Crockpot Meatballs with Cherry Bourbon Sauce

These crockpot meatballs only require 5 ingredients and are always the hit of any party. Let your slow cooker do the work on this recipe – the result is delicious! 

Image of crockpot meatballs with cherry bourbon sauce. Meatballs in slow cooker with wooden spoon, overhead shot.

Michigan State played the University of Michigan in basketball last night. Ben cheers for U of M and I cheer for MSU. Now, I don’t really care all that much about the game or even really who wins or loses but I do enjoy competition and a little friendly trash-talking. And if my team wins, that’s just a little sweet icing on the cake. I went to Michigan State for a couple of years so it really is the one team I do like to cheer for if I’m watching a game. 

We didn’t sit and watch the game last night because we were at a Mega 80’s concert with a group of friends (SO much fun!), but if we were going to have a group over for the game, these crockpot meatballs would be perfect to serve. I mean, what’s a party without meatballs, right? Okay…maybe it’s not a necessity, but it’s always nice to have appetizers or snacks available that have a little protein. 

These crockpot meatballs only require 5 ingredients and are always the hit of any party. Let your slow cooker do the work on this recipe - the result is delicious!

This recipe starts with frozen meatballs! I’m all about making your life a little easier, and these are a great shortcut. Toss a big bag of meatballs in your slow cooker (no need to thaw them!), a few ingredients for sauce, and leave it alone. If you happen to walk through your kitchen, give them a stir so that the sauce soaks into all the meatballs. It really couldn’t be easier, and everyone loves these. 

Oh and a couple bonuses – only FIVE ingredients, and one of them is bourbon. Can’t really go wrong with that, right?

These crockpot meatballs only require 5 ingredients and are always the hit of any party. Let your slow cooker do the work on this recipe - the result is delicious!

Ingredients in these easy Crockpot Meatballs:

  • Meatballs, duh.
  • Cherry preserves – I like Bonne Maman (not sponsored), but you could use any type.
  • Ketchup – I like to use the type that doesn’t contain high fructose syrup, but you’re the boss. The ketchup makes this taste a little like a bbq sauce, but not exactly.
  • Bourbon or Whiskey. Any type will work, really. I used Traverse City Whiskey Co. when I photographed this recipe because I love to support Michigan businesses! Again, not sponsored.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – for tang! 

These crockpot meatballs only require 5 ingredients and are always the hit of any party. Let your slow cooker do the work on this recipe - the result is delicious!

These are just what you need for upcoming March Madness parties and a great recipe to have in your arsenal all year. They’re a great change if your go-to recipe involves grape jelly. I’m not hating on those though, they are genius and no one ever complains about them, either. These are kinda like the grape jelly recipe’s classier cousin. Or something. 

PS: If you can’t get enough crockpot meatballs, make sure to also try my turkey enchilada slow cooker meatballs!

Once you’re ready to serve these, turn your slow cooker to warm to keep them hot (and safe), and they’ll be good that way for a couple of hours! 

Tip: These are great with a little spice, too. The sweet and spicy combo is always a hit. Try adding a sprinkle of cayenne powder (start with 1/4 teaspoon…you can always add more, but it’s pretty potent!). You could also add a splash of your favorite hot sauce.

These crockpot meatballs only require 5 ingredients and are always the hit of any party. Let your slow cooker do the work on this recipe - the result is delicious!

So tell me…how creepy does my hand look in that photo?

Other Great Party Appetizers:

Crockpot Meatballs with Cherry Bourbon Sauce

Crockpot Meatballs with Cherry Bourbon Sauce

Yield: 20 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 10 minutes
These crockpot meatballs only require 5 ingredients and are always a hit. Let your slow cooker do the work on this recipe - the result is delicious! 

Ingredients

  • 64 ounces (4 pounds) frozen, pre-cooked meatballs
  • 1 (13 oz) jar cherry preserves
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup bourbon or whiskey
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a large crockpot and stir to combine.
  2. Cover and cook on high for an hour, and switch crockpot to low and continue to cook for 4-6 hours, stirring every 1-2 hours so that all meatballs soak up sauce.

Notes

  • These meatballs aren't super saucy, but there is enough sauce to coat all the meatballs. If you prefer them to be a little more saucy, double the sauce ingredients (cherry preserves, ketchup, bourbon, and apple cider vinegar).
  • Like the sweet heat combo? Try adding a little cayenne or hot sauce to this recipe!

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 284 Total Fat: 20g Saturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 11g Cholesterol: 60mg Sodium: 659mg Carbohydrates: 10g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 5g Protein: 13g
RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietician. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.
Verdict: Love these! I always look for meatballs when I go to parties because they’re filling and not overly rich…they’re good to balance out all the cheesy dips and things like that.
Husband’s take: Ben ate so many of these meatballs. I almost felt bad for him because it was a seemingly never-ending supply of meatballs at times. He had no complaints though, I think he loved them! 
Changes I would make: None are necessary! I mentioned this in the recipe notes, but you could add a little spice in these…the sweet and spicy combination would be fantastic.
Difficulty: Couldn’t be easier! 

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2 comments

  1. sounds yummy.

    I’ve been known to take the frozen meatballs and add sauce and make them in my instant pot. Ido it for 10 minutes–might take less, but I figure that’s a good number for a frozen,, pre-cooked item.

    I’m also picky about my frozen meatballs. quality makes a huge difference. (read the labels–I know you do)

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