Crockpot Sweet & Spicy Meatballs

I like a good spread, and I’m completely convinced it’s because I’m from the South. Southerners take a lot of pride in their game day tailgating/lazy Sunday game day food. And honestly, is there a worse feeling than getting to a party and finding there’s one snack offered by the host? If you say yes, we can’t be friends.

The way we see it there should always be at least one type of cheese dip (e.g. Beer Cheese, Rotel dip), one substantial dip (e.g. a Buffalo Chicken dip, Spinach Artichoke dip, Taco dip, Nachos — yes these count as a dip-ish food), and some kind of snacky-main (e.g. wings, pizza, meatballs…)

And that last category is where this recipe comes into play*! And the best part of these bad boys? They’re gluten free.

*You’ll notice that we love puns around here…

This year I really wanted to bring some excitement to my game day repertoire – something a little traditional, something a little unexpected, and something I could make using my underutilized crockpot.

Dave always requests Buffalo Chicken Dip to watch his Giants play on Sundays, so I also knew I just had to find something with a little kick! These meatballs bring a little spice with just the right amount of sweetness, and, honestly, I ended up eating them as mains for a couple lunches and dinners. Okay, fine, I had to eat the leftovers, but I was happy to eat them multiple times. Because they’re heavenly.

You’ll be pleased to know they’re also co-worker approved, so any office potluck will be pleased to have these present!

Boyfriends. Coworkers. Gamedays. Leftovers. You seriously can’t go wrong with these.

Crockpot Sweet & Spicy Meatballs (Yields ~40 Meatballs)

What you’ll need:

KITCHEN TOOLS:
Crockpot & Crockpot Liner
Medium Sized Mixing Bowl
Basic Utensils
Basic Measuring Cups & Spoons
Optional: 1″ cookie scoop

MEATBALLS:
1 lb lean ground beef
1 egg
1/2 cup of Schar Gluten-Free breadcrumbs
2 1/2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon minced onion
2 1/2 tablespoons milk (I always use Fat Free Skim Milk)
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon each of chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin,
1/4 teaspoon pepper

SAUCE:
1/4 cup Franks Red Hot + more to taste
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup apricot jam
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch*
(*If you like sauce a little more runny, use 3/4 tablespoons of cornstarch!)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk egg. Once whisked, add all remaining meatball ingredients and mix until well combined.
  3. Roll meat mixture into 1″ balls.
  4. Place meatballs onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  5. While the meatballs are in the oven, add all of the sauce ingredients to a medium bowl and whisk to combine
    • Begin with 1/4 cup hot sauce at this point, but I end up adding more to taste later on
  6. Line the bottom of your slow cooker with meatballs, drizzle with 1/3 of the sauce. Then add remaining meatballs followed by the remaining sauce.
  7. Cover and cook on low heat for 2 hours, gently stirring an hour after cooking. When done, taste and add additional Frank’s Red Hot to taste.
Keep warm until serving.

Bon Appetit, y’all! Take care!

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