These Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Meatballs are a family favorite and a super easy recipe that's perfect as a holiday side, potluck or any time evening dinner. Put it all in the slow cooker, set it and forget it!
These slow cooker meatballs are popular any time of the year, but especially around the holiday season. They are a great side dish for any holiday meal, as well as a tasty appetizer!
When I first moved away from home, I couldn't wait to be back there, with my family, eating that special, traditional Christmas dinner. The roast turkey, pumpkin pie, the stuffing, the cabbage rolls and the Ceasar salad (minus the chicken), Granny buns, the butter tarts and these glorious Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Meatballs. My Auntie Carol made this sweet and sour meatball recipe every year, along with her Green beans and Mushrooms and Carrot Casserole. Traditional family recipes are the ultimate comfort foods!
These crock pot meatballs are easy to make with ground beef and simple ingredients from your pantry. For this recipe, you'll need:
- extra lean ground beef
- bread crumbs
- garlic powder
- white onion
SWEET & SOUR SAUCE
- white vinegar
- brown sugar
- soya sauce
*See recipe card for quantities.
Spray the inside of a slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, mix meatball ingredients together and form into balls (1.5 inches big, approximately.) Then place meatballs in the slow cooker.
Sweet and Sour Sauce
Whisk sauce ingredients (1 ½ cups water, white vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce and brown sugar) together in a separate bowl.
Mix cornstarch and cold water together in a small bowl, then add to sauce.
Pour over sauce over meatballs in crock pot.
⏲️ Cooking time
Cook on low temperature in slow cooker for 8 hours.* If sauce is still a little runny when done (it should be consistency of gravy) then add 1 more teaspoon of cornstarch mixed with ½ teaspoon of water. You can keep adding more until you reach the desired consistency.
Garnish with parsley flakes and sesame seeds, if desired.
📖Variations & Substitutions
- Meatballs - you can use a mixture of ground pork and ground beef, or use ground chicken or ground turkey instead
- Onion - you could use green onions instead of white onions
- Spicy - you can spice it up by adding a little chili sauce or some crushed red pepper flakes
You will need a slow cooker for this recipe (affiliate link).
Besides dishwashers, I think that slow cookers are one of mankind's greatest inventions. But dump and go slow cooker recipes, like my Slow Cooker Swiss Steak, are my absolute fave. I don't particularly like to have to cook things ahead for a slow cooker recipes; that defeats the entire purpose of the slow cooker! Okay, so there are a few exceptions to that rule, but they have to be worth it. And my Gluten-free Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas and my Slow Cooker Pulled Pork on a bun are those exceptions and they are sooo worth it! But generally, I want to be able to put the ingredients in the crock pot and walk away. And that's exactly what the recipe is all about.
🥗 Side Dishes
What to serve with Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Meatballs
This is a side dish we have every year with our Christmas dinner. I love that you can set and forget it with slow cooking. You have enough going on when you're trying to make a big holiday dinner that having a slow cooker dish (or something you can make ahead and freeze) is ideal! And they are an excellent potluck dish! I also serve these crock pot meatballs with sweet and sour sauce for an easy weeknight dinner over mashed potatoes or white rice (jasmine rice is my fave!)
Serve a salad or veggies on the side!
Store these meatballs in an airtight container for up to 4 days or freeze them in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Make Ahead: These meatballs can be made and frozen ahead for up to 3 months, but you'll want to thaw this dish before you warm it up.
👪 Serving Size
This saucy meatballs recipe makes 24 large (1.5 inch) meatballs. However, you can half, double or triple the recipe by clicking on the blue serving number and selecting the number of servings you'd like. The ingredient quantities will automatically adjust.
These meatballs are Weight Watchers friendly @ 3 WW points each (with sauce) on my plan. However, you can lower the points by using ground turkey or chicken and serving with cauliflower rice.
So if you are looking for a side dish, an appetizer or an easy dinner the whole family will love, try this one - it's our family's favorite meatballs recipe and I hope it will become yours as well!
Here's another little traditional holiday side dish that I have added into the mix (and it's Weight Watchers Friendly):
Did you make this homemade meatballs recipe? If you loved them please leave a 5 star rating and comment below.
📋 Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Meatballs Recipe
- 2 lb extra lean ground beef
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ¾ cup fine bread crumbs
Sweet & Sour Sauce
- 1 ½ cup water
- ⅔ cup white vinegar
- ⅔ cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoon soya sauce
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoon cold water
- Spray the inside of a slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, mix meatball ingredients together and form into balls (1.5 inches approximately.) Then place meatballs in the slow cooker.
Sweet and Sour Sauce
- Whisk sauce ingredients (1 ½ cups water, white vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce and brown sugar) together in a separate bowl.
- Mix cornstarch and cold water together in a small bowl and add to sauce.
- Pour sauce over meatballs in slow cooker
- Cook on low in slow cooker for 8 hours.* If sauce is still a little runny when done (it should be consistency of gravy) add 1 more teaspoon of cornstarch mixed with ½ teaspoon of water. You can keep adding more until you reach the desired consistency.
- Garnish with parsley flakes and sesame seeds, if desired.
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