How to make slow cooker honey buffalo meatballs (video)

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I love the combination of sweet and spicy. First the spicy jump-starts the palette and awakens the taste buds. Then, just when it's about to become too much, the sweet comes in to soften things up and balance everything out. It's a popular combo for a reason.
These meatballs are a variation of a popular recipe. I use ground pork along with ground beef and replace the marmalade or preserves that are typically used with applesauce — the perfect pairing with pork. I find homemade meatballs a little too soft when they go into the slow cooker raw, so I brown mine in the oven first. If you want more of a "dump and cook" recipe, just add the meat raw or use store-bought meatballs.
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Slow Cooker Honey Buffalo Meatballs
24 meatballs
15 minutes
2 hours, 20 minutes
2 hours, 35 minutes
1 pound lean ground beef
1 pound lean ground pork
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 eggs
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup Sriracha sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large bowl, mix together the ground meat, breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Combine well and shape into small meatballs. Place meatballs on a baking sheet.
Place meatballs in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove and place in the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the Sriracha sauce, honey, applesauce, brown sugar, soy sauce and cornstarch. Whisk until the sauce is smooth and pour over the meatballs in the slow cooker.
Cover and cook on low and cook for 2 hours.
Move meatballs to a large platter and sprinkle with parsley.
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