Loaded with apricot preserves and sweet chili sauce, these crockpot sweet and sour meatballs make a perfect easy weeknight meal or party appetizer. Just add everything to the crockpot and let it do the rest of the work!
Why You’ll Love These Crockpot Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Here’s why you need to try this recipe:
- Super Easy: It’s hard to imagine a recipe that’s easier than this one. All you do is put the ingredients in the crockpot, turn it on, and wait a few hours. That’s it!
- Versatile: These addictive meatballs can be used in many different ways. We like to serve them as an appetizer or snack at a party or on game day. You can also serve these with white rice for an easy, protein-packed dinner. The options are endless!
- Affordable: If you’re looking for meals that are affordable without compromising flavor, then you need to try these meatballs. Using a few common pantry ingredients and frozen meatballs, this easy recipe won’t break the bank!
- Mess-free: These tangy and juicy sweet and sour meatballs are about as mess-free as you can imagine. The entire recipe is made in the crockpot, and you don’t even need to use a knife, cutting board, or any mixing bowls.
What You’ll Need
You only need a handful of ingredients to make these tender and spicy crockpot meatballs. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact amounts.
- Frozen Meatballs: We used ground beef meatballs, but chicken or turkey would be great as well.
- Sweet Chili Sauce: This is a common Asian dipping sauce that’s sweet, sticky and garlicky with just a little bit of heat.
- Apricot Preserves: Orange marmalade is a good substitute for the sweet and sour sauce.
- Granulated Garlic: If you don’t have garlic powder, you can use 2 cloves freshly minced garlic instead.
- Onion Powder: Gives your meatballs just the right amount of savory flavor.
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: These are perfect for spicing up your meatballs!
- Green onions: These are an optional garnish.
How to Make Sweet and Sour Meatballs in a Crockpot
These sweet and sticky chili meatballs couldn’t be easier to make. Check out the recipe card at the end of the page for detailed instructions.
- Mix: Add the ingredients to the crockpot.
- Cook: Turn on the crockpot and cook for 2 to 3 hours on high or 3 to 4 hours on low.
- Serve: Garnish with green onions and serve as an appetizer or with coconut rice as an entree.
Tips & Variations
These sweet and spicy crockpot meatballs are easy to make, fool-proof, and mess-free, but here are a few tricks and variations that you can try.
- Keep warm: If you’re serving crockpot sweet and sour meatballs at a party or event, you’ll want to keep them hot. The best way to do this is to keep them in the crockpot, with the setting turned to warm. Leave a bowl of toothpicks next to the crockpot and people can easily serve themselves!
- Adjust the heat: This sweet and sour meatball recipe has some heat to it, but it’s not super spicy. If you’re a big fan of spice, we recommend increasing the amount of chili flakes or adding sriracha.
- Garnish: We always put sliced green onions on top of these meatballs, but they’re also great with fresh cilantro, sesame seeds, a squirt of sriracha, or a drizzle of chili oil.
- Homemade Meatballs: If you prefer to use homemade meatballs over frozen, store bought meatballs, you will need to cook the meatballs before adding them to your slow cooker.
- Add Pineapple: A fun twist on this recipe is to add some fresh or canned pineapple chunks!
How to Store & Reheat Crockpot Meatballs
Leftover slow cooker sweet and sour meatballs are really easy to store and reheat.
- Refrigerate: Store the meatballs in an airtight container and they’ll last in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Reheating: You can reheat sweet and sour meatballs in the microwave in 20-second increments until heated all the way through.
- Freezing: Meatballs can also be stored in the freezer for 3 months, as long as they’re in an airtight container. Thaw or defrost entirely before reheating.
More Easy Crockpot Recipes
- Crockpot Chicken Tacos
- Slow Cooker Country Style Ribs
- Crockpot Baked Beans
- Crockpot Lasagna Soup
- Crock Pot Chicken Pot Pie
Crockpot Sweet & Sour Meatballs
- Add all of the ingredients to the crockpot.
- Stir until the ingredients are combined, then place the lid on the crockpot.
- Cook on low for 3-4 hours, or on high for 2-3 hours.
- Garnish with green onions and serve over rice as an entree, or as an appetizer with toothpicks.