Crockpot BBQ Meatballs Recipe | The Recipe Critic

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BBQ Meatballs are cooked in a slow cooker and smothered in a delicious barbecue sauce. They are the easiest meatball recipe you’ll ever try, and they are perfect for parties and simple appetizers.

I love good party food! Especially finger or toothpick food, because they are the perfect size for one satisfying bite. If there is a spread, you can try one of everything, and go back for seconds of the things you loved. Can you tell I love throwing a party with lots of food? If you do too, you’ll have to try this Jalapeno Popper Dip, these Chicken Bacon Ranch Pinwheels, and these amazing Strawberry Bruschetta at your next party.

A bbq meatball on a toothpick.

Crockpot BBQ Meatballs

This BBQ meatball recipe is so quick and simple, this is a no fuss recipe that I come back to time and time again! I use frozen meatballs (yes, I don’t always make everything from scratch!). If you want to make your own meatballs, I’ve got you covered. This classic homemade meatball recipe has all of the good stuff- ground beef, onion, breadcrumbs, egg, and even cheddar cheese! They are easy and super delicious. I also love these turkey meatballs for a great alternative. If you just want to grab frozen ones from the store then I’m definitely right there with you.

I love these easy crockpot meatballs because they marinate in a sweet and savory barbecue sauce that is irresistible. If I’m not making grape jelly meatballs, then I’m making this recipe. The flavors are so bold and amazing. It’s the perfect dish for an appetizer you don’t have to think about. No turning on your oven, just throw everything in the pot and let it cook. These meatballs are also full of protein and make a delicious dinner served with rice or mashed potatoes!


This BBQ meatball recipe really only calls for two ingredients, frozen meatballs and bbq sauce. All of the other ingredients are to add extra flavor to the bbq sauce which are optional. If you are making your own homemade barbecue sauce, then you can add extra flavors right into your sauce. If I’m keeping this recipe simple, then I grab a bottle of my favorite sauce from the store, and add honey and brown sugar to make a simple honey bbq sauce. You can find the measurements below in the recipe card.

  • Frozen Meatballs: If you want to make your meatballs from scratch, I share my meatball recipes above.
  • BBQ Sauce: I have a great homemade recipe you can try, or to keep things simple just pick up your favorite brand from the store.
  • Garlic Powder: This adds extra flavor. You could also add onion powder
  • Honey: I like to add honey for extra depth of flavor and some sweetness. It also helps the sauce stick to the meatballs.
  • Brown Sugar: This is to sweeten up the sauce, and to make the sauce really stick to the meatballs.
  • Cayenne Pepper: I like to add a little spice. If you want it extra spicy, then add black pepper and chili sauce or chili powder.
Process photos showing how to make this recipe.

BBQ Meatball Recipe

This BBQ meatball recipe is a simple dump-and-do. You just mix up your sauce, put your meatballs in the crock pot, and then dump the sauce on top. Cook on low for a few hours, and you’ve got delicious and juicy meatballs that everyone will love! If you love simple recipes, you are going to want to save this one.

  1. Spray Bowl: Lightly spray a slow cooker insert with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Mix Sauce: In a bowl, add bbq sauce, honey, sugar, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Then mix to combine.
  3. Add Meatballs: Add frozen meatballs to the slow cooker and pour the sauce on top of the meatballs. Then stir to coat the meatballs.
  4. Cook: Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours or high for 2 hours.
  5. Stir: Stir the meatballs before serving! Then enjoy!
An overhead look at the bbq meatballs in the crock pot.

Tips for Making BBQ Meatballs

If you decide to make your own meatballs for this recipe, make sure to read this tip below or your meatballs won’t turn out! I also share some of my other favorite flavors.

  • Homemade Meatballs: If you make your own meatballs, you will need to slightly cook them before putting them in the slow cooker. I recommend browning them in a pan, or cooking them in the oven. They don’t need to be cooked all the way through since you will be finishing them in the slow cooker. If you put them in the crock pot totally raw, they will fall apart or stick together, and take much longer to cook. You can even make your own homemade meatballs, cook and freeze them. Then they are ready to pull out anytime you need them! I share my favorite meatball recipes above.
  • Flavor Variations: You can make SO many different versions of these crockpot meatballs. Some of my favorites are grape jelly meatballs, Asian meatballs, Swedish meatballs, and teriyaki meatballs. Pretty much any sauce you love with ground beef you can throw on top of these meatballs for an amazing new dish.

BBQ meatballs on a plate.

Storing Leftovers

These bbq meatballs are the perfect appetizer, and also make amazing leftovers. They are super easy to reheat in the microwave and taste just as amazing the next day! Here is how to store your leftovers.

  • In the Refrigerator: Store your leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

  • Lightly spray a slow cooker insert with nonstick cooking spray.

  • In a bowl, add bbq sauce, honey, sugar, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Mix to combine.

  • Add frozen meatballs to the slow cooker and pour the sauce on top of the meatballs. Stir to coat the meatballs.

  • Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours or high for 2 hours.

  • Stir the meatballs before serving!

Serves: 6

Serving4meatballsCalories566kcal (28%)Carbohydrates60g (20%)Protein22g (44%)Fat27g (42%)Saturated Fat10g (50%)Polyunsaturated Fat2gMonounsaturated Fat12gCholesterol88mg (29%)Sodium1054mg (44%)Potassium598mg (17%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar52g (58%)Vitamin A257IU (5%)Vitamin C2mg (2%)Calcium57mg (6%)Iron2mg (11%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Appetizer

Cuisine American

Keyword bbq meatballs, slow cooker meatballs

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