Remember that it’s not LaTeX that generates the BBL, it’s BibTeX.
- Run LaTeX to generate the AUX file. It adds a line every time it finds a cite.
- Then run BibTeX (executable: bibtex) to generate the BBL (from the AUX lines).
- Then run LaTeX again, which will include the BBL.
- Then run LaTeX again to make any updates corresponding to including the possibly massive BBL (e.g., updating your final page count on each of your pages, updating your ToC, etc.).