Recipe: 5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Honey-Garlic Meatballs

updated Jan 29, 2020
Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Meatballs
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Add a slow cooker full of glossy, sweet-and-savory meatballs to your appetizer spread (or serve them up for dinner), and it’s all but guaranteed they’ll be gone in seconds. It’s just one of the reasons I keep meatballs stashed in the freezer at all times. Combined with a few pantry staples and plenty of pungent garlic, the whole thing cooks up with a full-flavored sticky sauce — and, best of all, the slow cooker does most of the work.

The Fast Slow Cooker Appetizer

We all know the slow cooker is a master of all-day cooking, but it’s also one of the best kitchen helpers when you need to pull together a nearly effortless, hands-off dish with just an hour or two to spare. Similar to a drop dinner, everything gets tossed in the slow cooker, and in just over an hour you’ve got an appetizer for a crowd that can be served straight from the crock, or dinner for the whole family.

The recipe calls for a bag of meatballs from the freezer section, and all varieties are fair game. Beef, turkey, chicken, or vegetarian meatballs all work here. And if you have a container of homemade meatballs stashed in the freezer, now’s a great time to put them to work.

(Image credit: The Kitchn)

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Meatballs

Prep time 2 minutes

Cook time 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info


  • 1/2 cup


  • 1/4 cup


  • 1/4 cup

    soy sauce or tamari

  • 4 cloves

    garlic, chopped

  • 1 (24- to 28-ounce) bag

    frozen meatballs


  1. Turn a 5-quart or larger slow cooker to the HIGH setting. Add the honey, ketchup, soy sauce, and garlic, and stir to combine. Add the meatballs and stir to coat with the sauce.

  2. Cover and cook on the HIGH setting until the meatballs are cooked through, 75 to 90 minutes. Stir again to coat with the sauce and serve warm.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers will keep for up to 4 days stored in a covered container in the refrigerator.