The ultimate party or potluck recipe made with an easy tasty sauce right in your slow cooker. This super popular recipe is made in no time and disappears just a quick. You’ll absolutely love how EASY these meatballs are to make on your own!
Looking for the ultimate party food or quick appetizer for your next potluck? Look no further because I just cannot leave the house headed to a party without a big slow cooker full of these cocktail meatballs! I’ve said it so many times already, but I love anything in my slow cooker, and I hope you’re not already sick of slow cooker recipes because I have many more coming your way!
Whether you’re headed out to a holiday party, potluck, or even a Summer gathering, these cocktail meatballs will always be one of the first things to disappear from the table!
While you can certainly use frozen meatballs for this recipe, and I do tend to go with the frozen ones once in a great while if I’m low on time, I love a homemade meatball recipe so much more. Believe me, you can definitely tell the difference when you make them yourself!
Can You Make the Meatballs Ahead of Time?
Prepare your meatballs according to the directions below. You can then shape each meatballs and place it on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in your freezer for about an hour until they are hard, then transfer to a freezer safe bag. If you prefer to cook them ahead of time before freezing, simply bake them for 20-25 minutes, let cool completely then place them in a freezer safe bag. You can even thaw as many as you need as can be used for spaghetti, meatball subs, or your favorite meatball recipe.
Cooked right in the slow cooker, the sauce turns out to be a great mixture of sweet and tangy, like a homemade barbeque sauce! I personally love the tangy flavor of the carnberry sauce and chili sauce, however there are some other variations of sauce that also work very well.
Cocktail Meatball Variations
- Cranberry sauce and chili sauce – My personal favorite. The cranberry gives the sauce a bit more tangy flavor.
- Grape jelly and ketchup – If you’re short on time or don’t want to make a trip to the store, grape jelly and ketchup tend to be pantry staples and work very well together.
- Grape jelly and mustard – Yes, the plain yellow mustard! Another variation for your sauce and it tastes amazing.
More meatball recipes you’ll love:
Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 yellow onion finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 can jellied cranberry sauce
- 1 jar chili sauce
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a large baking sheet with nonstick oil and set aside.
- In a large bowl combine ground beef, egg, Panko breadcrumbs, onion, and garlic powder. Mix until fully combined. Using about 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of mixture roll into small meatballs and arrange on prepared baking sheet as you roll.
- Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, turning once halfway through baking.
- In a 6-quart slow cooker mix together the cranberry sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar, and lemon juice. Add the meatballs. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours or until bubbly.