Perfectly sweet and savory, these Crock Pot Honey Garlic Meatballs are slow-cooked in a delicious sauce made with garlic and honey. Not only is this dish super tasty, but it’s also easy to make and perfect for any occasion!
Not many recipes can say that they are both an appetizer and a main course, but this recipe for honey garlic meatballs checks both of those boxes. You can serve them as an appetizer with toothpicks, or you can turn them into a main dish by serving them over cooked rice, mashed potatoes, or even pasta. They’re so versatile and delicious that everyone will love them!
You'll use a bag of frozen pre-cooked meatballs that go into the bottom of the crock pot. Then, an easy sauce is made by mixing together sweet and savory ingredients like honey, brown sugar, ketchup, soy sauce, and of course, garlic!
Let the crock pot do all the work in ensuring the meatballs are warmed through and tender while the sauce gets sticky, sweet, and delicious. Remove from the crock pot and add to a serving dish as an appetizer or serve with your favorite sides. No matter how you enjoy these meatballs, we know this easy crock pot meatball recipe will have a permanent spot on your recipe rotation!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It’s an easy-to-make appetizer or main course that requires minimal effort and preparation.
- This dish is perfect for any occasion – whether you’re cooking for a crowd or just looking for something quick and tasty for dinner.
- The sweet and savory sauce has the perfect balance of flavors – it’s not too sweet but still has a bit of a kick from the garlic.
- It’s an inexpensive dish that will please even the pickiest eaters!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Honey and Brown Sugar - These two ingredients sweeten up the sauce and help thicken it up to a slightly sticky consistency.
- Ketchup - Gives more sweetness to the sauce while adding a balancing acidic tomato flavor.
- Rice Wine Vinegar - Adds a tangy flavor note throughout the sauce.
- Low Sodium Soy Sauce - Gives the sauce a salty umami flavor.
- Minced Garlic - Adds classic fresh garlic flavor to the sauce.
- Yellow Onion - Compliments the garlic and adds bold onion flavor.
- Frozen Meatballs - You'll need frozen pre-cooked meatballs. This will help save you time and ensure everything comes out delicious.
- Green Onions - Gives the final dish a pop of fresh green color and additional mild onion flavor.
How To Make Honey Garlic Meatballs In The Crock Pot
Pour in meatballs: Open the bag of frozen meatballs and pour them into the bottom of the crock pot. Use a 6-quart crock pot for the best results.
Assemble the sauce: To a medium mixing bowl, add the honey, ketchup, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and onion in a medium bowl. Mix until well combined and pour over meatballs.
Cover and cook: Add the lid to the top and cook on HIGH for 2½ - 3 hours or LOW for 5 - 6 hours. Stir to combine the sauce ingredients with the meatballs fully.
Garnish and serve: Add the meatballs to a serving dish or dinner plate. Pour additional sauce over the top, then garnish with chopped green onions.
- Make sure you are using pre-cooked meatballs and not raw, as they may not cook all the way through in the amount of time the recipe suggests. If you are using raw meatballs, remove one and cut it in half to see if it is cooked all the way through.
- Make sure your crock pot is large enough for all of the meatballs and sauce. A 6-quart crock pot works best.
- If you’d like to thicken the sauce after it’s done cooking, mix one teaspoon of cornstarch with one tablespoon of cold water in a small bowl until combined, and then stir it into the sauce.
- If you’d like to add a bit of heat, you can add ½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes or one tablespoon of sriracha into the sauce.
- If you want a milder flavor, skip adding yellow onion and only use garlic.
- To make this recipe vegan, substitute the meatballs for your favorite vegan alternative.
- For an Asian twist, replace one tablespoon of ketchup with hoisin sauce and substitute the soy sauce for tamari.
- Instead of using beef meatballs, you can use other types of meat, including turkey, chicken, lamb, or bison.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Once cooled, any leftover meatballs can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Freezing: The cooked meatballs and sauce can be frozen together in an airtight freezer-safe container for up to three months. When ready to serve, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then heat on the stove or microwave until fully heated through.
Yes, however, you’ll need to cook them on the stove prior to adding them to the crock pot. This will ensure they are cooked all the way through by the time the sauce is finished cooking.
Yes, you can assemble everything in the crockpot and keep it covered in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours prior to cooking.
Yes. You will need to find frozen meatballs that are gluten-free. Switch the soy sauce to tamari and ensure the rest of your ingredients do not contain any wheat or gluten.
More Crock Pot Meatball Recipes
- Crock Pot Meatballs
- Crock Pot Sweet and Sour Meatballs
- Crock Pot Swedish Meatballs
- Grape Jelly and Chili Meatballs
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Crock Pot Honey Garlic Meatballs
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup honey
- ½ cup ketchup
- 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
- ¼ tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ½ cup yellow onion (finely diced)
- 1 (28 oz) bag fully cooked, frozen meatballs
- 3 green onions (diced)
- Add frozen meatballs to a 6-quart crock pot.
- Add honey ketchup, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and onion in a medium bowl. Mix until well combined and pour over meatballs.
- Cover and cook on high for 2½ - 3 hours or low for 5 - 6 hours.
- Stir before serving and garnish with green onions.
- I recommend using home-style meatballs in beef, chicken, pork or veggie.
*All nutrition information provided is automatically calculated and is an estimate and will vary based on ingredients, brands, and changes in cooking methods listed in the recipe. If you need exact numbers on your ingredients, I would recommend calculating them with your prefered nutrition calculator.
My son loves this recipe he makes them for every holiday a double batch and freezes some for himself (shush don't tell him I told you that!!) great recipe thanks!!
They definitely make a great freezer meal.