Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Meatballs

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Sweet and spicy slow cooker meatballs are the perfect appetizer for game day or any gathering. Doctoring up frozen meatballs in the crockpot is easy, delicious, and always a crowd pleaser!

overhead shot of meatballs in a slow cooker

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I am not much of a sports fan, but I am all for party food. Buffalo chicken dip, homemade salsa, instant pot hummus – you’ll find me in front of the spread. These sweet and spicy, easy crockpot meatballs make the perfect addition to the lineup.

Not only are they the perfect candidate for football party food, these crockpot meatballs are so easy to throw together, you’ll want them at all your parties (or just for dinner!). You just need frozen meatballs and a few other ingredients, making them so easy!

Hanging out with friends and family > than spending all day in the kitchen so I like dishes with minimal effort when we have gatherings. Frozen meatballs in the crockpot are PERFECT!

sweet & spicy slow cooker meatball on a toothpick


Below is a list of ingredients & some helpful tidbits to help you plan out your cooking, but you can also skip it and scroll down for the full recipe.

MEATBALLS – You’ll need a 2 lb bag of frozen meatballs. We usually opt for beef but turkey or plant based meatballs will work as well!
– Adds some of the sweet without being too much.
– Honey in meatballs are a must for the sweet in this recipe.
Heinz makes a jalapeno ketchup but you can also make your own.
– Sriracha is a chili sauce to add heat. If you don’t have any, Sambal Oelek will work as well.
– Salt, to balance the sweet & spicy.
– Mince up a few cloves for the sauce.
– Used as a garnish for the meatballs. You can also use chopped cilantro instead.


  • Crockpot – I’ve had this slow cooker for years & highly recommend it. It switches to “warm” after the designated cooking time, which is super helpful.
  • Tongs – Love these for handling high temperatures since they have silicone tips.
  • Mixing bowls – I like the grippy bottoms so the bowls don’t slide around.
  • Whisk – This is the most comfortable whisk I think I’ve ever owned. Great for mixing.
sweet & spicy slow cooker meatballs on a plate


STEP ONE: Add the meatballs into a slow cooker (you’ll want at least a 4 qt size – mine is 6 qt).

STEP TWO: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, honey, ketchup, sriracha, soy sauce, and garlic until well combined.

STEP THREE: Pour the sauce over the meatballs and toss to fully coat them. Cook on LOW for 5-6 hours, or HIGH for 2-3 hours.

STEP FOUR: Serve your meatballs hot garnished with green onions or chopped cilantro.

stirring sweet & spicy slow cooker meatballs


Frozen meatballs should cook for 2-3 hours on HIGH or 5-6 hours on LOW in the crockpot, stirring occasionally. If you have time, low and slow really soaks up the flavors leaving you with moist and delicious meatballs.


As long as you’ll be cooking your meatballs for at least 2 hours on HIGH, you don’t need to thaw them before you put them in the crockpot. They come fully cooked and just need to warm through.

If you don’t have at least 2 hours of cook time, start with thawed meatballs.


Store leftover slow cooker meatballs in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator.


I don’t recommend it, no. Since you start with frozen meatballs, I wouldn’t refreeze them. Once is enough.

sweet & spicy slow cooker meatballs on a plate with a toothpick on top


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sweet & spicy slow cooker meatballs on a plate with text that reads crockpot sweet and spicy meatballs
overhead shot of meatballs in a slow cooker

Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Meatballs

Melissa Williams | Persnickety Plates
Perfect appetizer for game day or any gathering. Doctoring up frozen meatballs in the crockpot is easy, delicious, and always a crowd pleaser!
4.73 from 37 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 10 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 60 meatballs
Calories 17 kcal


  • 2 pounds frozen fully cooked meatballs
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 cup jalapeno ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons sriracha sauce
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • Sliced green onions or chopped cilantro optional


  • Pour meatballs into a slow cooker.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, honey, ketchup, sriracha, soy sauce and garlic until combined.
  • Pour the sauce over the frozen meatballs and toss to fully coat. Cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 2-3 hours.
  • Serve garnished with sliced green onions or chopped cilantro.


We use beef meatballs. Turkey or plant based will work as well!
You’ll want to use at least a 4 quart slow cooker. 
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.


Serving: 1gCalories: 17kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 108mgPotassium: 19mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 22IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 3mgIron: 1mg

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. Jerrie Sanders says

    5 stars
    I made this last night for dinner. It was absolutely delicious!!!

    • Melissa Williams says

      I’m so happy to hear that – thanks for reporting back!!

  2. Vicki Brown says

    I’m about to make this recipe however my crock pot is on the fritz. Can I put this in the oven on a low temp and cook it?

    • Melissa Williams says

      Yep, just make sure they’re warmed through. I would check them with my meat thermometer to make sure they hit 165°.

  3. Vicki Brown says

    Thanks Melissa. I’ll let you know how they turn out. 😀

  4. Lena says

    5 stars
    These meatballs are a hit with my husband and his friends. They go great with beer.

  5. Summre says

    My crockpot cracked last night. 😭 Can these be made in a pressure cooker or ditch oven?

    • Melissa Williams says

      Oh no! Yes, I’d go with the dutch oven and let them simmer for at least an hour. Make sure the meatballs are heated through.

  6. Pam says

    5 stars
    I made these last night and they came out so delicious. Easy to follow and my family loved your recipe for these meatballs. Will be making it again that’s for sure! Thank you!

    • Melissa Williams says

      Thank you, Pam! I love hearing that 🙂

Melissa Williams/Persnickety Plates is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. For more details, please see my Privacy Policy & Disclosures page.

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