These Honey Buffalo Crockpot Meatballs are slow cooked in a mouthwatering sweet and spicy sauce made from just 4 ingredients! Perfect as a party appetizer, game day treat, or fun dinner!
This is one of my Appetizer recipes I know you’ll want to keep on hand!
It’s prime game day party time folks… time to get your favorite appetizers ready.
Party foods… specifically game day foods, are some of my all-time favorites! There’s something so tantalizing about a spicy buffalo chicken dip, a big platter of nachos, or a perfectly pop-able bite sized meatball.
Plus, I really love the easy appetizer recipes, where there’s hardly any prep work, nothing to remember to thaw, and that don’t use all the ingredients in my pantry or refrigerator.
That’s where this recipe comes in! The meatballs are cooked from frozen, there’s no chopping needed, it uses just 5 ingredients, and the slow cooker does 95% of the work.
Perfect for parties, these little meatballs are pop-able, and oh so delectable. Your guests will keep coming back for more and asking you for the recipe, I promise!
How to make honey buffalo crockpot meatballs?
This is just an overview; the full ingredients and directions are in the recipe card toward the bottom of this post.
- Make sauce. You can stir everything together in a bowl, or just mix it up right in the slow cooker insert.
- Add meatballs. Pour in the frozen meatballs and give everything a big stir.
- Slow cook. That’s it… so easy, and so delicious!
Personally, I don’t advise using an Italian seasoned meatball variety for this recipe. I generally pick up a bag of my grocery store’s brand meatballs, in the homestyle variety. Cooked Perfect brand and Trader Joes are some other frozen meatball alternatives as well.
Variations of this recipe
- Spicy – a fan of the heat? Try using buffalo wing sauce instead of hot sauce (it usually has more of a kick), adding some cayenne pepper, and using less honey or brown sugar.
- Mild – if you’re sensitive to heat, make sure you’re using hot sauce instead of wing sauce, and you can increase the amount of honey or brown sugar.
- Garlic – for some fun extra flavor, try adding some garlic powder or minced fresh garlic to the sauce. Add a little and just taste the sauce as you go, adding more if needed, to make sure you have the flavor you want.
- Meatballs – to save on some time, this recipe uses pre-cooked frozen meatballs, but you can use homemade meatballs if you want. Just sear or partially bake them first, so they hold up well in the slow cooker.
- Hot sauce – this recipe has been tested with Frank’s Red Hot Original Cayenne Pepper Hot Sauce, but should work well with other brands as well.
- Thawed – if you have thawed meatballs, you can use those, just cook on LOW for 1-2 hours, or HIGH for 45 min. – 1 hour (I would stir a couple of times if cooking on high, just to make sure the sauce doesn’t burn).
Nope, to make things easier and for the sake of quick party prep, this recipe calls for frozen meatballs… no need to thaw. Just toss the meatballs in frozen, add the sauce, stir, and cook!
Because of the strong sweet and spicy flavor of the sauce, I don’t recommend a flavored meatball (such as an Italian variety). But this recipe works really well with beef, turkey, and chicken meatballs. We love to use our local grocery store’s brand, and Cooked Perfect brand.
Making honey buffalo meatballs ahead of time
Since these meatballs cook in the slow cooker, and there’s not any rushing around cooking, I don’t find I need to make this recipe ahead of time.
If you want to do it, you can make it 1-2 days ahead, and reheat in the slow cooker until hot and bubbly.
Meatballs can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat.
Leftover meatballs should be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
I had this slow cooker for a while now, and I really love how it cooks. The locking lid feature is amazing for taking foods to potlucks or other gatherings!
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @the_chunky_chef on Facebook and Instagram!
- 32 oz frozen pre-cooked meatballs beef, turkey, or chicken
- 1/2 cup hot sauce we use Frank's Red Hot
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 tsp prepared yellow mustard
- Add frozen meatballs to the insert of your slow cooker.
- In a small bowl, add the hot sauce, honey, brown sugar, and yellow mustard. Stir well until combined.
- Pour sauce over frozen meatballs in the slow cooker, and stir to coat them well.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 2.5 – 3 hours, or on HIGH for about an hour. While meatballs are cooking, I like to stir them every so often to make sure the sauce isn't burning.
- Serve hot, garnished with minced fresh parsley if desired.
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- I’ve estimated this recipe will serve approximately 8 people, with each person getting about 4 oz of meatballs. However, please feel free to divide this recipe up into as many servings as you’d like.
- For larger gatherings, I definitely recommend doubling this recipe.
- Please note that all slow cookers cook a little differently, with some running hotter than others, so all cook times are approximate.
The Chunky Chef is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.