These easy, 3-ingredient Slow Cooker Sweet ‘n Spicy Party Meatballs will be the hit of your next get together. So simple to make ahead with pre-made ingredients and so very yummy not a single one will be leftover!
I love foods I can serve straight from my slow cooker and still feel like my hosting game is on point. Dip, casserole, soup — I don’t care. If it can be prepped and cooked in its entirety in my crockpot and doesn’t need a separate dish to be served in, it’s my best friend.
Basically, these Slow Cooker Meatballs and I are besties now. (Does that mean I don’t have to share? I think yes.) These meatballs are a little bit spicy, fairly sweet, and completely and utterly delicious. Let’s take a moment to celebrate the coexistence of football season and 3-ingredient dishes shall we? (Pause for applause.)
Another thing I love about these party meatballs is their portability. They can be made ahead of time and transported to any get together right in the slow cooker. Your Crockpot instantly becomes a motorhome for these delectable little sweet ‘n spicy meatballs and that my friends, is definitely worth cheering for.
Though this recipe is everything you want and need in an appetizer – easy and no-fuss with minimal cleanup and maximum deliciousness — do not underestimate the ability of these little gems to make the perfect weeknight main course as well!
WHAT INGREDIENTS DO YOU NEED TO MAKE SLOW COOKER PARTY MEATBALLS?
THREE folks! Three ingredients! That’s IT! I almost don’t even want to call this a recipe. It’s more of an adding-3-things-to-a-slow-cooker-and-walking-away dish. But that is too long a title, honestly.
- Frozen Italian-style meatballs
- Sweet chili sauce
- Raspberry preserves
And, if you’re a garnish fan, there is a secret optional fourth ingredient: chopped green onions. But since adding these is entirely up to you and doesn’t change the deliciousness of this dish one way or another, I’m sticking to my 3-ingredients.
HOW DO YOU MAKE 3-INGREDIENT SWEET ‘N SPICY PARTY MEATBALLS?
Even though there’s not a whole lot to “make” here (more of an open-containers-and-dump situation), you’ll still feel like the queen (or king) of your tailgate, birthday party, potluck, etc. when you take the lid off of these meatballs and watch them disappear in seconds flat.
Get out your slow cooker, add the frozen meatballs. In another bowl or dish, stir together the raspberry preserves and chili sauce, and then pour this mixture over the meatballs. Put the lid on and let them cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
Add that optional garnish before you serve (or not) and let the feasting begin!
WHAT TO SERVE WITH SLOW COOKER PARTY MEATBALLS?
- Serve these alongside a tossed green salad, a fruit salad, or a veggie tray.
- Buy premade breadsticks (or make your own!) and add those to your party spread.
- Garlic Parmesan Knots make another great finger-food bread option.
- For a vegetarian option to your party spread, consider serving this Easy Buffalo Cauliflower. Although, I have to warn you, meat-eaters looooove this cauliflower dish too so you might want to double it!
- Individual Queso Dip Party Cups are not so portable, but can be made up at your party or at your house in a flash.
TIPS & TRICKS FOR MAKING SWEET ‘N SPICY PARTY MEATBALLS
- Thinking of doubling this recipe? Good idea! If you end up using more than 2 pounds of meatballs and you like ’em extra saucy, go ahead and double the chili sauce and the raspberry preserves.
- Not sure what chili sauce is? Look for it in the Asian section of most grocery stores or in the condiment aisle by the ketchup. (Heinz makes a great one and one bottle is perfect for this recipe.)
- Add a small dish of toothpicks next to your meatballs for easy picking up and eating. (A shot glass holds toothpicks wonderfully.)
- Should you have any leftovers (I can’t even imagine) these will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave for best results.
HOW TO SECURE A CROCK POT LID
I mentioned these transport wonderfully. But you’re probably wondering how to keep that slow cooker lid on in transport. While some makes and models do have a lid that snaps on with side latches, not all do.
I have employed all of these ideas for securing the lid, depending on what I have on hand:
- Tape the lid down on all four sides.
- Use rubber bands or bungee cords to secure the lid down by looping them through the handle of the lid and onto the handles on the sides.
- Put the slow cooker in a box that it just fits in, and then put something heavy on top of the lid to keep it from sliding off.
- Line a laundry basket with towels and place the slow cooker in it. Add more towels around the sides and top to keep it warm and secure in transport.
Slow Cooker Party Meatballs
- 1 1/2 pounds frozen Italian style meatballs (or up to 3 pounds)
- 12 ounces sweet chili sauce (see note)
- 1 cup raspberry preserves
- optional: chopped green onions for garnish
- Place meatballs in slow cooker. Stir together chili sauce and raspberry preserves and pour over meatballs. Stir to combine.
- Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high 3-4 hours. Sprinkle with chopped green onions (optional) and serve hot.
Chili sauce can be found in the Asian section of most grocery stores or in the Ketchup aisle (Heinz makes a great one and one bottle is perfect for this recipe).
Serves 12 or more as an appetizer, serves 4-6 as a main dish.