A whimsical after school snack which is sure to please hungry kids. Serve with extra BBQ sauce and a cold glass of milk.


Recipe Summary

45 mins
30 mins
1 hr 15 mins
25 meatballs


Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist
Animal Cut-Outs:


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  • Soak pieces of torn bread in the milk in a bowl for 5 minutes. Gently squeeze out milk. Add beaten egg to the soaked bread and mix well.

  • Mix garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, salt, Italian herb seasoning, sugar, and Parmesan cheese together in a small bowl. Add to bread-egg mixture.

  • Place ground beef in a mixing bowl. Add seasoning mixture and onions; mix together with a fork. If mixture is too dry, add up to a tablespoon of milk. Roll into 25 meatballs and arrange on rimmed baking sheet.

  • Bake in preheated oven until browned and cooked through, about 18 minutes.

  • Drain meatballs on a paper towel. Remove grease from the baking sheet. Transfer meatballs back to the baking sheet. Drizzle 1 cup BBQ sauce over meatballs.

  • Return sheet to oven and bake 12 more minutes.

  • Use a small animal vegetable cutter to make animals out of green, orange, and red peppers. Cut animals out of Colby Jack and mild Cheddar cheese.

  • Drain meatballs on a paper towel and add more BBQ sauce if desired. Add cheese animal cut-out and then animal pepper cut-out to the toothpicks. Work quickly to add toothpick to each meatball.

Cook's Notes:

Pair with a glass of chilled, organic whole milk.

Nutrition Facts

413 calories; protein 23.3g 47% DV; carbohydrates 25.5g 8% DV; fat 24g 37% DV; cholesterol 112.7mg 38% DV; sodium 1010.9mg 40% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (4)

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Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
Basing my review on the meatballs alone; I tried them plain and they were great! Love that this recipe uses real bread instead of crumbs. Read More
4 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 4
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
These meatballs are fantastic! The peppers and cheese made Avery nice addition. I made these for a snack for game day and they were quickly gobbled up. It was just adults so I used a spicy BBQ sauce and didn't bother with the fancy cutouts. Because the meatballs themselves are so good in my opinion they should have less sauce. I'll be making these again for sure! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
What fun! I couldn't wait to make these for my kids' Halloween parties. I used ghost pumpkin skull and bat cookie cutters. To make them ahead of time I didn't bake the bbq sauce onto the meatballs. I made the meatballs the night before then added the sauce as a dip on the side. I had teens to feed so I used a spicy bbq sauce. To curb the heat I served ice cold milk in wine glasses for them. They loved it! Thank you for the recipe! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Really good meatballs with the perfect amount of spices for me. So many different types of cut-outs can be used or nothing at all! Makes a perfect dinner or cute appetizer. I followed the timing recommended in the recipe and it was spot on. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Basing my review on the meatballs alone; I tried them plain and they were great! Love that this recipe uses real bread instead of crumbs. Read More