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Meatballs are the perfect party food. They’re savory and delicious and can easily be eaten in one bite. And these gluten-free crockpot meatballs are a new take on a traditional party appetizer.
Gluten-Free Party Meatballs
If you love meatballs but need to consider your gluten intake, then you are going to love these gluten-free slow cooker meatballs. They are savory and delicious and are the perfect one-bite snack for your next get-together or buffet.
When it comes to finding food that is gluten-free, you often can’t buy it in-store unless you are specifically shopping in the “free from” range. Often making things like meatballs yourself is easy to enjoy as a gluten-free option by swapping out some of the ingredients.
Most meatballs on the market are not gluten-free because they’re often made with breadcrumbs meaning that anyone avoiding gluten will be forced to miss out on a delicious appetizer. But with this recipe, your gluten-free guests can also enjoy a yummy treat at your next party.
This is a delicious appetizer as well as being the perfect party food. It is covered in a tasty sweet yet tangy sauce, and you can even put them in the slow cooker, which does all of the hard work for you.
The sauce is a little unconventional, combining chilli sauce with grape jelly, but you have to try it! It gives a sauce that is tangy and has a great depth of flavor that works perfectly with the meat.
The slow cooker really helps to enhance the flavors of the two sauces and bring these meatballs to life. They have a real spice and kick to them.
Why You’ll Love These Meatballs
- Gluten-free, so your friends avoiding gluten can enjoy these.
- Absolutely delicious with the sweet and tangy sauce.
- Made from scratch and cooked in the slow cooker.
- Gluten-free bread crumbs
- Ground beef
- Garlic powder
- Grape jelly
- Chili sauce
Make These Gluten-Free Meatballs
Since you’ll be using gluten-free breadcrumbs in the homemade meatballs, I would definitely not skip this first step. Combine your milk and egg and whisk to mix well. Then pour the egg mixture over your breadcrumbs and stir until all the breadcrumbs are covered.
Allow the egg mixture to soak into the breadcrumbs for several minutes. This will help the coarse gluten-free breadcrumbs soften before you mix them into the meat, keeping them from becoming crunchy or mealy as the meatballs cook.
While the breadcrumbs are soaking, you can get started on the sauce. As I mentioned earlier, this delicious sauce is made of grape jelly and chili sauce.
Pour both those ingredients directly into the bowl of your crockpot. Using a whisk, stir until both ingredients are fully combined. Whisk well to remove any large chunks of grape jelly, making sure the sauce is as smooth as possible before adding the meatballs.
Now that you have the sauce ready, it’s time to start constructing the meatballs. Make sure you’re using a large bowl, so you have plenty of room to work the ingredients into the meat.
Start by placing your meat in the bowl with your breadcrumb mixture. Then, season with parsley, garlic powder, oregano, pepper, and salt.
Using your hands, work the ingredients into the meat. In addition to mixing in the ingredients, you’ll also need to soften and knead the meat to make it easier to form the meatballs later on. I suggest working the meat mixture with your hands for several minutes to ensure all the ingredients are evenly dispersed.
Once you think the meat mixture is ready, start scooping out balls by the tablespoon. Roll each ball of meat between your hands to form an even ball.
Using a tablespoon will help you be sure that each meatball is the same size, which will help them cook evenly in the slow cooker. A tablespoon is the perfect bite-size amount for a great meatball appetizer.
After rolling the meat into a small ball, place each meatball in the slow cooker with the sauce you made earlier. Roll each meatball around in the sauce to completely cover it.
You’ll want each meatball to be coated in the sauce to ensure it doesn’t dry out as it cooks in your crockpot.
Keep adding meatballs until all the meat mixture has been made into balls. You will probably need to create a second row of meatballs to fit them all into your crockpot, so these meatballs can be stacked on top of each other as they cook.
Cook the meatballs in your slow cooker for at least two hours on high or four hours on low. Stir the meatballs halfway through the cooking time to rotate the meatballs on the top row and the meatballs in the bottom row.
- Use what seasonings you have. You don’t need to use garlic or oregano to add flavor. You can simply use mixed herbs if that is what you have in your cupboard. Use what you have.
- Add some paprika to give the meatballs a smokey flavor.
- Cook up some vegetables at the same time. Add peppers or mushrooms.
- Use different mince. Turkey and chicken will work great with the flavors and can be excellent alternatives to red meat.
notes and tips
- Don’t skip the step where you add the gluten-free breadcrumbs to the egg and milk mixture. It helps to soften the texture.
- If you wet your hands before handling the meat mixture, you will avoid it sticking to you as you roll it into meatballs.
Frequently Asked Questions
These slow-cooker party meatballs can easily be enjoyed as part of a buffet with a cocktail stick or as an easy appetizer. You could also look to serve them with pasta, rice, or potatoes if you fancy making them as a meal.
If you do have any leftovers, then it is best to store them in an airtight container, and then you can put them in the refrigerator for up to three days. Let them cool completely first.
You could also freeze them raw ready to use another day, or freeze them cooked. They can stay in your freezer for up to three months.
More Fun Party Foods
Slow Cooker Party Meatballs
- ½ cup gluten-free bread crumbs
- ½ cup milk
- 1 large egg
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 4 tablespoons parsley
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons oregano
- 1 tablespoon pepper
- ½ tablespoon salt
- 2 cups grape jelly
- 2 12 ounce bottles chili sauce
- Pour grape jelly and chili sauce into the bowl of the crockpot and mix until combined.
- Place gluten-free bread crumbs in a large bowl.
- Whisk together milk and egg. Pour over breadcrumbs and allow to soak for at least five minutes.
- Add ground beef, parsley, garlic powder, oregano, pepper, and salt to the breadcrumbs.
- Using your hands, work all ingredients together, mixing until all ingredients are well combined.
- Scoop out meat mixture by tablespoonful and roll into a ball.
- Place each meatball in the bowl of the crockpot, rolling each meatball in the sauce until it is completely covered.
(Meatballs may be stacked if they do not fit into one layer.)
- Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours, stirring halfway through.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, is intended to serve as an estimate only, and is provided for informational purposes. The accuracy of nutritional information is not guaranteed.
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