These Slow Cooker Honey Bourbon Meatballs are the perfect party appetizer, and also an easy weeknight dinner! Serve with pasta, rice, or a salad to make it a complete meal.
Two magic words: honey bourbon.
I love making honey bourbon chicken wings, honey bourbon pulled pork, and honey bourbon truffles. The sweetness of honey with the smokiness of bourbon creates such a delicious, tantalizing flavor combination. It's an amazing flavor combo for so many sweet and savory recipes!
This recipe for Slow Cooker Honey Bourbon Meatballs is one I have made over and over for several years. It's an easy recipe that's perfect to serve at holidays, family gatherings, and to bring to potlucks!
What you need to make slow cooker honey bourbon meatballs
You''ll need a 5 or 6-quart slow cooker in order for the meatballs to cook well using the cooking times in my recipe. I love my 6-quart slow cooker.
If you have a smaller slow cooker, try increasing the cooking time and be sure to stir the meatballs regularly to ensure they all get an equal chance to soak up some of the lovely honey bourbon sauce.
You can make your own meatballs (I love the Manchego Cheese-Stuffed Meatball recipe), but if you're in a pinch, as I usually am, this recipe works SO well with pre-packaged meatballs found in the frozen section of your grocery store.
How to serve meatballs as a meal
This recipe makes a LOT of meatballs and is meant for large parties and gatherings. If you are making this for your family dinner, you can always freeze a portion for later.
I recommend making the entire recipe, and taking half to serve for dinner. Then divide the remaining half into two separate freezer safe containers or ziplock bags. You can freeze those two servings for up to a month. Thaw out in the fridge before reheating.
Serve these meatballs over:
- couscous (as seen in the photo above)
- salad greens
If you are making this for dinner for you and your family, here are some serving suggestions:
- Serve over yakisoba noodles with a side of cucumber salad.
- Enjoy over rice with a side of steamed broccoli.
- Include in meatball sandwiches, with traditional slaw fixings.
How to serve meatballs as a party appetizer
To serve these Slow Cooker Honey Bourbon Meatballs as a party appetizer, simply put toothpicks in each one and serve on a tray. Then watch them get gobbled up quickly!
You can keep extra meatballs heated in a slow cooker on the countertop and replenish the tray as needed.
More Party Appetizer recipes
- Slow Cooker Cranberry Meatballs
- Meatballs with Romesco Sauce
- Dairy-Free Spinach Dip
- 15-Minute Restaurant Style Salsa
Slow Cooker Honey Bourbon Meatballs Recipe
- One PARTY SIZE package of frozen Italian-style meatballs about 96 meatballs
- ½ cup ketchup
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup bourbon use less if you prefer!
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- salt and pepper
- In a large bowl, mix together ketchup, honey, bourbon, brown sugar, and lemon juice.
- Place frozen meatballs in your slow cooker.
- Pour sauce mixture evenly over the meatballs. Stir to coat the meatballs as evenly as possible.
- Cook on high for one hour.
- Check on the meatballs and stir them occasionally, to evenly coat the meatballs with the sauce.
- After one hour, turn down the temperature to low and cook on low for 2 hours.
This post was originally published January 9, 2015. It has since been updated with new photos and helpful new content.