Slow Cooker Barbecue Meatballs


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Easy Slow Cooker Barbecue Meatballs only have 3 ingredients (including Sweet Baby Rays) and are wonderful for a quick and easy appetizer or over mashed potatoes for dinner. Your family is sure to enjoy the way these taste and you’ll love how easy they are to make!

Quickly whip up a game day spread with these meatballs and my Slow Cooker French Onion Dip,  Slow Cooker Molasses Barbecue Little Smokies, and some Slow Cooker Butterscotch Haystacks.

overhead shot of slow cooker bbq meatballs.

The Best BBQ Meatballs Recipe

I stick with my sister-in-laws “secret” recipe but I add diced white onion. Because if you love onions, they make everything better. This dump-and-go crockpot recipe is super easy to prep and can be done in as little as 2 and a half hours. Fun finger foods like this make the perfect appetizer. Also, try slow cooker meatball sliders.

Recipe Ingredients

ingredients for slow cooker bbq meatballs recipe on a table.
  • Frozen homestyle meatballs: Pick up a bag from the freezer section of your local grocery store or make a batch of homemade meatballs.
  • Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce: This sauce is already packed with so much flavor. You can also use your favorite barbecue sauce.
  • Diced white onion: Adds flavor and texture to these delicious crockpot bbq meatballs.

Step-by-Step Directions

three images showing how to make slow cooker bbq meatballs.

Step One – Add frozen meatballs to the crock pot. Add the diced white onion and barbecue sauce.

Step Two – Stir until the ingredients are well combined.

Step Three – Cover and cook frozen meatballs and onions on HIGH for 2.5 hours or on LOW for 4 hours. Stir occasionally so the meatballs won’t burn on the edges. Serve and enjoy!

overhead of bbq meatballs in a slow cooker.

How to Serve

  • This crockpot meatball recipe can be served as an appetizer with toothpicks.
  • These meatballs can also be turned into a delicious dinner when served on top of mashed potatoes or rice. Try my slow cooker mashed potatoes recipe.
  • Or, you can turn them into sandwiches by serving them on slider or hoagie rolls. Similar to how we make slow cooker meatball subs.
close-up overhead of slow cooker bbq meatballs in a white bowl.

Recipe FAQs

How long can I keep meatballs in the slow cooker?

If you are serving these meatballs as an appetizer, you can keep them warm for about 3 hours by placing the slow cooker in the warm setting. Keep an eye on the meatballs and stir them occasionally and if the sauce seems to dry out, add a splash of water.

Can I use a different kind of barbecue sauce with these crockpot meatballs?

Of course! Use your favorite barbecue sauce in this recipe and also you can use flavored barbecue sauces such as chipotle or spicy. I also have a really delicious recipe that uses grape jelly to make Slow Cooker Grape Jelly Meatballs.

How do I store leftovers?

Place them in an airtight container once they have cooled to room temperature. Refrigerate up to 3-4 days, or freeze for longer-term storage, ensuring they are reheated thoroughly before serving.

serving of slow cooker bbq meatballs on top of mashed potatoes on a plate.

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overhead of bbq meatballs in a slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Barbecue Meatballs

5 from 8 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 10
Easy Slow Cooker Barbecue Meatballs recipe that only has 3 ingredients. Great as an appetizer with toothpicks or on top of mashed potatoes for a hearty dinner.

Ingredients 
 

  • 40 oz. frozen meatballs, (I use Safeway's Kitchen brand homestyle meatballs)
  • 16 oz. Sweet Baby Ray's Original Barbecue Sauce
  • 1 small sweet yellow onion, diced

Instructions 

  • Add the frozen meatballs to the slow cooker.
  • Add the diced white onion and barbecue sauce. Stir.
  • Cover and cook on high for 2.5 hours or on low for 4 hours. Stir occasionally so the meatballs won't burn on the edges.
  • Serve as an appetizer with toothpicks or as dinner on top of mashed potatoes or rice. Or you can serve on slider or hoagie rolls.

To keep warm at a party:

  • After the cooking time is up, set the slow cooker to the warm setting.
  • The meatballs can be kept warm for up to 3 hours. Check on the meatballs occasionally and stir. Add a splash of water if sauce seems to be dry.

Video

Notes

Use your favorite barbecue sauce in this reicpe and also you can use flavored barbecue sauces such as chipotle or spicy.
Place them in an airtight container once they have cooled to room temperature. Refrigerate up to 3-4 days, or freeze for longer-term storage, ensuring they are reheated thoroughly before serving.
If you are serving these meatballs as an appetizer you can keep them warm for about 3 hours by placing the slow cooker to the warm setting. Keep an eye on the meatballs and stir them occasionally and if the sauce seems to dry out, add a splash of water.

Nutrition

Calories: 381kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 530mg | Potassium: 447mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 110IU | Vitamin C: 1.9mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1.3mg

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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56 Comments

  1. Kimberly Zoll says:

    If I am making a double dose, can I still put it all in one crockpot?

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      Yes! You may have to cook a bit longer.

  2. Doug says:

    Hello,

    Any BBQ sauce you recommend that doesn’t have high fructose corn syrup in it considering Ray’s does?

    Thank you…….Doug

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      I do not have a recommendation, you may have to spend some time at the store looking at labels.

      1. Anonymous says:

        5 stars
        I buy Fody Foods BBQ Sauce which has no high fructose corn syrup nor does it have onion or garlic for those of us on the low fodmap diet. You can easily purchase online.

    2. Marie says:

      Can you freeze and how long?

      1. Sarah Olson says:

        I would freeze for up to 3 months.

    3. Anonymous says:

      I have to eat what’s called low FODMAP and cannot have high fructose corn syrup, garlic, onion, dairy, among other things, and among the research I have done, I haven’t yet found a BBQ sauce that is high fructose corn syrup free. I do make my own, though, which is very, easy to do.

    4. Dawn says:

      We have only found one comparable fructose-free barbecue sauce. It’s called Sonny’s, and it’s delicious! It’s sold by the Sonny’s restaurant chain in Florida, but we buy it at our local Sam’s Club.