It's hard to believe that Christmas is only a few days away. And after a packed morning of opening gifts, you don't want to fuss much with dinner, let alone appetizers and snacks. Enter: the slow cooker. Making some of your dishes in a Crock-Pot is a great way to feed your family without spending a ton of time in the kitchen. Get the party started with mini meatballs, an iconic holiday starter dish.
What sets this recipe apart from your everyday cocktail meatballs is the sauce that the dish is cooked in. Red pepper jelly is mixed with chili sauce and added to the slow cooker. The combination adds a spicy tang to the savory retro appetizer, and you don't have to mess with making the sauce from scratch thanks to the use of jarred ingredients.
To prepare the meatballs, start by combining ground pork, beef, binders and seasonings together in a stand mixer. In addition to getting things mixed perfectly, this technique also saves you time. Pour the chili sauce and jelly into the slow cooker then roll your meatballs. Place the meatballs on top of the sauce mixture. Let the meatballs cook on low for about three hours, turning halfway. Once cooked, stir the meatballs so that they're well coated in the sauce.
To serve, place toothpicks in the center of the meatballs and add them to a plate. Serve the appetizer alongside more of our best holiday dishes, from loaded potato skins to pumpkin pie.
For the meatballs:
1 pound lean ground beef (90/10)
1 pound ground pork
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
For the sauce:
1 12-ounce jar chili sauce
1 10.5-ounce jar hot pepper jelly
Place all meatball ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer.
Stir until fully combined.
Before rolling the meatballs, pour the chili sauce and jelly into a 6-quart slow cooker.
Using a spring-loaded cookie scooper, scoop out the meat mixture and roll between your hands to make them round.
Add meatballs on top of the sauce mixture.
Continue until you've made all the meatballs.
Cover and cook on low for three to four hours (or have reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit).
Turn the meatballs over once about halfway through cooking.
Once cooked, stir the meatballs so they are covered in sauce.
Place on a plate with toothpicks or serve diretly from the slow cooker (keeping it on the warm setting).