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Crockpot Honey Garlic Meatballs (Chicken, Beef, Pork, or Veggie)

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These Honey Garlic Meatballs are sweet with a little bit of heat. Made easy in the slow cooker, they are perfect for dinner or to serve as an appetizer.

Start with your favorite frozen meatballs (beef, chicken, turkey, plant/veggie) and add the simple sauce for a meal that will impress.

overhead shot of honey garlic meatballs in a white bowl sprinkled with green onions

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I’ve been on a meatball kick lately and these crockpot honey garlic meatballs are next in the lineup. They are simple to make – pick your favorite frozen meatballs, add them to the slow cooker, then whip up the sweet and spicy honey garlic sauce to pour over the top.

The sauce is the same sauce I use in my popular crockpot honey bourbon chicken recipe, which is actually bourbon-less and I’m constantly reminded of (it gets people all riled up! lol).

The sauce is named after Bourbon Street but to avoid confusion this go-round, I’m just calling these honey garlic meatballs.

After a few hours in the slow cooker, you’ll have a dish ready to serve with some sides, or stick some toothpicks in them and serve them as an appetizer.

Why you’ll love these Honey Garlic Crockpot Meatballs

  • They’re delicious! The sauce is the perfect blend of sweet and spicy.
  • They’re easy. Because you start with frozen meatballs, there’s hardly any work to be done and because they’re made in the slow cooker, they’re very hands-off.
  • They’re versatile. Don’t like beef? Use chicken meatballs. Vegetarian? Use plant based meatballs.
  • They’re also versatile in that they can be used as your main protein with a side like rice, or you can serve them as an appetizer.
white bowl stacked high with honey garlic meatballs made in the crockpot

Equipment needed to make slow cooker meatballs

  • Slow Cooker – I like to use this 6 quart and love that it turns itself to WARM after the designated cook time. This makes it perfect for serving out of.
  • Mixing Bowl – To mix up the sauce, you’ll need a medium bowl.
  • Veggie Chopper – My new favorite kitchen tool, this little gadget makes chopping onions so easy.

Ingredients for Honey Garlic Meatballs

Frozen Meatballs – You can use any variety (beef, turkey, chicken, pork, plant/veggie), just make sure they’re fully cooked and frozen. You can also make homemade meatballs, but cook time will adjust.
Honey – Local honey is best, if you can get it, but honey from the market will work just as well.
Soy Sauce – I use low sodium soy sauce in all my dishes to cut back on the sodium content.
Ketchup – Ketchup brings a nice tangy, acidic balance to the sauce.
Oil – Use a light oil. I like olive oil, but vegetable oil works as well.
Garlic – Fresh minced garlic or garlic packed in oil work. I use whichever I have on hand.
Onion– You’ll dice up half an onion, I like to use white onion for the flavor.
Red Pepper Flakes – If you don’t like heat, you can skip the red pepper flakes but it helps to balance the sweetness from the honey.

ingredients laid out to make crockpot honey garlic meatballs

How to make Honey Garlic Meatballs in the Slow Cooker

STEP ONE: Make the Sauce. In a medium mixing bowl, add all of the sauce ingredients and whisk together.

STEP TWO: Slow Cook. Pour the frozen meatballs into the slow cooker and pour the sauce over them. Stir to distribute and cover with the lid. Cook on HIGH for 2.5-3 hours.

STEP THREE: Serve. That’s it! They’re done. Give the meatballs a stir and top with sliced green onions, if you like.

collage of 3 pictures showing sauce poured on meatballs in a slow cooker and meatballs being lifted from the crockpot on a spoon

What to serve with Honey Garlic Meatballs

Honey garlic meatballs can be the star of dinnertime when you serve them with a side of rice or mashed potatoes. Add a veggie like roasted carrots or roasted zucchini and your meal is done.

If you’re serving them as an appetizer, stick toothpicks in them and have them on the table alongside some dips like garlic herb dip, buffalo chicken dip, spinach artichoke dip, or with other finger foods like cheesy asparagus puffs or baked green bean fries.

Substitutions and Additions

These meatballs are flexible.

The recipe will work the same with beef, chicken, pork, turkey, or veggie/plant based meatballs, just make sure you start with fully cooked frozen meatballs. If you use homemade meatballs, that is fine, you’ll just have to cook them longer.

If you want to cut down on the sweetness, you can decrease the amount of honey to half a cup.

If you don’t have olive oil, you can use vegetable or canola oil.

To save on sodium, you can use low sodium soy sauce. I actually recommend it.

If you don’t like heat (or have heat sensitive kids), skip the red pepper flakes.

honey garlic meatballs in the crockpot basin

How to reheat and store them

How long will honey garlic meatballs last in the fridge?

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Best way to reheat leftovers

If you’re reheating a single serving, popping the meatballs into the microwave is the quickest option. If you have a large portion to reheat, placing them back in the slow cooker will evenly heat them.

Crockpot Honey Garlic Meatballs FAQs

Can you put frozen meatballs in the slow cooker?

Yes, you can put frozen meatballs in the slow cooker, you just need to allow them enough time (at least 2 hours) to fully thaw/cook.

How long to cook frozen meatballs in the crockpot?

Because most frozen meatballs are fully cooked when frozen (check your bag to make sure), you’re really just reheating them in the slow cooker.

Depending on your slow cooker (they all cook a bit differently), you’ll likely only need 2.5-3 hours on HIGH. If you prefer to cook them on LOW, give them 4-6 hours.

honey garlic meatballs with toothpicks stuck into them for serving as an appetizer

Should I thaw meatballs before putting in the crockpot?

If your recipe has the meatballs cooking for at least 2 hours, then you don’t need to thaw them first. If you are just heating them through in something like a soup, then you should thaw them first just to be safe.

How do I thicken the sauce?

The sauce comes out a bit thin. If you prefer it thicker, you can use a cornstarch slurry. To a small bowl, whisk together 2 Tablespoons cold water with 1 Tablespoon cornstarch. Once whisked, spoon in a bit of the sauce from the slow cooker, mix, and then pour back in & stir to thicken.

Other meatball recipes you’ll love:

Click here for my entire collection of slow cooker recipes.

plate of meatballs with a side of rice with text reading "slow cooker honey garlic meatballs"

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overhead shot of honey garlic meatballs in a white bowl sprinkled with green onions

Crockpot Honey Garlic Meatballs

Melissa Williams
These Honey Garlic Meatballs are sweet with a little bit of heat. Made easy in the slow cooker, they are perfect for dinner or to serve as an appetizer.
4.61 from 23 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 35 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 440 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lb fully cooked frozen meatballs beef, chicken, pork, turkey, veggie
  • ¾ cup honey
  • 1 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic or 1 teaspoon minced garlic in oil
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Instructions
 

  • Pour the frozen meatballs into the basin of a 6 quart slow cooker.
  • In a medium bowl, add the honey, soy sauce, ketchup, oil, garlic, onion and red pepper flakes. Stir well to combine. Pour the sauce over the meatballs.
  • Cover and cook on HIGH for 2.5-3 hours or LOW for 4-6 hours.
  • Stir and serve. Garnish with sliced green onions, if desired.

Video

Notes

Use any fully cooked frozen meatball you like – beef, chicken, turkey, pork, veggie/plant based.
If you want to thicken the sauce,  to a small bowl, whisk together 2 Tablespoons cold water with 1 Tablespoon cornstarch. Once whisked, spoon in a bit of the sauce from the slow cooker, mix, and then pour back in & stir to thicken.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 440kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 24gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 108mgSodium: 1742mgPotassium: 141mgFiber: 1gSugar: 32gVitamin A: 114IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 95mgIron: 3mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  1. Ruth Black says

    Great recipe but the nonstop pop-up ads are an annoyance and distraction! I can barely see what I’m typing now as they’re popping up now and covering up this message! Enough already!

    • Melissa Williams says

      Hi Ruth. There is a “print recipe” button at the top of the page that gives you a printable version and bypasses any ads. Or, just “X” out of them. Nearly all sites have ads – they’re what pay me & allow me to provide free recipes. Thanks for understanding.

  2. Deborah P says

    5 stars
    I made this recipe this weekend and it was delicious. I tried the Rosina beef/chicken/pork frozen meatballs with Melissa’s glaze/sauce in this recipe. It was so easy and so good. I served it with mashed potatoes and other sides. My father likes a lot of gravy on his mashed potatoes and he approved of both the meatballs and this sauce as a gravy substitute. Best of all, I have leftovers for this week! This recipe will be on repeat for me.

    • Melissa Williams says

      I love that! I’m with your dad – the only reason I eat any meat is to use as a vessel for my sauces =)

  3. Zoe says

    Hi is there a way I can use uncooked meatballs ?

    • Melissa Williams says

      Yep, I just haven’t tested it yet to see how much sauce gets absorbed/how the taste changes. 4-6 hours on low should do.

    • Marsha says

      4 stars
      I made these with my own meatballs and it worked great. The cook time was the same if you cook on high in your slow cooker. I never use store bought meatballs and have never had an issue.

  4. Kristy says

    4 stars
    Dinner was a big hit tonight. Used 3 cooking methods to get them done at the same time, but totally worth it. Meatballs, side of rice, side of carrots. Bursting with flavor.

    Crockpot: Honey Garlic Crockpot Meatballs (I would recommend less “sweet” and more “garlic and spicy seasoning.”) We also used Coconut Aminos in place of the Soy Sauce for less sodium.

    https://www.persnicketyplates.com/crockpot-honey-garlic-meatballs/

    Oven: Roasted Rainbow Carrots (we did not use feta nor herbs. Would also use a bit less lime and cumin). Did 375 degrees instead of 400 for a little more al dente bite. Used baby rainbow carrots.

    https://familystylefood.com/roasted-cumin-lime-carrots/

    Instant Pot: Coconut Cilantro Lime Rice. Made double but kept the same timing. 12 min + 10 worked well.

    https://legallyhealthyblonde.com/coconut-cilantro-lime-rice/

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