This recipe for Sticky BBQ Slow Cooker Meatballs uses barbecue sauce to make a delicious homemade party appetizer! They are easy to make as the crockpot does most of the work for you. Made with beef, breadcrumbs, seasoning and barbecue sauce. The best of comfort foods for fall and winter.
OK, a few things before we start off:
Thank you so much for all your lovely responses on my post on Monday! I’m glad I’m not the only one feeling the pressure at times and your nice words seriously made my day (and continue making my week!). You are awesome! ♡
Also, I have a wiggly baby on my lap as I am writing this – please excuse a gazillion typos. Fantastic, now I feel ready to talk party apps!
Sticky BBQ Slow Cooker Meatballs
See those gorgeous crockpot meatballs? They are the result of 4 hours of labor – from my crockpot!
Seriously, if you don’t have a slow cooker yet, you need to hop on over to Amazon and order yourself one ASAP*.
It’s fine I’ll wait.
I’ve started using my beloved little slow cooker more and more lately, to make delicious things like slow cooker sausage pasta sauce, healthy slow cooker chili or even slow cooker cranberry walnut bread pudding with caramel sauce.
And now there’s these easy meatballs in crockpot land.
Easy homemade meatballs cooked in a delicious BBQ Sauce in the crockpot – yum. They are a great appetizer for your next holiday party. AND they are perfect for Football Sunday or the Super Bowl as mini sliders.
And really, they couldn’t be any more simple to make. I wish I had made these lovely little guys when my husband’s family visited on Sunday – they’re the perfect dish to make when you need to decide between cleaning the house and making food.
I was pretty much forced to pick the house cleaning, because IN-LAWS, but hubby made all the food we needed – lucky me!
How to Make Crockpot BBQ Meatballs:
Start with making the meatballs, cook the meatballs on the stove or make oven baked meatballs (or use ready-made ones, like I do in these 5 Ingredient Cranberry Glazed Turkey Slow Cooker Meatballs!) and then throw them into your crockpot with some barbecue sauce and a handful of other delicious things and wham!
3-4 hours later you’re ready to start partying!
P.S: If you need help with your homemade meatballs, I have step-by-step photos and a video for you on How to Make Meatballs.
And if you want to take a shortcut (no judgment here, shortcuts were made for busy seasons!) and need help choosing frozen meatballs…
How to choose frozen meatballs:
- Read the ingredients: I don’t know about you, but I want my meatballs to actually contain meat. Read the ingredients on the back of the bag and look for a brand that uses mainly ground meat, breadcrumbs, egg and seasoning. Too many additives and fillers aren’t necessary.
- Buy a large bag: If you have the freezer space, it’s more economical to buy a large bag – even if you don’t need all of the meatballs right now. They will keep for some time in your freezer and might just save you on a busy day.
- Make sure they’re fully cooked: You’ll want fully cooked meatballs for this recipe, or you’ll have to defrost and cook them first. Otherwise they could fall apart in the sauce and you’ll end up with BBQ spaghetti sauce.
- Looking for a healthier option? You can also make this recipe with turkey meatballs, or choose a lower sodium brand.
Tips for Cooking Frozen Meatballs in the Crockpot:
- No need to defrost: If you’re using fully cooked, frozen meatballs (either homemade or store-bought), there’s no need to defrost them. Frozen meatballs are easier to coat with the sauce as they won’t fall apart.
- There’s no need to stir! You should actually never open your crockpot while it’s on (unless the recipe says so), because the heat in there decreases super fast. And stirring the meatballs too much will make them scraggly and will eventually break them up too much – not a nice result!
- Use the appropriate crockpot size: If you want to make a larger batch, use a larger crockpot, too. You don’t want to stuff your crockpot to the brim with meatballs and sauce. They will have a harder time heating through and the sauce won’t get as nice and sticky.
More Crockpot Meatball Recipes:
- Cranberry BBQ Crockpot Meatballs
- Honey Garlic Crockpot Meatballs
- 5 Ingredient Cranberry Glazed Crockpot Turkey Meatballs
Looking for side dish ideas to turn these into dinner?
- Serve them with mashed potatoes or rice as a simple dinner for families. Or see more ideas:
- What Can You Serve With Meatballs?
- What can you Pair with BBQ Meatballs?
Now go, make yourself some slow cooker meatballs.
For your Christmas party next Saturday. For football on Sunday. Or for the kids on Friday as a nice start-of-the-holidays treat.
Whatever, just make them because oh my, are they awesome!
Watch the Sticky BBQ Slow Cooker Meatballs video:
To Make the Meatballs
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 1 small shallot, chopped
- 1/3 cup bread crumbs
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- OR use ready-made meatballs to make the recipe even easier!
To Make the Sauce
- 1 cup barbecue sauce
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- To make the meatballs, mix all ingredients in a large bowl and shape into small meatballs. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat and add some oil. Cook the meatballs until browned on the outside and entirely cooked through.
- Once the meatballs are cooked, mix all sauce ingredients together. Add to the slow cooker with the meatballs and cook on low for 3-4 hours. The meatballs keep in the slow cooker for another 1-2 hours.
Nutrition (this is an estimate)
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