Grandma’s Slow Cooker Meatballs. This recipe is a family favorite. It couldn’t be easier and it’s one even the pickiest eaters will love!
Grandma’s Slow Cooker Meatballs
I’ve been eating these sweet and savory meatballs about once a month since I was a kid, and I’m still not tired of them! It’s the recipe I remember my Grandma Lil making most often for Sunday dinners.
Even my pickiest kiddo loves these meatballs!
Here are a few of our favorite ways to serve them:
- Craving comfort food? Serve them over creamy mashed potatoes or buttered noodles.
- Try them over baked sweet potatoes for a healthy option. That’s how we had them the night I made them for this blog post.
- Having a party? Make them bite-sized because they’re just as delicious on their own.
- If you’re a bread lover, these make an excellent meatball sub.
- Please the kiddos by serving them as is topped with shredded cheddar cheese and a side of potato chips.
The day I made these, I had the meatballs in my slow cooker, and I did the sweet potatoes in my pretty Pioneer Woman Instant Pot (which was a gift from my friend Kimber of Easy Family Recipes). I followed these Instant Pot instructions for the sweet potatoes. So fast and easy, even with large sweet potatoes.
Make them Gluten-Free
My pickiest kiddo is also the one with Celiac Disease with means no gluten. Making Grandma’s Slow Cooker Meatballs gluten-free is super easy. Just use gluten-free breadcrumbs. The Aleia’s GF Panko Crumbs are my favorite by far. I order them on Amazon about once a month.
Grandma’s Slow Cooker Meatballs Recipe Notes
- To up the flavor, you can add 1-2 TBSP of my Sweet and Smoky Spice Mix to the meatballs (during step 2 on the recipe card near the end of this post).
- When you first put these in the slow cooker, you’ll think there’s not enough sauce, but as they cook down, you’ll have more than enough. Below is how the meatballs looked early in the morning before I started the slow cooker.
After cooking, you’ll have plenty of sauce to top them with, no matter how you choose to serve them. I even had to pile some of the meatballs on top of each other in the photo below!
Storage and Freezing
- If you have leftovers, store in an airtight container in the fridge. Meatballs will keep for 3-4 days. We think they’re even yummier on day 2.
- Want to freeze them? Meatballs freeze well. Store in a freezer-friendly airtight container. They’re best if eaten within 3-4 months. Once thawed, consume within 3-4 days.
- Gluten-Free. This recipe is gluten-free when prepared with GF breadcrumbs.
- Dairy-free. The meatballs are is dairy-free so just be sure to choose non-dairy toppings when serving.
- 2 Bottles Chili Sauce
- 2 Bottles Water (Measured using an empty chili sauce bottle)
- 2 TBSP Grape Jelly
- 2 TBSP Brown Sugar or Honey
- 1 Bell Pepper, Sliced
- 2 lb Ground Beef (or 1 LB each ground beef and ground pork)
- 2 Eggs, Beaten
- 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
- 1-2 TBSP Sweet & Smoky Spice Mix, optional (linked in notes below)
- Bread Crumbs, up to 1 cup
- Combine all sauce ingredients including the sliced pepper in a slow cooker.
- Meanwhile, combine ground meat, eggs, and garlic in a large bowl. Add up to 1 cup breadcrumbs. I start with 1/2 cup and add more as needed to make them stick together. Mix until well combined.
- Roll into meatballs and place gently into the sauce in the slow cooker.
- Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
- Serve as desired and enjoy!
- For extra flavor, we like to season with salt, pepper, and red chili flakes.
- To make this gluten-free, use GF breadcrumbs in the meatballs.
- Grandma's original recipe called for green bell peppers but I use red.
- I use a large cookie scoop to keep the meatballs all uniform in size, but that's optional.
- Best if made early in the day or the day prior.
- To up the flavor, add 1-2 TBSP of my Sweet and Smoky Spice Mix to the meatballs in Step 2.
- Chili Sauce is found in the condiment aisle. Heinz is the most commonly found brand of chili sauce. It comes in a glass bottle similar to the old school ketchup one.
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Amount Per Serving Calories 281Total Fat 8.9gSaturated Fat 3.2gCholesterol 142mgSodium 480mgCarbohydrates 10.1gFiber 0.6gSugar 0.9g
Calorie info will vary depending on serving size and what brands of ingredients you use. Nutrition Info reflects meatballs only since you won't use all that sauce in your serving. Add 20 calories for each TBSP of sauce you pour over your meatballs.
We hope you enjoy my Grandma’s Slow Cooker Meatballs as much as we do!