Wow your friends and family with a flavorful new twist on meatballs with these honey garlic crockpot meatballs! Make them for your next potluck or party – they’re so easy to put together.
We recently celebrated having a three year old. THREE! Time is running.
She’s a lucky girl with a huge family, so she got four birthday parties. That’s right. We had four birthday parties for her and now we’re all pretty partied out.
For one of them we had one entire side of the family in our house so I needed a few recipes to feed a crowd. I know Crock Pot BBQ Meatballs are always a hit, but I wanted to switch things up a little.
Also, it’s not yet time for slow cooker cranberry and turkey meatballs – I’ll give it at least another month until I’m in full-blown holiday mode.
This is an Asian twist on crockpot meatballs – filled with delicious flavors all the way from the sauce down to the meatballs.
I’m not going to brag, but I looked away for 30 seconds and they were all gone – lucky I sneaked one or two before I put them out 😉
It definitely isn’t enough to just stir together the ingredients for the meatballs. They will never get firm enough that way!
The easiest way is to use a handheld mixer with the hooks attached like this one from Amazon (affiliate link), because you need to knead the meat until the protein strands develop.
If you want thorough instructions on how to properly make your own meatballs, I have a post for you right here (with video).
Once the meat is kneaded right, you need to shape very firm meatballs by rolling them between the palms of your hands.
If you don’t follow my advice here, your meatballs might very well fall apart during cooking. You’ve been warned 😉
Cooking the meatballs
This is the second most important part of this recipe. You need to cook them all the way through before adding them to the slow cooker with the sauce.
Not that they won’t finish cooking, but again, this helps to keep them from disintegrating into the sauce.
If you’re worried it might happen either way because you didn’t listen to me (kidding… sort of), you can pre-cook the sauce until it’s thickened before adding it to the crockpot with the meatballs. That way the chance of the meatballs falling apart can be slimmed down, but it is an extra dish to wash… So make your meatballs the way I told you to, haha.
Because I generally cook in a way that little kids can enjoy the food too, I don’t make or share any crazy spicy recipes.
If you like a lot of flavor and maybe even a little heat, you could try adding a little powdered garlic in addition to the fresh one.
You could even try some sriracha in the sauce or chili flakes in the meatballs – I’m sure they’d be a hit at football parties that way!
I know meatballs are pretty much the best appetizer, but they’re also pretty great as a main, right?
You can easily serve these over noodles or rice with some stir fry veggies on the side – a great and effortless dinner.
Honey Garlic Crockpot Meatballs
For the meatballs
- 1 pound ground beef
- ¼ cup breadcrumbs
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ½ inch piece ginger minced
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 scallion finely chopped
- 1 small egg beaten
- 1 tablespoon oil
For the sauce
- 1 cup chicken broth
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 2-3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
Make the meatballs:
- Add all ingredients EXCEPT for the oil to a large bowl. Knead very well (best with the hook attachment of a handheld mixer) until a smooth “dough” forms.
- Using 1 heaping teaspoon of meat mixture, shape a small and firm meatball between the palms of your hands. Repeat until you’ve used all the mixture.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown the meatballs until cooked all the way through. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Make the sauce:
- Whisk together all ingredients for the sauce in a medium bowl.
Cook the meatballs:
- Combine the meatballs and sauce in a 4-5 quart slow cooker. Cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours, then remove the lid and finish cooking uncovered for 30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.