Crockpot Meatballs Are Perfect For Busy Nights!
I am telling you, we are a meatball family. My husband is half Italian and grew up with an Italian mom making delicious meatballs every Sunday. I love a good Italian meatball, but I also love all sorts of variations!
Meatballs are such an easy food to switch up with spices, sauces, or cheeses! Today’s Crockpot Cheesy Meatballs are a classic. They are a lightly seasoned pork and beef meatball seasoned loaded with cheese and a few other everyday ingredients then cooked in a simple sweet chili-style sauce.
These Cheesy Meatballs Can Be Made In the Crockpot OR On The Stove Top!
I love making these meatballs in the slow cooker because they’re great to feed a crowd. BUT you certainly don’t have to. All the slow cooker does is finish cooking the meat while the meatballs are in the sauce.
I included the stove top directions in the recipe card, but the quick run-down is you do everything just about the same, just cook them in the sauce in a Dutch oven on the stove top. This significantly reduces the cook time, as the stove top heats hotter than the slow cooker, but either way is totally fine, as long as the meatballs get cooked through to a temperature of at least 165°F.
Do You Have To Bake Them Ahead?
Unfortunately the answer here is yes. I know, I know, it would be so much easier to form the meatballs and just thrown them uncooked into the crockpot. But you and I both know it wouldn’t work. They would all fall apart when you stirred them, and they would release far too much grease.
So, yes you do have to bake them ahead. You could also brown them in a frying pan instead, but baking is much easier, especially if you have a very large baking sheet like THIS one.
Can You Use Another Kind Of Cheese?
Absolutely. You can really use any cheese in place of Velveeta that melts nicely. Here are a few other options:
- Monterey Jack
Why Do You Say To Use Cold Velveeta?
In the ingredients list I make a note to use cold Velveeta. This is purely for ease. Cold Velveeta is far less messy to grate than room temperature Velveeta!
Check Your Pantry!
The ingredient list for these meatballs is a throwback. I got this recipe from my mom’s very 80’s recipe box, and the ingredients reflect that. If you’re like me, you might have most of these items in your pantry right now. BUT if you’re looking to sub out ingredients and not used packaged or processed foods, no problem!
Use This Instead of That…
- Panko Bread Crumbs for Crushed Ritz Crackers
- Freshly Grated Cheddar Cheese instead of Velveeta
- Diced and Sauteed Onions seasoned with salt and pepper in place of the Onion Soup Mix
- Tomato Sauce for the Tomato Soup
- Use all Ground Beef instead of a combo of Beef and Pork.
Looking For More Crockpot Recipes? Try These:
These easy CHEESY Meatballs are perfect for a weeknight meal, a casual get-together, or game day! They can be made in the slow cooker OR on the stove top!
- 1 pound ground breakfast sausage (like Jimmy Dean)
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 sleeve round butter crackers (like Ritz), crushed (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 (1- ounce) package dry onion soup mix
- 8– ounces cold Velveeta cheese, grated
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 (10.75- ounces) condensed tomato soup
- 1 cup water
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a very large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Coat lightly with nonstick spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl using your hands combine the sausage, ground beef, egg, heavy cream, crushed crackers, onion soup mix, and grated Velveeta. Don’t over-mix, but make sure all the ingredients are mixed evenly. Form into 1- inch meatballs and place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 15- 20 minutes until the meatballs are lightly browned and almost cooked through.
- While the meatballs are cooking stir together the brown sugar, chili powder, tomato soup, and water in your 6- quart slow cooker.
- When the meatballs are done cooking, transfer them from the baking sheet into the slow cooker. Stir gently to coat in the sauce. Cook on high heat for 4 hours.
Store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you would like to make these on the stove top, follow steps 1-4, but instead of the slow cooker, mix the sauce in a large Dutch oven and heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Transfer the meatballs into the Dutch Oven and cook on medium-low heat for 45 minutes until the meatballs are completely cooked through.
Keywords:: cookies and cups, meatballs, slow cooker, crockpot, cheesy meatballs, crockpot meatballs
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