Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs Recipe

I love recipes that allow my slow cooker to do all the work and let me get all the credit. Like these Cocktail Meatballs that I grew up having at various parties and showers that Mama hosted.

There are a couple of variations of these that she would make, but regardless, they were always gone in a flash.

I think I may have contributed to a few disappearing before the party would even get started. In the name of taste-testing, ya know.



I do believe my favorite has always been the cocktail meatballs she’d make with cranberry sauce close to Thanksgiving. The cranberry sauce adds just a touch of sweetness and tart to this savory appetizer. Of course, you can easily substitute other jellies for the cranberry sauce if you’d prefer. Some that I’ve found to be our favorites are: grape, apricot, and even blackberry. Each one gives a bit of a different flavor, so you’ll want to try them all for yourself to find your favorite.

This really is a classic recipe that you’ll find a lot during the holidays or on game days, especially in the south.

You can make these with homemade or frozen meatballs, depending on the amount of time you have. Either way, they always turn out to be a crowd favorite.

Here’s the recipe for my Cocktail Meatballs.

Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cocktail Meatballs are a classic Southern appetizer throughout the holidays and on game days.
Serves: 12
  • 1 pound ground beef or turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ medium onion, minced
  • 1 cup jellied cranberry sauce or your favorite jelly, such as grape, apricot, or blackberry
  • 1 cup chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees as making meatballs.
  2. In a large bowl, combine first four ingredients (through minced onion) until well-combined. Form into small meatballs. Place onto a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, turning half way through cooking time.
  3. Alternately, you may use frozen meatballs that have been thawed completely in the refrigerator overnight.
  4. Pour jellied cranberry sauce or other jelly, chili sauce, honey and Sriracha sauce into the crock of slow cooker. Stir well. Add meatballs and simmer over low heat setting for 1 hour before serving.



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  1. 8

    Kim Honeycutt says

    My sister-in-law just ask me yesterday if I had a recipe for cocktail meatballs using frozen meatballs.
    Your timing is perfect and this one is a bit different from most. Pinning it!

  2. 9

    Amanda says

    Just a quick question . . . with the chili sauce are you referring to the Heinz brand or can I use a Thai chili sauce or homemade chili sauce?

    Also, I have your balsamic roast beef in the crock pot right now and I can’t wait to try it tonight!!

    Thanks for all your great recipes!


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