Slow Cooker Honey Buffalo Meatballs

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Tender,  juicy Slow Cooker Honey Buffalo Meatballs simmered in the most tantalizing sweet heat sauce that everyone goes crazy for! Perfect appetizer or delicious, easy meal!

Areal view of Slow Cooker Honey Buffalo Meatballs in a black crock pot.

I love Fall for one main reason – not the changing weather or beautiful Autumn colors – its still in the 90’s here in San Diego – but because ’tis the season of appetizers and desserts! Everyone is either stuffing their face with appetizers for football season, or storing up appetizers for Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year. Fall through New Years – the most wonderful foodie time of the year!

Last year, I posted my Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Cranberry Meatballs and everyone LOVED them. They are ridiculously delicious and easy, so I wanted to create a similar easy, intoxicating delicious meatball but with more of a game day flair, AKA Honey Buffalo Meatballs! The meatballs themselves are incredibly tender, juicy, and flavorful from an easy splash of spices. The spices make the ingredient list seem somewhat lengthy, but they just take seconds to throw in and take these meatballs all the way to the end zone; smother them in Honey Buffalo Sauce and you have a touchdown.

Wooden spoon stirring Slow Cooker Honey Buffalo Meatballs.

The sauce is s simple whisking of Frank’s Original Hot Sauce, honey, brown sugar, apricot preserves and a splash of soy sauce that simmers with the meatballs for an appetizer that is nothing short of addicting or because I like to eat them all the time, they make a fabulous dinner with rice! You can also completely customize the heat of these meatballs by adding more hot sauce to taste at the end of cooking so they can be more honey or more buffalo. Either way, these irresistible Honey Buffalo Meatballs will have you licking your lips, and strongly tempted to lick the slow cooker itself.

Slow Cooker Honey Buffalo Meatballs

5 from 3 votes
Tender,  juicy Slow Cooker Honey Buffalo Meatballs simmered in the most tantalizing sweet heat sauce that everyone goes crazy for!  Perfect appetizer or delicious, easy meal!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 8 Servings



  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 22 saltine crackers crushed
  • 1/3 cup dry minced onion
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoons black pepper

Honey Buffalo Sauce

  • 1/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot Original Sauce plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup apricot preserves
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch


  • Preheat oven to 450F degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add eggs and gently whisk. Add all remaining Meatball Ingredients and mix until well combined. Roll meat mixture into desired meatball size**. Place meatballs onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  • Meanwhile, add all of the Honey Buffalo Sauce Ingredients to a medium bowl and whisk to combine (only use ¼ cup hot sauce at this point. You can add more hot sauce to taste at the end of cooking).
  • Line the bottom of your slow cooker with meatballs, drizzle with some Honey Buffalo Sauce, then remaining meatballs followed by the remaining Sauce.
  • Cover and cook on low heat for 2 hours, gently stirring an hour after cooking. When done, taste and stir in additional hot wings sauce. (I add 1 ½ more tablespoons which is pretty spicy.) Keep warm until serving.



**Makes approximately 70 meatballs using 1″ cookie scoop or heaping 1 tablespoon.


Serves: 8

Calories429kcal (21%)Carbohydrates27g (9%)Protein23g (46%)Fat25g (38%)Saturated Fat10g (50%)Cholesterol123mg (41%)Sodium931mg (39%)Potassium409mg (12%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar19g (21%)Vitamin A232IU (5%)Vitamin C6mg (7%)Calcium53mg (5%)Iron3mg (17%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Appetizer, Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. 5 stars
    I loved this recipe! I skipped the baking step and placed my raw turkey balls right into the sauce since its cooking for 2 hours, I didn’t feel the need to add another step. They turned out AMAZING. I also mixed in Maple Syrup to the sauce that made it extra Devine!
    Thank you for sharing!

  2. 5 stars
    Love this Slow Cooker Honey Buffalo Meatballs, seems so delicious , will love to try this Slow Cooker Honey Buffalo Meatballs . Thanks for sharing this recipe .

  3. Looks delicious. Can the meatballs and sauce also be cooked in the oven or on a stovetop instead of slow-cooker?

  4. I’ve made the sauce and use frozen meatballs (I buy a mix of turkey and beef meatballs) in the crockpot for two hours. It’s delicious, sweet and pretty spicy (I’ve used less than 1/4 hot sauce for crowds and people love them).

  5. I’m going to try making this in a crock-pot with frozen meatballs to cut out the extra time and labor of making the meatballs. I will report back with an update and the turn out. 🙂

  6. Hi, Anyone can answer this
    when does the saltine crackers crushed is going ? is when the while make the meatball and mix it ? or when the I make the meatball use the saltine crackers crushed? Thank You.

    1. It’s very mild! Similar to original Tabasco sauce. It’s the base for most hot wings sauces you’d get in restaurants. It comes in a larger container than Tabasco because it’s used so commonly in recipes.

      You could definitely add less and see how you feel about it. Mostly it tastes like vinegar and red pepper flakes.

    1. I used ground turkey, and also doubled the sauce. Mine were a bit larger, next time I’m going to make them smaller, but i LOVE this recipe. These also heat up really well, so i doubled the recipe the second time i made it.

      1. You could substitute Tabasco, but it’s an entirely different taste to me. Crystal hot sauce is similar to Frank’s, if you can find that. Frank’s is in every supermarket these days. You can go to ‘contact’ on their website and ask if it’s available anywhere near you. Good luck! I haven’t tried this yet, but will soon! Sounds delicious!

  7. Very yummy! I doubled the sauce though…one portion didn’t seem like enough! I also used unflavored almond milk instead of cows milk.

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