Appetizer Meatballs With Only Four Ingredients

4-Ingredient Slow Cooker Meatballs
Diana Rattray
  • 3 hrs 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 3 hrs
  • Yield: 4 Dozen (24 servings)
Ratings (17)

 These sweet, sticky meatballs make a delicious appetizer for a party or game day gathering. Or take them along to the game if you're tailgating. Use good quality frozen meatballs in this recipe.

Slice some green onion tops or cilantro to give the meatballs a little color, or leave them in the slow cooker to keep them warm for leisurely serving. If you would like to make your own meatballs, I've included some links to homemade meatballs just below the recipe.

What You'll Need

  • 4 dozen frozen meatballs
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 cup currant jelly
  • 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce
  • Optional: 1/2 cup green onion (sliced, or chopped fresh cilantro)

How to Make It

  1. Put the frozen meatballs in the slow cooker.
  2. In a bowl, combine the minced onion, currant jelly, and barbecue sauce. Whisk to blend thoroughly. 
  3. Pour the sauce mixture into the slow cooker and mix to coat the meatballs.
  4. Cover and cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours or on HIGH for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. 
  5. Serve hot from the slow cooker set on LOW or transfer to a chafing dish.
  6. Garnish with thinly sliced green onion tops or chopped cilantro, if desired.

    These meatballs can also be served as a main dish. Serve them with rice or noodles and a side vegetable, such as carrots, green beans, or steamed broccoli

    Variations

    • Grape Jelly Meatballs: Use grape jelly in place of the currant jelly.
    • Cranberry Meatballs: Replace the currant jelly with a sweet cranberry relish or whole berry cranberry sauce.
    • Use a homemade barbecue sauce or chili sauce in place of the purchased barbecue sauce.
    • Add pineapple chunks to the meatballs.

    Make Your Own Meatballs

    Frozen meatballs can be spongy and tasteless. If you don't like the frozen meatballs you have locally, you can easily make your own.  You can make them ahead of time and freeze them, or refrigerate them for a day or two. Here are a few easy homemade meatball recipes. 

    Tips for Making Homemade Meatballs

    • Use a cookie scoop or tablespoon to keep the meatballs uniform in size, or weigh them as you shape them.
    • Bake the meatballs on a rack in a baking pan to keep them from sitting in the drippings.
    • Freeze them on a baking sheet in a single layer, then put them in a zip-close freezer bag labeled with the name and date. Frozen at 0° F, food can last indefinitely, but for best quality, use your frozen meatballs within 2 to 3 months.