and cheese!
I will confess that these are a little tricky to make, with the hardest part being tucking the bits of cheese inside the meatballs before you put them on the grill. And some cheese will still ooze out, so you want to cook them on a grilling pan like the one I used to help cut down on the mess. But these are delicious! If you're someone who likes those bacon cheeseburger flavors, please give them a try!
Season the ground beef with steak seasoning and black pepper. Cook bacon and crumble it and dice up dill pickles and cheese; then mix into the beef.
Now for the tricky part! Form into 1/4 cup meatballs, tucking the cubes of cheese into the center of the meatballs as you make them. Put formed meatballs into the fridge to chill for about 30-40 minutes to help them keep their shape on the grill. When you're ready to cook, heat the grilling pan on top of the grill for a few minutes, then brush meatballs with olive oil as you put them on the pan.
Cook meatballs over medium-high heat, turning them with tongs about every 2 minutes so they get a little browned on all sides. Start checking with an instant-read meat thermometer after about 15 minutes and cook until the meatballs reach a temperature of at least 160F/102C.
Hires Fry Sauce, which I'm happy I can buy at my local store. At my house it rarely gets used on fries, but it's a favorite topping for burger patties!
Low-Carb Grilled Bacon Cheeseburger Meatballs
(Makes 8-10 meatballs; recipe created by Kalyn with recipe testing help from Kara and Jake.)
I recommend using a grilling pan to cook meatballs on the grill and an instant-read meat thermometer to check for doneness.
1 lb. lean ground beef
2 tsp. steak seasoning (Any brand that's good on steak will work.)
1/2 tsp. fresh-ground black pepper
6 slices very crisp bacon, crumbled (We used pre-cooked bacon and crisped it in the microwave, then blotted off the extra fat.)
1/4 cup chopped dill pickle (Don't use pickle relish; that will make the meatballs too moist.)
4 oz. Swiss cheese, cut into very small cubes (Or use other cheese of your choice.)
olive oil for brushing meatballs
burger sauce or fry sauce for dipping meatballs (Optional but highly recommended; I used Hires Fry Sauce, a Utah favorite!)
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 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 grill to medium-high heat. Remove meatballs from the fridge and brush on both sides with a little olive oil to help 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.
Definitely these meatballs are higher in fat than what is recommended for the South Beach Diet, but personally I think having something like this for a treat once in a while is fine, especially if it helps prevent you from eating actual bacon cheeseburgers! Everything here is a low-carb ingredient and these meatballs should be fine for most other low-carb eating plans.
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More Meatballs You Might Like:
Top Ten Slow Cooker Meatballs ~ Slow Cooker from Scratch
Low-Carb Baked Swedish Meatballs ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
BLT Turkey Meatballs ~ The Perfect Pantry
Low-Carb Baked Greek Meatballs with Feta and Oregano ~ Kalyn's Kitchen