Slow Cooker Honey Chipotle Meatballs
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Addicting! These slow cooker honey chipotle meatballs are made with chicken and are so easy to put together! Just ten simple ingredients and these come together in a flash! You can make them even quicker if you swap out the homemade meatballs for the remade frozen ones!
I’m back right before the big game with another chicken meatball recipe!
These have got to be the best chicken meatballs to come out of my crockpot. Nevermind the fact that I don’t think I’ve shared another slow cooker chicken meatball recipe on the blog yet. My chicken meatballs are tiny and cute and rolled around in the most addicting cherry honey chipotle barbecue sauce. And if you think you don’t like cherry and barbecue together, wait until you try these barbecue chicken meatballs. Holy moly! They are addicting!
So many reasons why I think barbecue chicken meatballs should be on your super bowl table, but here’s a few if you need a little more convincing:
- no sautéing the meatballs
- no chopping involved (not even garlic.. gasp!)
- they’re chicken! Not your run of the mill beef or pork
- they simmer in sauce in the crockpot and can be served straight from there.. fewer dishes!
These are my standard chicken meatballs that I’ve simplified a wholeeee lot. If you’ve made my firecracker chicken meatballs or the Hawaiian variety, you’ll notice that today’s meatballs contain the same ingredients but don’t require any chopping. I figured there was already enough we’d have to put together come football Sunday, and that cleaning one less cutting board or chopping less garlic would make everyone a little happier.
The ingredients list on today’s honey chipotle meatballs is pretty straight forward. It’s ten ingredients, most of which are pantry staples — music to everyone’s ears.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO MAKE THE CHICKEN MEATBALLS?
- ground chicken (or turkey)
WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE ITALIAN BREADCRUMBS, CAN I USE PANKO INSTEAD?
Yes, panko will work just fine here!
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO COOK THE HONEY CHIPOTLE MEATBALLS IN THE SLOW COOKER:
Every slow cooker is different, but typically it’ll take anywhere from 2 – 2 ½ hours on the low setting. Keep in the mind that the meatballs are already ½ way done when they come out of the oven. The remaining time is just for them to soak up all those yummy flavors from the sauce and to finish cooking through.
DO I NEED TO WATCH THE HONEY CHIPOTLE MEATBALLS AS THEY COOK?
This recipe is hassle-free! However, I do suggest stirring the meatballs after the first hour, to make sure everything is running smoothly. Sometimes slow cookers have hot spots, and this just helps make sure nothing overcooks!
I’M EXPECTING A LARGE CROWD, HOW CAN I MAKE THIS BATCH OF MEATBALLS LARGER? HOW BIG OF A SLOW COOKER DO I NEED.
You can easily make a bigger batch. Double everything for double the batch and triple everything for triple the amount. As written, the 2 pounds of honey chipotle meatballs will just fit in a 3-quart slow cooker. If you make a double batch, I suggest using a 6-quart slow cooker or larger. 2 pounds of ground chicken (or turkey) will make roughly 50-60 meatballs (if each is about a tablespoon worth of mixture.) That should comfortably feed 12-14 people as an appetizer.
CAN I MAKE HONEY CHIPOTLE MEATBALLS WITH FROZEN MEATBALLS?
Yes, you can! I suggest thawing the meatballs before adding them to the slow cooker. You can skip the oven step entirely. You’ll also need to kick the cooking time up to 3-4 hours (check for doneness around the 3-hour mark and let it go for longer if they aren’t done.)
What’s even better is that you can prepare the chicken meatballs, roll them and flash freeze them on a baking sheet. Then pop them into a zip top bag and have them ready to go! You can even do this tonight and then pull them out the day of the big game! Best part – no defrosting needed with the homemade meatballs. Pop them on a prepared baking sheet and bake them for 11 minutes before adding them to the slow cooker.
CAN I MAKE HONEY CHIPOTLE MEATBALLS IN ADVANCE AND THEN REHEAT THEM?
Yesss! You can make everything the day before, all the way to the very end. And then just a couple of hours before your guests arrive, just reheat them on the ‘keep warm’ setting of your slow cooker.
HOW TO MAKE THIS A COMPLETE MEAL:
I like to serve these meatballs for dinner sometimes. Brown rice or jasmine rice works well with the sweet and spicy barbecue sauce. Also, can I just say that steamed broccoli with a drizzle of that honey barbecue sauce on top is everything! Or you can even add 3 cups of fresh broccoli florets to the slow cooker during the last 30 minutes, and then you don’t need to dirty extra dishes to steam the broccoli. WINNING. Low key is the way to go here! One batch of this recipe will serve eight people as a meal, with rice and broccoli as a side.
Spray the inside of your slow cooker insert with cooking spray before adding the ingredients for the sauce to make clean up a whole lot easier!
- 2 pounds ground chicken (or turkey)
- 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs (or panko)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon EACH: garlic powder AND onion powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt + 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 (13-ounce) jar cherry preserves
- 1 (18-ounce) bottle honey chipotle barbecue sauce
- ½ teaspoon EACH: red pepper flakes AND garlic powder
- PREP: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment or foil; set aside.
- MIX: In a large bowl, add the eggs, panko, seasonings and combine, then add the meat and mix. Using a 1 tablespoon measuring scoop, measure and roll out the meatballs, about 50-60. Place on baking sheets and bake for 9 minutes.
- SLOW COOKER: In a large measuring cup, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce. Spray the insert of a 3-quart slow cooker (or larger) with nonstick cooking spray. Pour in one-third of the sauce. Place the meatballs in the slow cooker. And cover with the remaining sauce. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours. Stir gently after the first hour. Sprinkle with chopped green onions or parsley before serving if desired.
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