Slow Cooker Honey Buffalo Meatballs

These Slow cooker Buffalo Meatballs are an epic game day, holiday or party appetizer you need in your recipe repertoire!

Introducing tender, juicy Slow Cooker Honey Buffalo Meatballs simmered in the most tantalizing sweet heat sauce that everyone will go crazy for!  Perfect appetizer or delicious, stress-free, make-ahead meal with rice  – or both!  You can make the slow cooker meatballs early in the day and cook right before serving, or keep warm in the crock pot (yay for stress free entertaining) and even freeze – all instructions included!

Buffalo Meatballs Recipe Video

up close of slow cooker buffalo meatballs in the crockpot

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Buffalo Meatbballs

I made these buffalo meatballs twice in the last two weeks to get the sauce absolutely perfect.  The first time we devoured the slow cooker meatballs for dinner with rice – Ah-mazing.   The second time, I brought them to a friend’s birthday party where everyone practically begged me for the recipe. Everyone, beg no more.

These buffalo meatballs are a cross between my crazy popular  Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Cranberry Meatballs I posted last year and my beloved Honey Buffalo Hot Wings.   Both are ridiculously delicious and easy, always crowd pleasers, and both seeping with sweet heat. So, it only made sense to combine the two for an easy, intoxicating delicious slow cooker meatball recipe AKA Honey Buffalo Meatballs!

The buffalo meatballs themselves are incredibly tender, juicy, and flavorful from an easy splash of spices.  The spices make the ingredient list seem somewhat lengthy, but they just take seconds to throw in and take these meatballs all the way to the end zone; smother them in Honey Buffalo Sauce and you have a touchdown.

Looking for more Meatball Recipes?

How Spicy are Buffalo Meatballs?

A winning aspect of these Buffalo Meatballs is you can completely customize their heat by adding more hot sauce to taste at the end of cooking so they can be more honey or more buffalo.  Either way, these irresistible slow cooker meatballs will have you licking your lips, and strongly tempted to lick the slow cooker itself.  I won’t judge.

Sauce for Buffalo Meatballs

Any meatball recipe, including these buffalo meatballs, are only as good as the sauce, and this sauce is epic. It is a simple whisking of Frank’s Original Hot Sauce, honey, brown sugar, apricot preserves and a splash of soy sauce that simmers with the meatballs for an appetizer that is nothing short of addicting or, as previously discussed, the perfect dinner so you can eat them all the time. 

Buffalo Meatball Ingredients

The meatballs:

  • Ground beef: use lean ground beef so the meatballs will be tender but not greasy.
  • Crackers: 22 saltine crackers or Ritz crackers add a fabulous flavor in place of panko or breadcrumbs.
  • Dried minced onion: I love using dried minced onion because they deliver concentrated flavor. You can find dried minced onions with all the other seasonings at your grocery store.
  • Eggs: 2 eggs will do the trick to bind all the ingredients together.
  • Milk: any kind of milk will work here.   
  • Seasonings: garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, smoked paprika, ground cumin salt and pepper add an oomph of flavor without being overpowering.

The sauce

  • Hot sauce: I use Frank’s Red Hot Original Sauce. You can start with less and add more to taste.
  • Honey: is the “honey” in honey buffalo meatballs!
  • Apricot preserves: adds a fruity, multi-dimensional sweetness that compliments the honey
  • Brown sugar: works with the honey to balance the hot sauce.
  • Soy sauce: grounds the sauce. Use low sodium so your recipe isn’t too salty
  • Cornstarch: thickens the sauce into a glaze.

CAN I USE TURKEY MEATBALLS?

I recommend lean ground beef for its rich, beefy flavor, but you may also use ground chicken or ground turkey, they just won’t be quite as juicy.  Trying adding some beef bouillon to enhance the flavor and a splash of oil to enhance the juiciness.

a wooden spoon scooping up buffalo meatballs in the slow cooker

How do you Make Slow Cooker Meatballs?

STEP 1: COMBINE MEATBALL INGREDIENTS

These Buffalo Meatballs are super easy! First, combine the lean ground beef, eggs, saltine crackers, dried minced onions, milk, and seasonings in a bowl.

I used my mom’s perfect moist meatball recipe that uses crushed saltines instead of breadcrumbs as well as dried minced onion for maximum flavor.

STEP 2: ROLL MEATBALLS

  • Next, roll the meat mixture into balls and place on foil lined baking sheet for easy cleanup.

STEP 3: BAKE MEATBALLS

  • Bake for 8 minutes, or until lightly browned. 
  • Baking the meatballs ensures they don’t fall apart in the slow cooker and seals in the juices for more tender meatballs. Baking is also much easier in a mass batch to cook instead of frying (and healthier too!).

STEP 4: Combine Sauce Ingredients

  • While the meatballs are baking, add all of the Honey Buffalo Sauce Ingredients to a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
  • Start with only use ¼ cup hot sauce at this point. You can add more hot sauce to taste at the end of cooking).

STEP 5: Layer sauce with meatballs

  • Line the bottom of your slow cooker with meatballs, drizzle with some Honey Buffalo Sauce, then remaining meatballs followed by the remaining Sauce.

CAN I USE A FOOD PROCESSOR OR MIXER TO BLEND THE MEATBALLS?

I do NOT recommend using a food processor or mixer to blend the meatballs because you end up with a mixture that is denser.  The goal is to just combine the ingredients together so they are evenly dispersed but not to over mix which can be easy to do with equipment.  Over-mixed meatballs = tougher meatballs.

How long do you Cook Slow Cooker Meatballs?

Cook Buffalo Meatballs on LOW for 2-4 hours. gently stirring one hour into cooking.   The meatballs will cook and seep in the zesty, sweet, tangy, savory, spicy sauce.

You can keep the crock pot on the WARM setting until you’re ready to serve.

buffalo slow cooker meatballs on a platter

Can I make Buffalo Meatballs on the Stove?

You may also make Buffalo Meatballs on the stove but they require a little more babysitting.  I personally prefer the slow cooker method because the meatballs cook low and slow and emerge crazy tender.

If cooking Buffalo Meatballs on the stove, you will still want to brown the meatballs in the oven first so they don’t fall apart when cooked.  Add honey buffalo sauce and browned/baked meatballs to a large pot and gently simmer over medium low heat for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through, stirring occasionally.

CAN I BAKE BUFFALO MEATBALLS?

Yes, you can bake the meatballs and prepare the sauce on the stove. Here’s how:

  • Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper for easy cleanup. Top with a baking rack and spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  • Place meatballs onto prepared baking sheet without touching. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Meanwhile, whisk all of the Honey Buffalo Sauce ingredients together in a very large skillet off heat. Once combined, bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened.
  • Add the baked meatballs to the sauce and stir to evenly coat. Transfer meatballs to a serving platter or bowl with either cocktail picks or toothpicks nearby or you can pierce the meatballs. Serve warm. Alternatively, transfer to the crockpot and keep on the “warm” setting until ready to serve.

CAN I USE FROZEN MEATBALLS?

Part of the deliciousness of this Buffalo Meatball Recipe is the homemade meatballs, but you are welcome to use your favorite store-bought meatballs as well.

To make Slow Cooker Meatballs with store-bought meatballs, you will need one 32 oz. frozen fully cooked home style meatballs.

  • SLOW COOKER: Add sauce and meatballs to a 6-qt. slow cooker and cook on low 2-3 hours for THAWED meatballs and 6-8 hours for FROZEN meatballs.
  • STOVE TOP: Add sauce and meatballs to a large pot and gently simmer over medium low heat for 15-20 minutes for THAWED meatballs and 30-35 minutes for FROZEN meatballs, stirring occasionally.

Tips for Slow Cooker Meatballs

  • Slow Cooker Line.  Try using a crock pot liner for effortless cleanup!
  • Saltine substitute.  You may substitute the saltine crackers for Ritz crackers.
  • Uniform meatballs.  I suggest using a cookie scoop to roll your meatballs so they are a uniform size and cook evenly.
  • Meatball Size.  The size of the meatballs is totally personal preference, but I like to make smaller meatballs when using as an appetizer and larger meatballs when serving as a dinner.
  • Meatball quantity.  This slow cooker meatball recipe will make approximately 70 meatballs using 1″ cookie scoop; 35 meatballs using 2″ cookie scoop.
  • Always brown meatballs.  Browning the meatballs in the oven before adding to the crock pot is essential.  It seals in the juices, helps them not break apart in the slow cooker, and speeds up the cooking time.
  • Double sauce.  This slow cooker meatball recipe does not make saucy meatballs, but more of a glaze for appetizer meatballs.  You will want to double the sauce if serving as a main course. 
  • Cooking  time.  The size of the meatballs as well as the size, age of your slow cooker will affect the cooking time so plan accordingly. 
  • Test for doneness. Test a buffalo meatball after two hours by cutting in half to check for doneness. 
  • Plan for longer cooking time. If this is your first time making slow cooker meatballs, plan for the meatballs to take the full 4 hours  cooking time. It is better to start the meatballs early and keep them on the warm setting instead of them not being cooked in time. 

Possible Recipe Variations

  • Double the sauce for extra saucy meatballs.
  • Swap the hot sauce for Gochuchang (Korean chili sauce)
  • Swap the apricot preserves for pineapple or blackberry jam
  • Swap the saltines for Ritz crackers or go gluten free and use your favorite gluten free crackers

What Should I Serve with Buffalo Meatballs?

If serving Buffalo Meatballs as an appetizer, it pairs well with these other popular appetizers:

If serving Buffalo Meatballs as a main course, it pairs well with these sides:

top view of slow cooker buffalo meatballs stacked on a platter

CAN I PREP Slow cooker MEATBALLS IN ADVANCE?

  • Assemble and bake the meatballs for 8 minutes.
  • Let meatballs cool completely.
  • Gently layer meatballs in slow cooker in between layer of sauce per recipe directions.
  • Remove crockpot ceramic insert with meatballs/sauce and refrigerate, covered.
  • Add an additional 30 minutes to cooking time when ready to make OR cook until meatballs are completely cooked through and sauce is hot.

HOW DO YOU KEEP MEATBALLS WARM FOR A PARTY?

Simply keep he cooked meatballs on the warm setting in your slow cooker for up to 2 hours. Keep an eye on them and gently stir occassionally.

CAN I FREEZE Slow Cooker MEATBALLS?

You can either freeze your Slow Cooker Buffalo Meatballs a) after baking but before cooking in the slow cooker or b) once fully cooked in the sauce.

TO FREEZE SLOW COOKER MEATBALLS AFTER COOKING:

  • Let Buffalo Meatballs and Sauce cool completely in the refrigerator before freezing.
  • Transfer to an airtight, freezer safe container.
  • Freeze for up to 3 months.
  • When ready to use, let meatballs thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Transfer to a large pot and gently simmer until heated through.

TO FREEZE MEATBALLS BEFORE COOKING:

  1. Bake meatballs according to directions.
  2. Let meatballs cool to room temperature.
  3. Place entire baking tray with the meatballs in the freezer. You will want to make sure the meatballs are not touching so they don’t freezer together.  If your freezer can’t accommodate your baking tray then use a small tray and freeze in batches.  Freeze for 1-2 hours.
  4. When your meatballs are frozen enough that they won’t stick together, then transfer meatballs to freezer safe bags or containers.
  5. Label meatballs and store meatballs in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  6. You can also make the sauce, store in an airtight container and freeze separately from the meatballs.

HOW TO THAW and Cook FROZEN MEATBALLS

When ready to make Buffalo Meatballs, you can cook meatballs either on the stove, crockpot or oven/crockpot:

  1. STOVE: Add frozen meatballs and sauce to a large pot and simmer for 30 minutes or until cooked through, taking care not to stir the first 10 minutes so you don’t break the meatballs.
  2. CROCKPOT: Add frozen meatballs and sauce to crockpot and cook on low 6-8 hours or until cooked through and hot.
  3. OVEN/CROCKPOT: Defrost meatballs in the oven by baking at 350 degrees F  for 10 to 12 minutes. Meanwhile, defrost sauce in the microwave or stove, stirring often. Transfer meatballs and sauce to crockpot and cook on LOW for 2-4 hours or until completely cooked through.

Looking for more BUFFALO Recipes?

up close of scooping slow cooker buffalo meatballs in the crockpot with a wooden spoon

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Pin them to your SLOW COOKER, MEAT or APPETIZERS Board to SAVE for later!

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Tender juicy slow cooker Honey Buffalo Meatballs simmered in the most tantalizing sweet heat sauce that everyone goes crazy for! Perfect appetizer or delicious, easy meal with rice!

Slow Cooker Honey Buffalo Meatballs

Tender juicy slow cooker Honey Buffalo Meatballs simmered in the most tantalizing sweet heat sauce that everyone goes crazy for! Perfect appetizer or delicious, easy meal with rice!
Servings: 70 meatballs
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 22 saltine crackers, crushed (approx. 1 cup)
  • 1/3 cup dried minced onion
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tsp EACH garlic pwdr, onion pwdr, salt
  • 1/2 tsp EACH chili pwdr, smoked paprika, ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Honey Buffalo Sauce

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450F degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add eggs and gently whisk. Add all remaining Meatball Ingredients and mix until well combined. Roll meat mixture into desired meatball size**. Place meatballs onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  • Meanwhile, add all of the Honey Buffalo Sauce Ingredients to a medium bowl and whisk to combine (only use ¼ cup hot sauce at this point. You can add more hot sauce to taste at the end of cooking).
  • Line the bottom of your slow cooker with meatballs, drizzle with some Honey Buffalo Sauce, then remaining meatballs followed by the remaining Sauce.
  • Cover and cook on low heat for 2-4 hours, gently stirring every hour. When done, taste and stir in additional hot wings sauce (I add 1 ½ more tablespoons which is pretty spicy.) Keep warm until serving.

Video

Notes

Don’t miss the “how to make” recipe video at the top of the post!
**I recommend DOUBLING the Sauce as most readers find they love the sauce so much they wish they had doubled it – or say they always double the sauce when they make it. 🙂

Tips for Slow Cooker Meatballs

  • Slow Cooker Line.  Try using a crock pot liner for effortless cleanup!
  • Saltine substitute.  You may substitute the saltine crackers for Ritz crackers.
  • Uniform meatballs.  I suggest using a cookie scoop to roll your meatballs so they are a uniform size and cook evenly.
  • Meatball Size.  The size of the meatballs is totally personal preference, but I like to make smaller meatballs when using as an appetizer and larger meatballs when serving as a dinner.
  • Meatball quantity.  This slow cooker meatball recipe will make approximately 70 meatballs using 1″ cookie scoop; 35 meatballs using 2″ cookie scoop.
  • Always brown meatballs.  Browning the meatballs in the oven before adding to the crock pot is essential.  It seals in the juices, helps them not break apart in the slow cooker, and speeds up the cooking time.
  • Double sauce.  This slow cooker meatball recipe does not make saucy meatballs, but more of a glaze for appetizer meatballs.  You will want to double the sauce if serving as a main course.
  • Cooking  time.  The size of the meatballs as well as the size, age of your slow cooker will affect the cooking time so plan accordingly.
  • Test for doneness. Test a buffalo meatball after two hours by cutting in half to check for doneness.
  • Plan for longer cooking time. If this is your first time making slow cooker meatballs, plan for the meatballs to take the full 4 hours  cooking time. It is better to start the meatballs early and keep them on the warm setting instead of them not being cooked in time.

PREP Ahead Slow cooker MEATBALLS 

  • Assemble and bake the meatballs for 8 minutes.
  • Let meatballs cool completely.
  • Gently layer meatballs in slow cooker in between layer of sauce per recipe directions.
  • Remove crockpot ceramic insert with meatballs/sauce and refrigerate, covered.
  • Add an additional 30 minutes to cooking time when ready to make OR cook until meatballs are completely cooked through and sauce is hot.

How to FREEZE Slow Cooker MEATBALLS

You can either freeze your Slow Cooker Buffalo Meatballs a) after baking but before cooking in the slow cooker or b) once fully cooked in the sauce.

TO FREEZE SLOW COOKER MEATBALLS AFTER COOKING:

  • Let Buffalo Meatballs and Sauce cool completely in the refrigerator before freezing.
  • Transfer to an airtight, freezer safe container.
  • Freeze for up to 3 months.
  • When ready to use, let meatballs thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Transfer to a large pot and gently simmer until heated through.

TO FREEZE MEATBALLS BEFORE COOKING:

  1. Bake meatballs according to directions.
  2. Let meatballs cool to room temperature.
  3. Place entire baking tray with the meatballs in the freezer. You will want to make sure the meatballs are not touching so they don’t freezer together.  If your freezer can’t accommodate your baking tray then use a small tray and freeze in batches.  Freeze for 1-2 hours.
  4. When your meatballs are frozen enough that they won’t stick together, then transfer meatballs to freezer safe bags or containers.
  5. Label meatballs and store meatballs in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  6. You can also make the sauce, store in an airtight container and freeze separately from the meatballs.

HOW TO DEFROST and Cook FROZEN MEATBALLS

When ready to make Buffalo Meatballs, you can cook meatballs either on the stove, crockpot or oven/crockpot:
  1. STOVE: Add frozen meatballs and sauce to a large pot and simmer for 30 minutes or until cooked through, taking care not to stir the first 10 minutes so you don’t break the meatballs.
  2. CROCKPOT: Add frozen meatballs and sauce to crockpot and cook on low 6-8 hours or until cooked through and hot.
  3. OVEN/CROCKPOT: Defrost meatballs in the oven by baking at 350 degrees F  for 10 to 12 minutes. Meanwhile, defrost sauce in the microwave or stove, stirring often. Transfer meatballs and sauce to crockpot and cook on LOW for 2-4 hours or until completely cooked through.

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199 Comments

  1. Dorothy Dunton says

    Hi Jen! Wow these look good! They would make great meatball subs! I will have to wait until I know someone is coming over because otherwise I’d eat them all myself (I’d probably share with my husband ?). 🙂

    • Jen says

      mmmmm, love the sound of these on subs – I’m drooling all over again! You are very wise to wait until someone comes over – but then again eating them all with your husband might not be a bad thing 🙂

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Kim! I think your whole family would love these!! xoxoxo

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Natasha, you are so nice! xoxox

  2. Donna Malarkey says

    Are the Slow Cooker Honey Buffalo Meatballs really Spicy HOT? Some of my friends don’t like really hot things…..so I’m just wondering. I’m planning on making them for a Tapas Party. Thank you.

    • Jen says

      Hi Donna, they are not too spicy when you add the ingredients just as directed. At the end of cooking you can taste them and make them spicier if you would like so you don’t have to worry about them being too spicy. ENjoy!

  3. Susan says

    I made these today. So yummy! I used half beef/pork, 1 sleeve of ritz like crackers and added salt to both the meat and the sauce. Did I mention yum? And so easy! The perfect amount of heat for us! Thanks for sharing.

    • Jen says

      Hi Susan, I am so happy you loved these and they were just the right amount of heat! and I love the idea of using Ritz crackers – I am going to have to try that in my next meatballs! Thank you!!

  4. Tiffany says

    Just wondering if lots of sauce if serving over rice or should I make 1 1/2 times sauce recipe? Would that maybe make it too spicy (like a little spice but not too much)? Thanks! Sounds like something that will be on our dinner table very soon!

    • Jen says

      Hi Tiffany! If serving over rice, I would add 1 1/2x the sauce. I don’t think that would make it too spicy because the proportions of the sauce ingredients stay the same but if you want to be extra careful, then you can keep the hot sauce the same and add more to taste at the end of cooking. Hope this helps! enjoy!

  5. Tara says

    These sound fantastic! But, there are only 2 of us and I think 70 would be too many! Have you frozen these before? I’m worried if I halve the recipe I won’t have enough sauce.

    • Jen says

      Hi Tara, the meatballs should freeze just fine but trust me – they go SO FAST that even with just 2 of you, I don’t think they would last longer than 2 days. Enjoy!

  6. Vojta says

    Hello,
    Frank’s Red Hot Original Sauce is not available in my country. Should I just add more chilli powder?
    Thanks you.

    • Jen says

      Hi Vojta, I would use any other hot sauce to taste. You can always start with a little and add more at the end of cooking. Hope this helps!

  7. Savilla says

    These look amazing! I was wondering could the meatballs be prepared and baked ahead of time then put in crock pot with sauce the next day?

    • Jen says

      Absolutely! You could even warm the sauce separately and toss the meatballs with the sauce without the slow cooker. Enjoy!

  8. Stephanie says

    Hi Jen! I love the sound of these meatballs! I cannot wait to make them. I do have one question. Growing up my mom always made meatballs with panko or breadcrumbs. Any idea the ratio of the 22 crackers to cups of the panko/breadcrumbs that you would suggest? Thanks!

    • Jen says

      Hi Stephanie! I haven’t measured the crushed saltine crackers so I can’t tell you an exact amount – I would suggest just adding the breadcrumbs until it reaches the right consistency. sorry I can’t be more helpful! Enjoy!

      • GS says

        It would be helpful if you could measure the crackers the next time you make it. Not everyone is in the US and has access to saltines. And what is the right consistency, you don’t give any hints in the recipe? I don’t want them to fall apart when I cook them.

        • Jen says

          Hi Gerry, I just updated the recipe. The saltines should measure approximately 1 cup. If you follow the recipe the meatballs should be the right consistency 🙂

  9. Lauren says

    I made these the first time for my (very first!) Christmas dinner party. EVERYONE loved them! I’m currently making my second batch right now and my house smells incredible

    • Jen says

      YAY! That is awesome Lauren, I am so happy you and everyone else loved them :)!!!! and on your second batch already – that is the ultimate compliment!

      • Lauren says

        Adding that I’ve made these for a total of 7 parties since my first posting 2 years ago. EVERYONE requests that I bring these whenever there’s a food-adjacent occasion, they’re just so good.

        • Jen says

          yessssss! It is so cool to hear this update after 2 years Lauren! I’m thrilled they continue to be such a hit, thank you!

  10. Cary says

    Hey! Thank you for the recipe! Do you think these would be just as good with ground chicken instead of beef? Would I need to alter the cooking time at all? Thank you so much!

    • Jen says

      Hi Cary! I am partial to the flavor of the beef so I think it just come down to personal preference – that being said, the sauce is so good that I think chicken would still be delicious! As far as cooking time, I would cook them closer to 2 hours. Hope this helps, enjoy!

  11. Kim says

    Found your recipe on Pinterest and just tried it. This is definitely a keeper – I can’t wait to bring these to a party or family gathering! I am a novice cook so I used frozen meatballs, but the sauce is SO TASTY. Thank you!

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome Kim!! I am so happy you loved the sauce as much as me and I agree, they will be great at a party! Enjoy! Thank you!!

  12. Patrick says

    Do you use just regular Frank’s hot sauce when doing this or do you use their buffalo hot sauce?

    • Jen says

      Hi Patrick, I use just their regular original hot sauce, not the buffalo hot sauce. Enjoy!

  13. Alex says

    Hi! I’m planning on making these for a Super Bowl party. Do you think it would be OK to make the recipe today, assemble it in the crockpot and refrigerate overnight?

    • Jen says

      Hi Alex! I think you could definitely make the meatballs and the sauce in advance but I would keep them separate and assemble in the morning. Enjoy!

  14. Kara says

    Recipe calls for Frank’s Red Hot sauce……can you substitute Frank’s Buffalo sauce?

    • Jen says

      Hi Kara, Frank’s Buffalo Wings Sauce is much spicier than Frank’s original so if you substitute it, I would ony ad half the amount – or even less and add more to taste, just to be sure. Hope this helps!

  15. tara says

    OMG these look delish I love heat & sweet combo so honey and buffalo sounds up my alley. I’ll try with frozen meatballs since I have a pkg in freezer didn’t get used yet. May have to scale down the sauce but if I have extra I’m sure I won’t complain 🙂 I’m loving your website – found link to the red velvet brownies on another site…which I’m also making this weekend. Thank you for your great recipes, beautiful photography (drooling at work is not fun 🙂 and your inspirational stories had me tearing up (also not fun at work 🙂 Keep on keeping on Jen!

    • Jen says

      Hi Tara! If you love sweet heat, then I think you will love these – the perfect way to use up those meatballs! I wouldn’t scale back the sauce as some readers have commented that they will double the sauce next time. I am so happy to hear you are loving my site – welcome! and thank you for your kind words! I have so much fun doing what I do and feel blessed every day. Sorry to make you teary at work though 🙂 xo

      • Shanthie says

        Would you recommend doubling the sauce for frozen meatballs? Using these mostly as an appetizer.

        • Jen says

          Hi Shanthie! I you are using them as an appetizer then I don’t think you need to double the sauce as they will have plenty to coat them. Hope this helps, enjoy!

          • Tara says

            I used frozen meatballs, the moisture from them once they thaw makes the sauce very watery. I doubled the sauce, using half with the meatballs and the other half I reduced on the stove for that sticky Asian like sauce texture in the pictures. Then I poured it on the top before serving. It was perfect. And everyone loved them.

          • Jen says

            Hi Tara,so happy you loved these meatballs! Thanks for the great tip on doubling the sauce and using half of the sauce in the slow cooker and reducing the other half!

  16. Leanne says

    Do you think it would be ok to prepare the meatballs one evening and cook them the next evening? I’ll be making these after work for dinner but won’t have enough time to prepare them and then let them cook in the slow cooker in the same night.

    • Jen says

      Absolutely! You can definitely make the meatballs beforehand – you could even bake them and freeze them if you ever wanted them for much later. Hope this helps, enjoy!

  17. Danyale says

    I found this recipe on a whim and made them last night using ground buffalo. They were absolutely delicious. A little bit sweeter than what we’re used to but that’s what made them so tasty! I’m keeping this recipe in my arsenal.

    • Jen says

      Hi Danyale, so happy you made these on a whim – you have delicious whims 🙂 If you want them less sweet next time, simply add more hot sauce to balance it out 🙂 Thanks for trying my recipe and for commenting!! I hope you find more recipes to enjoy here!

      • heather says

        if I use frozen packaged meatballs do I have to cook then first or can I just put them in the crockpot frozen?

        • Jen says

          Hi Heather! You should be able to just put them in the crockpot frozen but you could check the package directions. If the meatballs are frozen they will release more liquid when they thaw in the slow cooker so you will have to add more cornstarch to the sauce to make up for the extra moisture. Hope that helps!

  18. Lien Q says

    If I want to sub the beef for turkey, should I do anything differently? Many thanks! Looks delicious!

    • Jen says

      Hi Lien! Turkey meatballs tend to be drier but this recipe makes very moist meatballs so turkey would probably be fine substituted without any adjustments. That being said, I have never actually tried them with turkey so you could always use your favorite turkey meatball recipe and use this sauce. Enjoy!

  19. Kelsey says

    Hi Jen!

    If I want to make these for dinner instead of an appetizer, what would you serve with besides rice? I was thinking on a hoagie maybe as a sandwich but wasn’t sure what to top with?
    Thanks!
    Kelsey

  20. Pam says

    I noticed a green garnish in the picture, but it is not listed in the ingredients. What did you use? Heading to the store to make these today:)

    • Jen says

      Hi Pam, I used parsley to garnish but just for looks 🙂 Hope you loved these!

  21. Kirin says

    Made these today and they are to die for! Thank you so much for the recipe.

    • Jen says

      Awesome Kirin, I am thrilled you loved them! Thank you so much for making my day!

  22. Angie says

    You are right! I do want to make those meatballs now. My husband and I have been having grilled hamburgers a lot lately. This last time I considered making meatballs instead. I can’t wait to try this. If we aren’t grilling, I’m usually cooking something in the slow cooker. Your meatball recipe is perfect!!

    • Jen says

      Awesome Angie, I hope you can make these soon – they are one of my favorites and might just give your grilled burgers a run for your craving money 🙂 Can’t wait to hear what you think!

  23. Kimberly says

    Hi there! Just wondering if you have any tips for using frozen meatballs? I have a two year old and not much time to prepare this, but it looks too yummy to pass up! Wondering if I need to bake them first, or just thaw them before putting into the crockpot with the sauce? Thanks!

    • Jen says

      Hi Kimberly, sorry for my delayed response as I am just getting back from Lake Powell without any service. I would just thaw the meatballs first then add them to the crockpot with the sauce – hope you that helps!

  24. Rue says

    Hi! Love this recipe all the way from Namibia,I don’t own a crockpot (slow cooker this side) can I make it on the stovetop instead??

    • Jen says

      Hi Rue all the way from Namibia, I am so honored to have you! You can definitely make this on the stove top. I would prepare the meatballs per the instructions in the oven then add to a lightly greased Dutch oven or large stock pot. I would then whisk together all of the sauce ingredients in a separate bowl and add to the meatballs, cover and simmer gently for 20-30 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through and sauce is slightly thickened. ENjoy!

  25. Suzy says

    I am going to prepare this for a party the day of. Would it be ok to add the hot sauce later on depending on how the guests like it? Also what are your thoughts on trying to keep this warm until it gets to the party and we’re ready to eat? It might take about an hour from the time I remove it until we eat

    • Jen says

      Hi Suzy, you can definitely stir in the hot sauce later but I think you will definitely need at least some to balance out the sweetness. Meatballs keep super well in the crockpot, so I don’t think it will be a problem if you have to transport them or whatnot and don’t eat them for an hour or so. If you can, it would help to be able to turn the slow cooker on high for a few minutes to warm them though. Good luck!

  26. Laura says

    Hi from England! I love the idea of this recipe but don’t have a slow cooker – I see you’ve told others they can cook separately to put in a ‘crockpot’, does that mean you could just bake the meatballs and add sauce separately with similar results? Thanks

    • Jen says

      Hi Laura from England! You can definitely prepare the meatballs and sauce separately. I would bake the meatballs until browned, about 8 minutes, then add to a pot. Whisk together the sauce and pour the sauce all over the meatballs. Gently simmer for 20 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through up to several hours for even more flavor. Hope this helps, let me know how they turn out!

  27. Jessica says

    If the meatballs are frozen, and you don’t have time to thaw, what would be the crockpot cook time then?

    • Jen says

      Hi Jessica, I have never tried it with frozen meatballs but I would say about 4 hours on LOW. Hope that helps, enjoy!

  28. Judith de Haan says

    Hi Jen! I just found you through Pinterest and my husband doesn’t eat any meat but fish and shellfish! Your recipe was so darned tempting I thought, “Why not do it with a firm fleshed white fish?”

    I bought two pounds of frozen basa (no bones to contend with) and pulverized it in my food processor. I did everything else exactly the same and, oh mah gawd, is this fish ball recipe amazing! I cooked the balls in my wee convection tabletop oven and fired them into the slow cooker. They’re going to be transported to our book club meeting tonight with that tasty sauce on the side for now. I’ll drizzle it over the fish balls once I land.

    You’re a genius, doll!

    Mwah!

    • Judith de Haan says

      Oh! I forgot to tell you: I replaced the saltines with sea salt and lime gluten free corn chips! Yum!

    • Jen says

      Hi Judith, I am thrilled this recipe worked with fish – so creative! I never would have guessed – yay! I hope your book club loved loved them! I hope you find more recipes you can adapt here!

  29. Keziah says

    Hi! I was all ready to make these and realized I forgot to get the apricote preseaves. Do you think I can use grape jelly as and alternate? Or do you have any other suggestions for an alternative?

    • Jen says

      Hi Keziah, I have never tried it with grape preserves but I think it would be delicious! Grape preserves are a little tangier so I would just keep that in mind and adjust to taste. Enjoy!

  30. Trish Pines says

    I made these on Saturday for a football party. They were a hit! If I wanted to add a little hot sauce to the meat mixture next time for some added heat, how much would you recommend?

    Thanks!

    • Jen says

      Hi Trish, I a so happy these were a hit! As far as adding hot sauce to the meat mixture, it might be easier to add more hot sauce to the sauce instead because then you can add to taste, but you could try using 2 tablespoons in the meatballs – just be sure that whatever hot sauce you add to the meat mixture you subtract that amount from the milk. Hope that helps!

  31. Norma says

    These were SO good! The only problem was there weren’t enough!
    I did use ground turkey, omitted the milk, and they came out wonderful.
    We loved when we chomped into them, they were sweet. Then, wait for
    it…a nice hit of heat!
    I’ve made the jalapeno popper muffins. Loved them.
    I’ve the gnocchi chicken spinach soup, the glazed carrots, the
    cream of corn, and the chicken egg rolls on my radar,
    Thank you for all the wonderful recipes on your beautiful
    site!

    • Jen says

      Hi Norma, sorry I am just getting back to you as I had surgery this week and have been totally out of it 🙂 but thank you so much for your comment! I am thrilled you you loved these so much as well as the Jalapeno Popper Muffins! I am excited for you to try the other recipes as well – hope they are also hits – can’t wait to hear what you think! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and to try my recipes!

  32. Stacey says

    I tried this recipe and after two hours in crockpot, the meatballs weren’t poked all the way through. Any suggestions?

    • Jen says

      Hi Stacey, that is very odd as the meatballs should be mostly done just from cooking in the oven. I would suggest cooking them longer in the oven next time before adding them to the crockpot – hope that helps and sorry about that!

      • Jamie says

        I made these tonight and they were a hit. the only thing is they were bright red inside Did you notice that? I assumed that they were cooked because they were in the oven and crock pot for such a long time

        • Jen says

          Hi Jamie, I’m so happy you loved them! I haven’t noticed them being exceptionally pink inside but yes, they definitely should have been cooked as the oven time alone pretty much cooks them. Maybe your sauce seeped more into the meatballs?

  33. Joanna says

    Just have to say, I LOVE these meatballs!! I have made them soo many times, most recently for my son’s birthday party and I received so many requests for the recipe. I’ve made them with beef and with turkey (and some minor adjustments) and they always come out great! I also always double the sauce. My only issue is that there never seems to be enough!!

    • Jen says

      YES! I am thrilled you love these so much Joanna, thank you! Just hearing you talk about them is making me crave them right now 🙂 Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and make my day!

  34. Jennifer says

    YUM! We had these for dinner tonight. My husband and boys (ages 4, 3, 18mos) all loved them! The spice level was perfect because it varies by how much sauce you use. I served my kids with very little sauce and my husband and I had them with a lot of sauce over rice (cauliflower rice for me). And, the meatball recipe itself was so moist and tasty. Thank you for the recipe!

    • Jen says

      Hi Jennifer, I am so happy your whole family loved them -even your 18 month old! and that you were able to adjust the spice level – yay! Thank you for taking the time to comment!

  35. Rachael says

    Do you think this would taste ok on meatballs and smokies??? I’m making a mixed pot and wanted to try this out. Thanks!!

    • Jen says

      Yes!!! This would be absolutely delicious!

  36. Dee K says

    I made these for a party, served as an appetizer and every guest asked for the recipe, they were a hit! I don’t usually handle raw meat, frozen meatballs for this girl, but I made these from scratch! I had a heck of of time finding apricot preserves and had purchased jam, as novice in the kitchen I am uncomfortable straying from any recipe, so I enlisted all my friends to hunt for preserves and success! I made them exactly per instructions and wow! Thanks for posting!

    • Jen says

      Hi Dee, that is amazing that everyone asked for the recipe, awesome! I love that you enlisted all your friends to find apricot jam -what sweet friends!!! and I’m so glad it was worth it – that and handling the raw meat 🙂 I’m so glad these were such a hit! Thank you so much!

  37. Ann Marie says

    Have to say, I was never crazy about meatballs and am a very average cook; followed the recipe, heated the spices up in the microwave for 35 seconds to intensify flavor. Froze half. These are absolutely fab. Might double up on the sauce next time, it was so good. Perfect texture. Tested them out on a fussy friend tonight, he did not believe I made them from scratch! Now I have a potluck dish to go to instead of the store. So great recipe, thanks for posting it.

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome Ann Marie! I am so glad these meatballs are a new go-to potluck dish and even passed the test of your picky friend! Thank you so much!

  38. Janie says

    Hi Donna, I have all the ingredients except the apricot preserves. Do you think orange marmalade would be ok to use?? This sounds amazing!

    • Jen says

      Hi Janie, orange marmalade is a lot tangier than apricot preserves so I really am not sure how it will come out. I hate for you to make them and not taste right. Sorry!

  39. Christina says

    I’m mid-recipe and had to stop to leave a comment; my kitchen smells absolutely incredible! I am making these for a family Christmas party tonight and have a feeling they are going to be a hit. I used local grass-fed beef, locally sourced organic honey, and ritz crackers instead of saltines (thanks previous commenter for the idea!). YUM! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Jen says

      Hi Christina, sorry for my delayed response as I am playing catch up after the holidays, but thank you so much for your awesome comment! I hope these were the hit of the party and that you had a very Merry Christmas!

  40. David Wright says

    When the recipe calls for “lean” ground beef, how are you defining lean? 90/10?

    • Jen says

      Yes, that would be perfect. I use Costco’s 88/12. Enjoy!

  41. Kristen says

    I just made these for a Christmas party and they were fantastic! I used store bought meatballs and accidentally cooked up too many so I ended up making a double recipe of the sauce. I’m glad I made extra because every meatball was eaten and the crockpot was practically licked clean!

    • Jen says

      That is awesome Kristen, I am thrilled this was a “lick the crockpot clean” hit! Thank you! Merry Christmas!

  42. David says

    I decided to try this recipe and the meatballs are in the crock pot now … but that sauce … wow, I couldn’t stop sticking my finger in the bowl. I mixed up the recipe a bit and put small blocks of provolone cheese inside each meatball. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.

    • Jen says

      Hi David, I am so glad you love the sauce and I love that you added provolone to the middle of the meatballs – yum! Doesn’t get better than CHEESY buffalo meatballs!

    • Jen says

      Hi Ganesha, I’m so sorry for the delay as I had surgery this week but thank you so much for your comment! You have great taste because this is still one of my favorites! So happy to hear your family loves it so much! Thank you!

  43. Kerry says

    I have pinned several of your recipes and have enjoyed browsing around. I wanted to say thank you for formatting your page the way you do. I love love love the jump to recipe button I wish everyone would do that. I spend more time waiting for pictures to load on blogs then I do cooking the food. Thanks Kindly

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome Kerry! You are so kind to take the time to share your appreciation for that function, thank you! I am so glad you find it helpful. Thank you for pinning my recipes and I hope you have fun finding some new favorites!

  44. Megan says

    Do you have a recommendation for an alternative to the apricot preserves? I want to make these today but didn’t want to run to the grocery store!

    • Jen says

      Hi Megan, sorry, just seeing this. What did you end up doing, did it turn out?

  45. Dawn says

    Hi Jen! Just wanted to weigh in and let you know that I tried this recipe this past weekend and it was awesome! Yet another keeper of yours 🙂 I found it had just the right amount of heat once I made up the sauce, but I added just a ‘wee’ bit more of the apricot preserves since we had little ones that would be snacking on it as well. Not surprising, it was a huge hit with everyone! Hope you’re still on the mend and continuing to feel better and stronger every day. Thinking of you and wanted to thank you for yet another wonderful recipe! Take care….

    • Jen says

      You are so kind Dawn, thank you so much for the continued well wishes! I am so glad this was a hit with the whole family! Its always great to find a recipe the whole family loves 🙂 Thank you for trying my recipes and for being your thoughtful self!

  46. Ashley says

    This Sauce, mmMmm I love this sauce! I thought I’d go the easy way, and just buy a bag of meatballs, but geez, the ingredient list was as long as my arm and had corn syrup in them…why? So, I made yours, easy peasy. My husband and youngest daughter argued over who should get more, when they had them for lunch the next day. Perfect heat, everyone was very happy.

    • Jen says

      Hi Ashley, I’m so glad you went with the homemade meatballs and found them super easy! And I agree – that sauce! I just made a FB vidoe for these meatballs last week so I am also still dreaming about the sauce 🙂 So happy they were a hit with everyone – thank you!

  47. Lindsey says

    Do you have a recommendation for an alternative to the apricot preserves? I want to make these today but didn’t want to run to the grocery store, currently in NYC and we have a blizzard warning today!

    Any idea what it would be like to x the ingredient out entirely?

    Thanks!

    • Jen says

      Hi Lindsey, you definitely can’t leave it out entirely as it is a main component of the sauce – you could try substituting any other preserves you have on hand, possibly blackberry if you have those. Let me know how it goes!

  48. Kirsten says

    I made these today and let me tell you, delicious! They are highly addictive. I will be defintely making these again. Thank you for the great recipe!

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome Kirsten! And I agree – highly addictive!! So glad you loved them!

  49. Alicia O'Brien says

    I made these for the second time this week and it is now my new fav meal. I like to eat them with a chunk of homemade bread and zuchini pickles. yum!

    • Jen says

      mmmmm! that sounds like my new favorite meal too! So happy you love them so much Alicia, thank you!

  50. Erica says

    I’m planning on making these for Easter. But going to use frozen meatballs. I will thaw them first. Do I just dump all the sauce ingredients in the crockpot or should I mix them together then dump them over the meatballs? Should I heat the sauce in the microwave first? Just want to make them perfect!

    • Jen says

      Hi Erica, I’m so sorry I am just seeing your comment! I was in the hospital with pneumonia and got way behind. I hope your meatballs turned out deliciously!

    • Tiffany says

      Did this with frozen meatballs and did not like the result compared to doing it with the original recipe. Just my opinion though. Original recipe is so delicious!! I have picky girls and she loves loves these meatballs!! So happy I found another recipe I can add! Thank you!

  51. Jessica says

    These bad boys are in the crockpot now – I’m super excited!

    • Jen says

      I hope you loved them Jessica!

  52. MariaR says

    Suggestions for making these a day ahead for a potluck?

    • Jen says

      Hi Maria! I would make them as directed (but double the sauce as the meatballs will soak up more as they sit) and then just heat them up in the slow cooker, oven or stove. Enjoy!

  53. Alli says

    Absolutely amazing! I live this recipe & will definitely make it again. I doubled the sauce & when all the meatballs were gone, we put the extra sauce over rice. Delicious!

    • Jen says

      Thank you Alli, I’m so happy they were such a hit and you are right – can never have too much of this sauce!

  54. Delina godfrey says

    What sause could i use insteed of franks as i live in nz please

    • Jen says

      Hi Delina, I would use your favorite hot sauce 🙂 Franks Original is a cayenne based sauce whereas something like Tabasco is more vinegar based and doesn’t have s much flavor. So as long as you don’t use Tabasco and a good tasting hot sauce, it should be great. Enjoy!

  55. Joey says

    Hey, these sound amazing and can’t wait to try them!!
    Just wondering if you could convert to a UK recipe using grams or something?
    Also read a similar recipe using mustard, would you recommend at all?

  56. Tawny says

    Hi there! I’m allergic to apricots and all stone fruit. Any suggestions on alternatives? Thanks!

    • Jen says

      Hi Tawny, I haven’t tried it, but I think blackberry preserves would also be delicious. Enjoy!

  57. Kelly says

    Hello! Was wondering if you’d think it would be OK to use gluten free “ritz type” crackers instead. My daughter has Celiac disease and we struggle to find things we all like but these sound like they could be a winner!

    • Jen says

      Absolutely! Those would be delicious!

    • Maryen says

      Gluten free anything doesn’t affect the integrity of the ingredient or alter the taste or consistency in any way shape or form. At least not in any significant way.

  58. Rachel says

    What do you serve with these?

    • Jen says

      Hi Rachel! If you are not serving it as an appetizer, then I would serve it with rice, green salad and any fruit. Hope that helps!

  59. Elizabeth says

    Ground chicken was on sale, so I bought it and thought I would try it with this recipe. I have to tell you, it was AMAZING! I also swapped out the cracker crumbs for cauliflower rice and skipped the sugar in the sauce. I was modifying to make it just a bit healthier, and you would never know the difference.

    • Jen says

      YAY! I am thrilled this worked awesome with ground chicken and your other swaps! Thanks Elizabeth!

  60. Cindy says

    Hey there, is there an alternative to apricot preserve in the honey buffalo meatballs recipes?

    • Jen says

      Hi Cindy, I’ve only tested the recipe with apricot so I’m sorry I can’t recommend an alternative without some more testing. Sorry about that!

    • Stephanie says

      I’ve made it with grape jelly instead of apricot and it’s delicious!

  61. Teija says

    I tried these this weekend. My husband told me to throw all my other meatball recipes away – he has a new favorite 😉 Marinades are a favorite thing of mine, especially homemade ones where you know what’s in them. Your recipes are SO damn good. (Just sayin’) I hope you are feeling good! Blessings to you…..thanks for the amazing recipes…..keep them coming!

    • Jen says

      Hi Teija, I was on a cruise without internet for over a week and am still playing catch up but thank you so much for your comment! I LOVE your husband’s response to these meatballs! And I love your comment about loving my recipes! Thank you, thank you! Comments like yours keep posting fun! Blessings to you and yours as well!

  62. Sue says

    Oh yum! Another winner! Thanks Jen, for another family recipe that’s is inexpensive, easy, and super tasty! It’s one of those times where I have a freezer full of ground beef and a fridge full if bits a pieces so I managed to finish up the apricot preserves (that have been sitting around for years) and use that rib sauce (I bought ages ago and forgot in the back of the pantry). I didn’t have crackers so used panko crumbs which seemed the same. We had them with rice and salad with homemade ranch dressing and carrot sticks. Really yum! Thanks again!

    • Jen says

      Hi Sue, I was on a cruise without internet for over a week and I am all sorts of behind but thank you so much for your comment! I’m thrilled these meatballs are another winner and let you finish off those apricot preserves 🙂 Your meal sounds fantastic! Thanks so much for making my recipes and taking the time to comment!

    • Sue says

      Sorry, I meant red sauce instead of rib sauce! I’m making this again tonight for the zillionth time! It’s so good to have a serve yourself meal ready for whoever wanders in at whatever time! Love this one! I had that Franks sauce for years and never knew what to do with it! Your recipes are really the best! Thank you!

      • Jen says

        That’s awesome Sue! I’m thrilled this is such a favorite and finally gave you a delicious reason to use your hot sauce!

  63. abbe says

    Can you make these ahead of time in your ur slow cooker and warm to serve the next day?

  64. Crystal says

    Is 70 meatballs enough for like 15-20 people (including some kids) ?

    • Jen says

      Hi Crystal, I think it depends on how many meatballs you want each person to have and if you are serving other appetizers with them. 70 is roughly 4 meatballs a person, but I can tell you I can eat a ton more than that 🙂

  65. Helen Walker says

    Just made this- so yummy!

    • Jen says

      Awesome Helen! I’m so pleased you loved them!

  66. Jacki says

    Do you think I can make the meatballs today (through the step of cooking them), then refrigerate them overnight and put them in the crockpot tomorrow?

    • Jen says

      Great question! Yes, that would absolutely work!

  67. Amanda Zentefis says

    Amazing!! These meatballs were seriously the best meatball recipe I have ever made, soooo delicious! I made them for friends and everyone couldn’t stop eating them! Thanks for a crazy good recipe !

    • Jen says

      That is the highest compliment, thank you so much Amanda! I am so pleased they were such a hit – you guys have great taste 🙂

  68. Jill Harrison says

    Can I use apricot jam? I couldn’t find apricot preserves at my grocery store…thanks!

    • Jen says

      Yes, that will work great!

  69. Kiara says

    Never tried it with a sauce like that but it sounds great!

    • Jen says

      This is one of my favorite sauces, I think you’ll love them!

  70. Healthy Eating 101 says

    These meatballs look gorgeous ❤ It would be okay if I use them with pasta, right?
    – Natalie

  71. Noelle says

    Could you save extra sauce? Freeze it maybe? I have a small batch of meatballs about 24 already made but would love to use this sauce.

    • Jen says

      Yes! This sauce should freeze great, enjoy!

      • Libby says

        Thinking maybe because I used chalula instead of franks hmmm lol

  72. Libby says

    Hi! Was wondering if the fizzling of the sauce was normal? It happened as soon as I added the corn starch.

    • Jen says

      Nope, never heard of that before Libby!

  73. Jim says

    I’ve been making this recipe for a couple of years, and it’s always been a favorite for everyone. I triple the sauce and serve it over rice. I also use frozen 1/2 oz beef meatballs. instead of making my own.

    • Jen says

      I’m so happy this is a favorite recipe Jim! You definitely can’t beat this sauce!

  74. Megan says

    Can these be finished in the instant instead of the crock?

  75. Gail says

    Is the sauce for the honey buffalo meatballs super hot or spicy? will small children be able to tolerate it?

    • Jen says

      Hi Gail, it does have a kick but not super spicy. You can always start with less hot sauce and add more at the end of cooking to taste.

  76. Judy says

    I have been trying a number of your recipes since I last left a comment and they are all fab. I ignore my shelves of recipe books now and just open your website! Some of the ingredients I struggle to find in the UK but on the whole it’s been ok. These meatballs were absolutely delicious . With my son struggling with his CF at the moment, finding new dishes that bring a smile to his face is priceless. Thank you and keep well.

    • Jen says

      Hi Judy, I’m so pleased you loved these meatballs and are enjoying my recipes! I’m sorry to hear your son is struggling with CF right now- I know how discouraging that can be. I hope he improves soon! Sending hugs and prayers your way! xo

  77. Lynzi says

    Hey Jen, I’m wanting to make these for an event coming up but I need them to be dairy free. Do you have a suggestion for a nondairy milk substitute? Thanks!

    • Jen says

      You can use soy milk. Enjoy and have fun!

  78. Celeste says

    I have made these several times during the holidays over the last few years. Even my 4 year-old nephew gobbles then up! I would definitely recommend to take the bit of extra time to make the meatballs from scratch – they are just so delicious!

    • Jen says

      Thank you for your awesome endorsement Celeste, I’m thrilled they are a favorite!

  79. Amber Haun says

    When it calls for Frank’s Original Hot Sauce is that really what it should be or do you mean Frank’s Buffalo Wing Sauce. We love them both but I don’t want to use the wrong one

    • Jen says

      Hi Amber, yes it is the original sauce not the wings sauce. Enjoy!

      • Amber H says

        Thanks it turned out great and worked very well for football Sunday!

        • Jen says

          Thanks so much Amber, I’m so pleased they were a hit!

      • Meredith says

        Is it Frank’s Red Hot Original Cayenne Sauce? I can’t find any that are just called “Frank’s Red Hot Original Sauce.”

  80. Deanna says

    Do you think they would be good with turkey meat balls?

    • Jen says

      Hi Deanna, it totally comes down to personal preference. Turkey meatballs are less juicy and obviously not “beefy” so you may want to add a tablespoon of oil and 1 1/2 teaspoons beef bouillon to the meatballs – that should do the trick!

  81. Reenie says

    Wow these are delicious!!!! I stupidly forgot it was a slow cooker recipe so did them on the stove and they came out excellent. I also doubled the sauce as recommended and glad I did. Will definitely be making these again. All your recipes are sssssoo good, where’s your cookbook????? Thanks again

    • Jen says

      Thanks Reenie, I’m so glad you’re enjoying them! I’m so pleased the meatballs turned out well on the stove!

  82. Paul says

    Cooking these now and they smell great! What’s the garnish I see in the pics? Is that parsley or cilantro?

    • Jen says

      Hi Paul, it is parsley but cilantro would be tasty too!

  83. Jim says

    I’ve been making these for years. This is a favorite of my kids, and my three foreign exchange students. I always double the sauce, and serve with rice. I also use a 5 lb bag of frozen all beef half ounce meatballs. I’m seriously thinking about modifying it a bit by adding garlic, but it’s hard to top perfection.

    • Jen says

      Thanks for your awesome review Jim, I love hearing the are such a favorite!

  84. Marissa Bisaccio says

    Made this last night for me and my boyfriends first “real” home cooked meal in our new apartment and OMG so delicious! My boyfriend was obsessed with the sauce! I am new to cooking and this was an easy recipe to follow. I doubled the sauce as suggested and it came out great! I served with broccoli cheddar rice and roasted broccoli. Thank you for the amazing recipe!

    • Jen says

      You’re so welcome Marissa, I’m so pleased you both loved it so much! If you’re new to cooking, crockpot and soup recipes are definitely a great way to get your feet wet!

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