Slow Cooker Beer Meatballs


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Slow Cooker Beer Meatballs are the perfect game day, family gathering, or potluck appetizer. Although this recipe has just four ingredients, it’s full of flavor and makes tender meatballs that can also make a versatile meal option for a busy weeknight.

There are many other ways to make delicious meatballs as well. Create a meatball medley with my Slow Cooker Grape Jelly Meatballs, Barbecue Meatballs, or Pizza Meatballs.

Beer meatballs on a spoon in a crockpot.

Why this beer meatballs recipe works

Skip making your own meatballs and follow this quick and easy recipe that calls for frozen meatballs. This helps to cut back on the prep time and allows your crockpot to do all the cooking. You’ll appreciate this dump-and-go option if you’re looking for something simple that yields a versatile meal option with a short cooking time.

Recipe Ingredients

Ingredients for beer meatballs on a table.
  • Frozen Meatballs: You can find various meatball options, from beef and pork to turkey and chicken. Choose a 32oz bag of your preference. Defrosting is not necessary.
  • Ketchup: Using ketchup creates a tomato-like base for the sauce of the meatballs.
  • Beer: Other than being the highlight of the recipe, slow cooking with beer also tenderizes the meat and adds flavor.
  • Onion Soup Mix: Creates all the flavors needed for the perfect meatball taste. This mix includes dry onion flakes, beef bullion granules, onion powder, parsley, paprika, celery seed, and ground black pepper seasonings.

Step-by-Step Directions

Four images showing how to make beer meatballs in a crock pot.

Step One – Pour the bag of meatballs into the crock pot.

Step Two – Add in the sauce ingredients – onion soup mix and ketchup, and pour over the beer.

Step Three – Stir all the ingredients together until combined and the meatballs are covered with the sauce.

Step Four – Cover and cook on LOW for 5 hours or HIGH for 2.5 hours. Serve and enjoy!

Cooked beer meatballs in a slow cooker.

How to serve:

  • Create the perfect appetizer by placing the meatballs on a platter and poking them with toothpicks.
  • They also make for a tasty charcuterie board option when surrounded by cheese bites and mini slices of bread or crackers.
  • Turn these meatballs into a hearty meal by serving them on a bed of mashed potatoes, spaghetti noodles, or as yummy slow cooker meatball subs.
  • Other variations include making sweet meatballs by adding brown sugar or making them spicy by adding sriracha or red pepper flakes. Adding bbq sauce will quickly turn them into bbq meatballs.
Toothpicks in beer meatballs on a plate.

Recipe FAQs and Variations

How do I turn these into bbq beer meatballs?

To make these barbecue beer meatballs, exchange the ketchup for barbecue sauce! Serve them according to some of the suggestions above.

Can I keep the meatballs in the slow cooker for serving?

Yes. Be sure to turn it to the keep warm setting, so the meatballs don’t continue cooking and burn. Stir them occasionally.

How do I store the leftovers?

Store any leftover meatballs in an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to 5 days. These can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

Can I make these in the oven?

This recipe works well with cooking them in the oven. Instead of mixing all the ingredients in the crock pot, stir them in a large bowl and then transfer them into a baking dish. Bake at 375 for one hour or until meatballs are hot throughout.

Is it safe to cook the meatballs frozen?

Frozen meatballs bake and cook just fine in the slow cooker or oven. These are already cooked and then frozen, so you don’t have to worry about any rawness.

Beer meatballs on mashed potatoes.

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Cooked beer meatballs in a slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Beer Meatballs

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 9
A unique combination of beer, onion soup mix, and ketchup makes the BEST sauce for frozen meatballs.


  • 32 oz. frozen meatballs, (26 -32 oz. bag works)
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 oz. packet Lipton Onion Soup Mix
  • 1/2 cup beer, (I use Pilsner)


  • Add the frozen meatballs to your slow cooker.
  • Pour over the ketchup, onion soup mix and beer. Stir.
  • Cook on low for 5 hours or HIGH for 2.5 hours. Stirring occasionally.


  • Store any leftover meatballs in an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to 5 days. These can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
  • To make these barbecue beer meatballs, exchange the ketchup for barbecue sauce! Serve them according to some of the suggestions above.


Calories: 334kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 794mg | Potassium: 465mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 281IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition info is auto-generated. This information is an estimate; if you are on a special diet, please use your own calculations.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Bob says:

    Can I substitute Heinz 57 for catsup?

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      Hard to say without testing it, but it sounds like a great idea to me!

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  3. Susan says:

    can you add cocktail smokies to this recipe also.

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      Yes! That’s a great idea.