Slow cooker sweet and spicy meatballs are the perfect appetizer for any occasion! Made from scratch these meatballs are a crowd pleaser. Easy recipe.
These crockpot party meatballs can be also served as a main dish.
What should I serve with meatballs?
You can serve them with potato sides: roasted potatoes, mashed potatoes (We like Irish colcannon. It’s potato mash made traditionally with kale and leeks).
Pasta or rice are also good choices. Or simply buy some burger buns, toast them (if you like) and add some extra fillings of your choice (lettuce, cheese, onion, …).
If you are looking for other appetizer ideas to serve with these slow cooker sweet and spicy meatballs, you might like these recipes:
How to make sweet and spicy meatballs in slow cooker
Prepare the sauce first. This is easy. All you have to do is combine all the sauce ingredients in your slow cooker. Make sure to give everything a good mix.
Now you can move on to preparing the ground beef mixture for these slow cooker sweet and spicy meatballs: In a medium bowl, combine ground beef, breadcrumbs, egg, salt, pepper, basil, oregano and garlic powder.
With your hands mix everything together. This does not take long – maybe about two minutes. I always make sure to mix it well to prevent having a few balls well-seasoned while others are not.
Take a little amount of this mixture and roll it into a ball. Repeat until you have used up all the meatball mixture. To achieve similar looking balls, you can use a small cookie scoop.
I like to brown the meatballs first on a stovetop. This takes about 3 minutes.
Now place them into the slow cooker and cover with a lid. Cook on high for about 2 hours. Stir once or twice so that each meatball is covered in the sauce.
Useful tips for making slow cooker meatballs from scratch
- These slow cooker sweet and spicy meatballs are cooked in sweet and spicy sauce. I also use a similar sauce when making spicy sticky chicken wings. We love it!
- If I don’t have basil on hand, I only use oregano and vice-versa (I simply increase the amount to 2 teaspoons). You can also do the same.
- The number of meatballs you get out of this recipe may vary. Smaller ones are perfect when served as an appetizer but it is completely up to you what you prefer.
- If you want to save time when making these slow cooker sweet and spicy meatballs, you can omit the browning step.
- I added 1 teaspoon of hot sauce. This was spicy enough for me, but you can add less or more. I suggest trying it first with less rather than more, especially when not sure how hot your hot sauce is.
- If you are new to slow cooker cooking you might like this post: Slow cooker and food safety.
For the spicy sauce:
- ¾ cup ketchup (210 grams)
- ¼ cup water (60 milliliters)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
For the meatballs:
- 14 ounces ground beef (400 grams)
- ⅓ cup breadcrumbs (50 grams)
- 1 egg (medium-large)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- black pepper, a generous pinch
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Place all the sauce ingredients in your slow cooker. Stir well.
- In a medium bowl, combine ground beef, breadcrumbs, egg, salt, pepper, basil, oregano and garlic powder. For best results use your hands to mix everything.
- Take a small amount of mixture and roll it into a bite-size ball. Repeat until you have used up all the meat mixture.
- In a skillet/frying pan, heat the oil and quickly brown the meatballs. Transfer them to the slow cooker and cook on high for 2 hours. About an hour into cooking, stir the meatballs so that they are all covered in the sauce. Check the internal temperature before turning off the slow cooker.
- Best served warm!
- If you don’t have basil, use oregano only (instead of 1 teaspoon, use 2 teaspoons) and vice versa.
- Check the meatballs after 2 hours to see if they are cooked. Your thermometer should read at least 165°F/75°C.
- The amount of hot sauce can be increased or decreased, depending on your taste. I’d say start with less and add at the very end if needed.
- For more information and tips I recommend reading the whole post.
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Serving Size:1 Meatball
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 100Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 239mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 0gSugar: 4gProtein: 6g