Slow Cooker Homemade Cocktail Meatballs: tender, bite-sized meatballs made at home in your slow cooker. These meatballs are like the ones you buy at the grocery store in the frozen section except you know exactly what’s going in them. Make these meatballs with ground turkey, chicken, beef or pork…you choose!
Get the Instant Pot version of these meatballs
Slow Cooker Homemade Cocktail Meatballs
I make a lot of recipes that call for frozen meatballs like my Italian tortellini meatball soup or like my 3-ingredient party meatballs. I like the convenience of buying a big bag of frozen meatballs at the grocery store but sometimes it’s nice to make homemade foods just so you know what’s going in them and you don’t have that weird processed taste. I decided to see if I could make my mom’s recipe for cocktail meatballs (originally an oven recipe) in the slow cooker. And it worked great!
I went with ground turkey because that’s what I had at my house. However you could easily use a ground chicken or lean ground beef/pork or a combination of meats for these slow cooker homemade cocktail meatballs. If you want to make these meatballs in the oven you can totally do that too. You would just follow the recipe below except bake in the oven at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes. Although I haven’t tried it yet, at that point you could let the meatballs cool and then freeze them in a gallon size plastic zipper bag and you’d have your own homemade bag of frozen meatballs for your convenience. I’m totally going to try that!
One thing that I really like to use when I’m handling meat with my hands is disposable kitchen latex gloves. If you don’t like the feeling of raw meat on your hands, you may want to buy some. Otherwise, when mixing the meat just make sure your hands are ultra clean and then wash thoroughly afterward as well.
Ground Turkey Slow Cooker Recipes
We like to buy a big box of ground turkey when it goes on sale or when my husband drives down to the turkey plant every few months. We just keep the turkey in our big freezer and use it in all sorts of recipes. It is inexpensive and a low in fat…a good substitution for red meat. Here are some of my favorite slow cooker ground turkey recipes:
Slow Cooker Homestyle Meatloaf
Cream and Skinny Taco Chili Soup
16 ways to use ground turkey in the slow cooker
Slow Cooker Red Pepper and Ground Turkey Lentils from Slender Kitchen
Southwestern Slow Cooker Barley Casserole with Ground Turkey from Rachel Cooks
CrockPot Sweet and Spicy Ground Turkey and Sweet Potato Stew Recipe with Coconut Milk from Kalyn’s Kitchen
What Slow Cooker Did You Use?
For these slow cooker homemade cocktail meatballs I went with my 3-quart casserole crock made by the Crock-Pot brand. I have loved this casserole shaped crockpot for recipes just like this. I love that the crock insert is completely oven and dishwasher safe. I love how if you want to brown the top of a casserole you can do that quickly in the oven after it cooks all day in the slow cooker. Or if you want to bake something in the oven and then put it into the crockpot and keep it warm on the counter, you can do that too. They cost around $40 and I think totally worth the investment!
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Slow Cooker Homemade Cocktail Meatballs
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours
- Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
- Yield: 22 meatballs 1x
Tender, bite-sized meatballs made at home in your slow cooker. These meatballs are like the ones you buy at the grocery store in the frozen section except you know exactly what’s going in them. Make these meatballs with ground turkey, chicken, beef or pork…you choose!
- 1 lb ground turkey (or lean ground chicken, beef or pork)
- 1 Tbsp dried diced onion (or 1/2 cup diced fresh onion)
- 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Use your clean hands (or gloved hands) to mix the ingredients well.
- Form the mixture into round meatballs. I made mine into 1-2 Tbsp meatballs.
- Place in the bottom of a *slow cooker and cover. **Cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours.
- Serve the meatballs with whatever sauce or topping you desire. I topped mine with barbecue sauce.
*I used my 3 quart casserole crock slow cooker for this recipe. **If you want to make these meatballs in the oven you can totally do that too. You would just follow the recipe below except bake in the oven at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes. Although I haven’t tried it yet, at that point you could let the meatballs cool and then freeze them in a gallon size plastic zipper bag and you’d have your own homemade bag of frozen meatballs in the freezer for convenience. This recipe can be gluten free. Use gluten-free bread crumbs. Gluten-free bread crumbs can be found at most local grocery stores.
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Could you cook these in the Instant Pot?
Sonja Kennedy says
This sounds great….Will make them this weekend. Thank you.
It’s football season, and healthy tailgate food is hard to find. These meatballs were a hit at the party!…. and no one knew, or cared, they were Turkey. 😉
I made meatballs using this recipe for dinner yesterday. I made a double batch with half 90/10 beef and half turkey, panko breadcrumbs, and less salt. Didn’t have time for the slow cooker so baked them in the oven. They were a hit! Was planning on freezing the leftovers to pull them out for next time we make spaghetti and meatballs, but my partner loves these and keeps eating them so there may not be many left to freeze! Thanks for sharing a simple but tasty recipe 🙂
What a great idea! Spaghetti and meatballs sounds fantastic.