Easy Crockpot appetizer meatballs are always a party food hit. Use frozen turkey or beef to make it even easier with your favorite sauce. From savory to our sweet we have a few sauce options too. Use defrosted or Crockpot frozen meatballs and get started.
These Crockpot appetizer meatballs are killer when you’re hosting a party, or just as a fun dinner idea. Using bottled or this homemade sweet and savory sauce they are always a hit with kids and adults. One of the easy Crockpot recipes we have on our site. (affiliate links present)
Meatballs in Crockpot
Yes we have made Instant Pot frozen meatballs before with the grape jelly mixture and those are incredible. BUT for larger functions when people are going to be snacking for a few hours, these work out better. Once tender you can turn your cooker on the warm function and let everyone enjoy them throughout the get together.
They kinda’ get better as they sit too…..if I’m being really honest…. The sweet slow cooker bbq meatballs sauce really soaks into the meat and OMG I can taste them already.
FIRST – You should sign up for my free newsletter so you get new posts emailed to you twice a week and never miss out on anything! Let’s talk a little bit about slow cooking shall we?? First off I have a few different varieties and I love them all. Each one has an occasion to be used like….
- This is my favorite 6 quart programmable one with a locking lid so it’s great for bringing to a potluck too.
- If you just want to serve a few appetizers you should get this one that sit side by side one another.
- I prefer not to use liners, but rather just spray olive oil inside before adding my food for easier cleanups.
Let me give you a peek of my pretty thang I bought recently. It goes with my kitchen so I can just leave it out on the countertop all the time. 😉
The possibilities for these are really endless. You can use bottled barbecue sauce from the grocery store for a really EASY throw together potluck, or make your own. We will include a homemade sauce that turns out incredibly well and is quite simple. I only use “normal ingredients” you probably have in your cupboards already here on my blog.
If you make them homemade meatballs with ground beef they may after sitting inside sauce for a while. It is really easier to use bagged frozen, and defrosted in these cases. This is the only time I buy and use these really, otherwise I will make my own.
There are tons of different varieties and brands out there, all of them are quite cheap. You can find turkey, chicken, and of course beef. I have used Cooked Perfect to make our Instant Pot Swedish meatballs and FarmRich too. Many stores have their own brand of them too. Unless you choose premium beef they all taste pretty similar.
Meatballs in Slow Cooker
This is what was used to create these little bites of heaven. It is great to throw these in a few hours before your get together and then turn it to warm and let them sit. Have a cup of cocktail forks or toothpicks next to them so people can snack the whole time they’re at your house. Great Super bowl appetizer I tell you.
- Bag of frozen (defrosted) meatballs
- Tomato paste
- Apple cider vinegar
- Water or broth to thin sauce out
- Brown sugar
- Soy sauce
- Worcestershire sauce
- Garlic and onion powder
- Chili powder to your liking and spicy level
Salt and pepper to taste, could add some Sriracha too if you wanted to add more heat. If you have a slotted spoon that is handy for serving.
How long can I keep meatballs in the Crockpot?
Once they are tender and cooked through you can turn it down to warm and keep them inside for up to 2 hours beyond that. Keep in mind that unless you turn it off they will continue to get softer. You don’t want them so soft that you can’t even grab them with a fork.
- Follow directions on back of frozen meatball package to defrost them.
- Usually just takes a few minutes in the microwave to make them tender.
- Add all of your other ingredients into your slow cooker and whisk together. Pour in warm defrosted meatballs and stir gently so each is coated well with the sauce.
- Cover and cook on high heat for 3 hours. Then serve! If leaving in pot for several hours change to keep warm setting and leave lid on. Provide toothpicks on the side for people to enjoy throughout the next few hours.
Grape Jelly Crock pot Meatballs
For a heartier meal you could use hoagie rolls, fill with these and a slice of mozzarella cheese! Want a sweeter party appetizer. Whisk together a container of chili sauce + grape jelly for the sauce and cook on high for the same time. Some like 6 oz. of bbq in that too for bbq grape jelly meatballs. Garnish with diced green onions and enjoy.
Use this same sauce to make slow cooker cocktail smokies too.
Crockpot BBQ Meatballs Recipe
If you want more appetizer recipes like this one because a bunch of friends are coming over, we have tons! Give a few of our other appetizers a whirl. Our air fryer frozen chicken wings are on the top of that list for sure.
- For a faster option you can try our air fryer meatballs and coat with some Swedish meatball sauce with sour cream for an app. or meal with noodles.
Frozen meatballs in air fryer is also a possibility. Now you have no reason why you can’t make these. Starting off as rock hard or thawed beforehand, either way they turn out great.
How do you reheat cooked meatballs?
There are several options. In my mind it depends on whether they were sauced beforehand or not. If they have sauce I prefer to heat in a saucepan on low until warmed, or faster just stick in the microwave for about a minute. For best results keep extra sauce on the side and add more before reheating so they are as moist as possible.
You can then cook fresh noodles and serve spaghetti and meatballs the next day with your leftovers. I hate wasting food so you shouldn’t either. If they are plain you can dice them up and make our Crockpot lasagna casserole the next night! Served with a batch of slow cooker rolls without yeast, it is a meal everyone here just loves.
A printable recipe card is below with nutrition information. Keep in mind that each brand will be slightly different when it comes to calories, fat, etc….
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Crockpot Appetizer Meatballs
- 2 lbs meatballs frozen but defrosted according to package directions
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 1/2 c water
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- salt and pepper to taste
- Follow directions on back of frozen meatball package to defrost them. Usually just takes a few minutes in the microwave to make them tender.
- Add all other ingredients into your slow cooker and whisk together. Pour in warm defrosted meatballs and toss so each is coated well with sauce.
- Cover with lid and set to high heat for 3 hours. Serve! If leaving in pot for several hours change to keep warm setting and leave lid on. Provide toothpicks on the side for people to enjoy throughout the next few hours.