Crock Pot Party Meatballs With Tangy Sauce

crock pot party meatballs
Diana Rattray
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 3 hrs 30 mins
Total: 3 hrs 50 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Yield: 48 meatballs
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
316 Calories
13g Fat
28g Carbs
21g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 316
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 17%
Saturated Fat 5g 24%
Cholesterol 78mg 26%
Sodium 743mg 32%
Total Carbohydrate 28g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 20g
Protein 21g
Vitamin C 1mg 6%
Calcium 57mg 4%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 472mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

These meatballs are flavored with a sweet-and-tangy homemade barbecue sauce and are perfect for parties, holidays, potlucks, or game days.

An excellent sausage choice for the meatballs is Jimmy Dean Country Mild sausage. Use another type of sausage if you have a preference. Italian sausage or fresh chorizo would be very good or use another brand or variety of breakfast sausage. If you have a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment to mix the meat ingredients. 


 For the Meatballs:

  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef

  • 1/2 pound mild sausage, ground

  • 1 cup fine soft bread crumbs

  • 1/3 cup milk

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Sauce:

  • 1 cup ketchup

  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed

  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 tablespoons finely minced onion

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more, to taste, optional

Steps to Make It

Make the Meatballs

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Heat the oven to 350 F.

  3. Line a large rimmed baking sheet (half-sheet pan) with foil. Place a cooling rack in the pan. Or use two jelly roll pans and smaller cooling racks. The cooling rack helps keep the meatballs out of the fat, but if you don't have one, arrange the meatballs right on the foil.

  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, sausage, bread crumbs, milk, beaten egg, 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, the allspice, and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Mix to blend the ingredients thoroughly.

  5. Gently form the mixture into meatballs about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place the meatballs on the rack(s).

  6. Bake the meatballs at 350 F for 25 to 30 minutes. 

Make the Sauce

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a medium bowl, combine the ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, minced onion, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper, and the optional ground cayenne pepper. Stir to blend.

  3. Transfer the cooked meatballs to the crock pot. Add the sauce mixture.

  4. Cover and cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours.

  5. Serve from the slow cooker with toothpicks and napkins for guests.


  • Use 1 clove of fresh pressed garlic in the meatballs and 2 cloves of fresh pressed garlic in the sauce.
  • Replace the ketchup in the sauce with a mild barbecue sauce.
  • Reduce the brown sugar in the sauce to 1/2 cup or use an equivalent sugar replacement.
  • Replace the ground sausage in the meatballs with turkey sausage.