Crockpot BBQ Meatballs


As much as I love having a bunch of friends over to enjoy a big pot of chili on football Sunday, sometimes nothing is nicer than just hanging on the couch with Andy. Lately- since he’s on a fantasy football league plus we’re in a weekly pool PLUS he’s just generally obsessed, he’s pretty glued to the games while I come in and out with snacks and such. I made us these meatballs a couple weeks ago and we just kept ’em in the crockpot snacking on them all day. They’re exceptionally easy and a bit better for you than the frozen meatball+bbq sauce+grape jelly kind. (Which I’m sure I’ve eaten before and loved, but who knew about the grape jelly??)

You can use any BBQ sauce you’d like, but I highly recommend a really good quality one. We had a bottle of from Dinosaur BBQ which is an amazing restaurant here in NYC, but I normally like Sweet Baby Rays or anything else with some tang. Since the pan-browned meatballs are simmered in the crock pot with nothing but the BBQ sauce, you really want it to have loads of flavor. (You could of course make your own as well, I just didn’t want to mess with that on this particular day.) We finished a half batch of these one afternoon just the two of us, but these would be absolutely perfect to make for a party or potluck as well.


PS- I am posting savory recipes now! Hopefully once a week- don’t stop reading OK!? :)

Crockpot BBQ Meatballs

Crockpot BBQ Meatballs


  • 2 lb. ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
  • 1 cup very finely chopped onions, a food processor works great for this
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder or fresh minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 4-5 cups of your favorite BBQ sauce


  1. In a large bowl, combine all the meatball ingredients and use your (gloved?) hands to thoroughly mix everything together.
  2. Roll meatballs about 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter.
  3. Brown meatballs in a large skillet over medium high heat. (If you are using very lean beef you may want to drizzle your pan with a little olive oil.) Place browned meatballs in the bottom of your crockpot as you continue to brown them in batches.
  4. Pour the BBQ sauce over all the browned meatballs, using the full 5 cups if needed to make sure all the meatballs are covered in sauce.
  5. Cook on high for 1 hour or low for 3 hours until meatballs are hot and fully cooked.


Recipe adapted from this one via

Nutrition Information:
Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

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  1. We’re having movie-nite this w/end w the neighbourhood kids and you just solved my menu.
    These li’l guys and you’re chocolate croissants – I’ll be set!
    You look great, btw! xoxo

  2. I would never have guessed about the grape jelly! Crazy!! I’m pretty sure the.boy could polish off an entire batch of these. No problem.

  3. I grew up eating meatballs (and cocktail weenies) that were cooked in a combination of grape jelly and Heinz 57 steak sauce. Yeah…

  4. I just made these meatballs as I was looking for a crockpot recipe and came across your site. They are very yummy! My husband just told me that they were so bad that he’d have to eat them all. Looking forward to having them for supper tonight with some browned buttered noodles and corn. I just used Jack Daniels BBQ sauce as that’s what I had on hand. The BBQ flavor is very strong, and so the noodles will offset that well. Thanks!

  5. I made these today and they are the BEST meatballs ever. There aren’t any leftovers because everyone ate them so fast!! This will definitely be my go-to recipe for meatballs in the future.

  6. Hi!

    This looks great but, I was wondering if you could bake these before putting them into the crock pot? If so, temperature and time? Thank you!

    1. I haven’t baked them before but I suggest pan-frying them in a skillet- you don’t want them to be over-cooked.

  7. I followed the recipe step by step and for some reason the BBQ sauce mixed with the bread crumbs etc is not melting into a meatball sauce. Instead a have a crock pot full of meatballs with a layer of this mixture. What went wrong here??

  8. Bread crumbs and other ingredients other than the bbq sauce are supposed to be mixed into the ground beef and the meatballs are made from this mixture. Once meatballs are made you cover them with just the bbq sauce

  9. Could you substitute all or half of the ground beef for ground turkey? great recipe!

  10. I made these for a Book Club that I hosted, and everyone RAVED about how delicious they were! I made them a few days ahead. After browning them in a skillet, I put them on a cookie sheet and into the freezer for a few hours. After they were frozen, i threw em in a gallon freezer bag. Put them with BBQ sauce in the crock pot on high about three hours before my guests arrived, they were perfect by the time everyone started snacking! Amazing recipe!

    1. Thanks for the freezer suggestion! Were having a Halloween Party tomorrow and I want to make these ahead! Im going to call them mini brains!

  11. This is a good, basic recipe. Try using milk instead of eggs. I did, and the result was great! I also added a couple Tsps of Italian seasoning.

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