These sweet and spicy Honey Mustard Meatballs are a great recipe for your party. TANGY, with a bit of SWEET HEAT, and made in the crock pot means an easy and addicting appetizer for your guests!
If I haven’t said it before, crock pot meatballs are pretty much the Ultimate Party food!
I can’t deny that a cheese board is still my fave because it contains so many different things to eat and you can add ANYTHING to one, but if I had to choose a second favorite, it would be meatballs.
Not only are they one of the easiest to prepare, contain just a few simple ingredients, but you can get everything prepared ahead of time, and just dump and go!
I hesitate to use the word “dump” because I have kids that are boys and anytime you say that word it brings snickering, and then the conversation takes on a downward spiral in a nanosecond. AMIRIGHT moms?
If you’d rather skip my (very helpful, I think) tips and tricks, essential cooking info, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to this delicious easy Honey Mustard Meatballs recipe – simply scroll to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card.
What is the best sauce for meatball appetizers?
Now that we are talking about an easy meatball appetizer, can we talk about the variety of sauce options for them?
There are so many sauces for crockpot meatballs but I find that most of them have a sweet component to them.
Not that there is anything wrong with a sweet/spicy or sweet/salty combo, but sometimes I don’t need that sweet side and just want some spice, smoke, or tang.
Brooks is hooked on my homemade mustard vinaigrette dressing I make for coleslaw and puts my homemade pickled mustard seeds on just about everything. I thought I would make some slow cooker meatballs just for him.
These Honey Mustard Meatballs are his new favorite now.
If you want to make homemade meatballs check out this recipe for frozen meatballs and prep ahead of your party!
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Crockpot meatball sauce
The sauce for these is simple like other cocktail meatball sauce recipes and only has 4 ingredients.
5 if you want to add the pickled mustard seeds, which I like to use as a garnish for the look and for the pop of texture but they are not a requirement.
To make the honey mustard sauce, I start with a barbecue sauce as the base. You can use ketchup if you like, or if that is what you have on hand, but I prefer a basic BBQ sauce for that extra tang.
I would not use a super sweet BBQ sauce because it will cancel out the mustard a little too much as I use Dijon mustard instead of regular yellow mustard.
I think the Dijon mustard adds a little different flavor profile which is needed!
Dijon mustard vs yellow mustard
If you are not familiar with the differences between Dijon and yellow mustard, Dijon is made with mustard seeds, salt, vinegar, white wine, and verjuice which is the juice of unripe grapes.
The verjuice and white wine give the Dijon mustard its unique flavor which is very different from yellow mustard.
Yellow mustard is really just vinegar, ground yellow mustard seeds and turmeric added to make the characteristic bright yellow color.
The flavor of the Dijon is what I was after when I chose to use it instead of the yellow mustard.
The flavors of the white wine and garlic enhance the BBQ sauce and pairs well with the addition of a little honey.
An optional addition of hot sauce can add some heat to your sauce if you are so inclined.
Can you cook them on low?
You can cook them on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 4-5. Just keep an eye on the sauce level and be sure to stir them occasionally.
If the sauce starts to over-thicken, just add 1/2 cup of water and stir.
Can these be made a day ahead?
If you need to cook the frozen meatballs and sauce the day before you can. Just be sure to refrigerate them thoroughly overnight, remove from the fridge for about 15 minutes before putting them in the slow.
You can also reheat them in the microwave or in a pot o the stove-top before keeping them on warm in the crockpot during the party.
Can I save any remaining sauce for something else?
If there is an excess sauce you can store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat it thoroughly before adding to your food.
I love it on chicken and pork chops! Great for dipping these pretzel bites in too.
Can I cook these in an instant pot?
Yes you can! Just add the meatballs and the sauce and cook on the manual setting for 7 minutes. Perfect for when you need a second batch pronto.
Crockpot or slow cooker meatballs are really a party host’s best friend. A few minutes of prep, a small number of ingredients – most found in any pantry, and definitely a crowd pleaser!
These Honey Mustard Meatballs are almost always the first appetizer to disappear. Maybe you should make two batches:)
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Other party meatball recipes to try!
How to make honey mustard cocktail meatballs recipe
Make the Honey Mustard Sauce
- Combine the BBQ sauce, honey, Dijon mustard, and hot sauce.
- Place the meatballs in the slow cooker or crockpot.
- Pour in the sauce and mix to coat the meatballs.
- Cook on high for 2.5 - 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
- When done, keep on warm and serve with forks or toothpicks.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 17Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 181mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 0gSugar: 4gProtein: 0g
This nutrition information was generated via a third party, Nutritionix, and can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.
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