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Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy Meatballs

These slow cooker sweet and spicy meatballs are the perfect easy game day appetizer. Use frozen meatballs to save time!

close up photo of sweet and spicy meatballs

I love appetizer recipes and the easier the better. And you can’t get easier than my sweet and spicy meatball recipe.

I have many go-to party slow cooker recipes – slow cooker bean dip and slow cooker taco dip are two of my favorites.

And this recipe – because you can set it, forget it, and then devour it when it’s done.

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Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy Meatballs

These slow cooker sweet and spicy meatballs are so easy to make that you are going to be shocked you didn’t make them sooner. While I am usually obsessed with making everything from-scratch, this is one of the few recipes I suggest using store-bought frozen meatballs.

They can be found in the freezer section by the frozen appetizers (think pizza rolls, burritos and pockets of all kinds.)

chili pepper jelly sauce being poured on top of frozen meatballs

How to Make Sweet and Spicy meatballs in the crockpot

Start by cooking the sauce in a small pot. Saute the garlic and then add the chili sauce and grape jelly. Cook for 10 minutes on medium heat, stirring frequently.

If the jelly doesn’t completely melt at this time, it’s okay – it will finish melting when in the slow cooker. While the sauce is cooking, put the meatballs in a 2 or 3 quart slow cooker.

Add the spices to the sauce, stir and then pour it over the meatballs. Heat everything in the slow cooker for 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until the meatballs are hot and the sauce is bubbly.

cooked sweet and spicy meatballs in a red crockpot

I like to flip the slow cooker to warm and serve these delicious meatballs from there, but it also works well if you put it in a serving bowl.

Place a few toothpicks into some of the meatballs and then keep a small bowl of toothpicks some more nearby. Your friends will figure out what to do next.

Sweet and spicy meatballs for everyone!

Can I use homemade meatballs?

Yep! Using homemade meatballs is going to take more time but if you have time to spare, it’s worth it.

I have homemade meatball recipes that I use a lot. Easy Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs or Meatball Tortellini Soup both have delicious meatball recipes that I recommend.

Make small meatballs and brown them in a pan before placing them in the slow cooker. I recommend checking the meatballs after two hours to see if they have cooked all of the way through. If they have, switch the slow cooker to warm and serve!

slow cooker sweet and spicy meatballs on a white plate

Can I use a different type of jelly or jam?

Yep! Grape jelly is my favorite and “traditional” for this recipe but you can use any jelly flavor. You can also use jam or preserves.

slow cooker sweet and spicy meatball pin

close up photo of sweet and spicy meatballs

Slow Cooker Sweet Spicy Meatballs

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes

These slow cooker sweet and spicy meatballs are the perfect easy game day appetizer. Use frozen meatballs to save time!

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 12 ounces chili sauce
  • 12 ounces grape jelly
  • 1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 28 ounces frozen meatballs

Instructions

  1. Pour the oil in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Then add the chili sauce and grape jelly and mix together. Cook for 10 minutes on medium heat, stirring frequently.
  2. Place the frozen meatballs in your slow cooker. Add the spices to the sauce mixture, stir and then pour it over the meatballs. Cover and cook for 1 1/2 - 2 hours on high, or until the meatballs are hot and the sauce is bubbly. Stir once after 1 hour.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 3 meatballs
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 354Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 52mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 3gSugar: 25gProtein: 12g

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Natalie

Saturday 23rd of November 2019

Hello! Do you think I could make these the day before and then warm the following day?

Jenny

Sunday 24th of November 2019

Absolutely!

Lorena Magana

Friday 18th of January 2019

What kind of chili sauce did you use?

Jenny

Friday 18th of January 2019

I used Heinz chili sauce (https://amzn.to/2W2lUov) but you can use any kind.

William

Thursday 20th of December 2018

Are those nutrition facts correct!? That seems like a lot of protein for only three meatballs

Jenny

Friday 21st of December 2018

Hi William, I use an automatic nutrition calculator - unfortunately, it is not always accurate. I have been going through each recipe's nutrition facts and correcting them but it takes a long time. I will move this one to the top of the list.

Fancy

Friday 3rd of March 2017

Go bears!

Marisa

Tuesday 20th of September 2016

This looks so good! I love crock pot recipes ! I'm so excited to see all the recipes! Thanks for sharing!