Crockpot BBQ Meatballs

The week had not started off well. The bambino’s having a tough time adjusting to school, which is unfortunate. Hopefully things calm down soon, but we’ve already had a meeting with the principal and discovered that things are not always as they appear, especially from a 5-year-old’s perspective. Today I discovered his after-school program withdrew more money than they were supposed to. Even though it’s still relatively warm out, we’ve been eating more autumn-winterish comfort food lately. Like tonight’s dinner:

Crockpot BBQ Meatballs

Crockpot BBQ Meatballs.

I first found this recipe over on The Pioneer Woman’s website a few years ago. The first time I made these, I think the bambino was close to age 2, and between him, Jay and myself, there were no leftovers. There usually aren’t when I make these, so this time around, I decided to double up:

Crockpot BBQ Meatballs - TrayThat’s a lot of meatballs. Especially when you start this process at 9:15 the night before! But we’ll go through them, easily. The sauce is my favorite part–A simple homemade BBQ sauce. My only regret is that I’m out of stone-ground mustard, so I didn’t use that this time, but otherwise, these are divine. I didn’t do anything fancy for sides, just some mashed potatoes.

Crockpot BBQ Meatballs 2Corny as this sounds, it’s like getting a hug from your dinner, and by gods, I needed it today.

Yield: 6-8

Crockpot BBQ Meatballs

Crockpot BBQ Meatballs
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 45 minutes


  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 C old-fashioned oats
  • 1 C milk
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 C flour
  • canola oil, for frying
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 C ketchup
  • Hot sauce (optional)


In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, oats, milk, onion powder, salt and pepper. Using your hands or a wooden spoon, mix only until combined. Using a tablespoon or a 1-2 Tbsp. cookie scoop, portion out meatballs, and place on a large baking sheet.

Place the meatballs in the freezer for 5-10 minutes, and begin heating a couple tablespoons of canola oil in a large skillet. Place the flour in a shallow dish.

Remove the meatballs from the freezer, and dredge a few at a time in the flour, rolling them around to coat. Brown them in the skillet (they do not need to be cooked through, just browned on the outside), then place in the bottom of a crock pot (if preparing the night before, place in a container until ready to use). Brown all the meatballs, adding more canola oil if necessary.

After adding all the meatballs to the crock pot, whisk together the ketchup, brown sugar, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and onion powder (and hot sauce, if using). Pour the sauce over the meatballs, and cook on low for 5-6 hours.

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I hope tomorrow is a better day. We could use a break from the craziness that’s surrounded us lately!