These Easy Sweet n’ Sour Meatballs are made by throwing a sauce and meatballs straight into a crock pot so they could not be easier! I use frozen cocktail meatballs making this appetizer recipe ideal for any party or tailgate!
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Easy Sweet n’ Sour Meatballs In The Crock Pot
This crock pot (or slow cooker) cocktail meatball recipe is my ideal football game appetizer! I love how quick they are to whip up and easy to make in larger batches for a party or crowd.
But MOSTLY…I love the fact that these small meatballs are
Another awesome football appetizer I love to serve are these Crispy Philly Cheesesteak Appetizer Cups!
How To Make Your Sweet n’ Sour Crock Pot Meatballs
To make your sweet and sour crock meatballs using your crock pot or slow cooker, you will first need to start with cocktail style meatballs.
You don’t want your guests struggling to pick up a ginormous meatball with a tiny toothpick. They should be able to easily pop them in their mouths one at a time! You also want the meatball to sauce ratio to be equal so if your meatballs are too big, they will just taste too “meaty”.
What are cocktail meatballs?
Cocktail meatballs are basically small meatballs meant to be served at cocktail parties. They are usually coated in a sauce of some sort. In this case, these cocktail meatballs are coated in a homemade sweet and sour sauce.
They are served with toothpicks or mini wooden skewers.
Your Meatball Options!
You can choose between the store-bought frozen meatballs OR you can make your own mini meatballs.
If making homemade meatballs, it is important that you cook, bake or fry your meatballs BEFORE you add them to the slow cooker otherwise they will stick together.
I use store-bought meatballs when I make this appetizer because it is super quick and could not be easier. I found a brand that is so tasty so I’ve stuck with them.
How To Make Your Crock Pot Meatball Sauce
This homemade sauce has the perfect balance of sweet and tang. I used apricot preserves to add the sweetness instead of the typically used pineapple. Then used ketchup and soy sauce for some added tang and saltiness.
The most important thing when it comes to making a sauce in the crock pot is THICKENING the sauce and making enough! The worst thing you can do is make dry cocktail meatballs. The sauce is what makes these so make sure they have enough sauce!
To thicken this sweet n’ sour sauce, I use a cornstarch and water mixture. This will help thicken the sauce as it heats up in your slow cooker. The result is a sweet, sour, sticky sauce packed with flavor!
Make sure you serve with mini toothpick skewers!
How Long Do Your Cocktail Meatballs Take In The Crock Pot?
Unfrozen, cooked meatballs should take about an hour or so to warm up. Frozen meatballs will take about two hours to thaw and heat.
Reminder* I do not recommend adding uncooked meatballs to your slow cooker because they will stick together as they cook. Bake or fry them up before! Then add them to your crock pot, toss in the sauce and your set.
Pin the image below to save for later!
Here are some awesome warming vessels I use all the time!
Check out my other popular game day appetizers!
Easy Sweet n’ Sour Crock Pot Meatballs Recipe
Sweet and Sour Meatballs (Crock Pot)
- 1 lb. Bag Beef Meatballs (Cocktail Size)
Sweet and Sour Sauce
- 3/4 Cup Apricot Preserves ((or peach))
- 2 Tbsp. Ketchup
- 3 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
- 1/2 Cup Beef Stock
- 2 Tbsp Corn Starch
- 1/2 Tsp. Salt
- Add sweet and sour sauce ingredients in a crock pot and whisk until fully combined.
- Add meatballs and turn on crock pot to HIGH. Two hours later, they will be warmed through and the sauce will be nice and thick.
- Toss in scallions and serve with toothpick skewers!