Slow Cooker Orange Meatballs

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Slow Cooker Orange Meatballs – 🍊🎉🙌🏻 The EASIEST 5-ingredient recipe for savory, sweet, and saucy meatballs that are infused with the flavor of orange marmalade and soy sauce! Whether you need a no-fuss weeknight dinner idea that’s as easy as ‘set it and forget it’ or a GREAT party appetizer recipe, everyone LOVES these juicy, flavorful meatballs!

A bowl of white rice topped with glazed meatballs, garnished with sesame seeds and green onions.

Easy Slow Cooker Orange Meatballs Recipes

These meatballs are simmered in a mixture of sweet orange marmalade and soy sauce for the perfect combination of savory, sweet, and saucy and as a result the meatballs are so juicy! The sweetness from the marmalade is balanced with the salty unami flavor from the soy sauce and these are always a guaranteed hit and truly the easiest thing ever to make!

Top view of a slow cooker filled with glazed meatballs sprinkled with green onions.

If you’re looking for the simplest appetizer ever to serve at your next party or event, this is just the ticket! I am all about easy appetizer recipes especially when entertaining because I just don’t have time for anything else.

Slow Cooker Orange Meatballs - 🍊🎉🙌🏻 The EASIEST 5-ingredient recipe for savory, sweet, and saucy meatballs that are infused with the flavor of orange marmalade and soy sauce! Whether you need a no-fuss weeknight dinner idea that's as easy as 'set it and forget it' or a GREAT party appetizer recipe, everyone LOVES these juicy, flavorful meatballs!

I’m talking about holiday entertaining in November and December when oven space and time is at a premium, for game day parties, graduations, potlucks, summer holiday celebrations when you don’t want to turn on your oven to bake and heat up the house – there’s no shortage of times of the year where this is such a handy recipe to have!

Or if you’re looking for a 5-ingredient supremely easy weeknight dinner that’s as simple as a dump-and-stir little number, here’s one to put in your recipe binder.

Slow Cooker Orange Meatballs - 🍊🎉🙌🏻 The EASIEST 5-ingredient recipe for savory, sweet, and saucy meatballs that are infused with the flavor of orange marmalade and soy sauce! Whether you need a no-fuss weeknight dinner idea that's as easy as 'set it and forget it' or a GREAT party appetizer recipe, everyone LOVES these juicy, flavorful meatballs!

Ingredients in Crockpot Orange Meatballs

You will just need the following 5 ingredients to make this simple appetizer in a Crockpot – or put it into your easy dinners repertoire and serve as a main dish!

  • Precooked frozen meatballs, thawed
  • Sweet orange marmalade
  • Reduced sodium soy sauce – I like reduced sodium because you can always add salt at the end if you think it needs it
  • Garlic powder
  • Minced dried onions
  • Green onions, sesame seeds, red pepper flakes; all optional for garnishing
A bowl of meatballs next to a jar of smucker's sweet orange marmalade, and small bowls of seasonings.

Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.

How to Make Orange Marmalade Meatballs in a Slow Cooker

This is a goof-proof easy recipe! It doesn’t get any easier than this!

  1. Add the meatballs to the Crock-Pot.
  2. Pour the remaining 4 ingredients into the slow cooker, stir, cover with the lid, and cook. (More info on low vs. high heat cooking in the FAQs)
  3. Serve these tender meatballs immediately when done.

Keep Warm

When the meatballs are done, keep them in the Crock-Pot on the ‘warm’ setting if you’re serving these at an event or party so they stay nice and warm and folks can just help themselves throughout the party.

A close-up photo of a fork lifting an orange glazed meatball.

what to serve with meatballs

A plate of rice topped with glazed meatballs, garnished with chopped green onions.

Storage

In the Refrigerator: Leftover meatballs will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days.

In the Freezer: This recipe will keep airtight in the freezer for up to 3 months. However, since you’re starting with frozen meatballs, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to actually freeze them again, but in theory you can.

To Reheat: I use my microwave for quickness and ease and reheat my leftovers for about 30 seconds on high, or as needed. But you can reheat however is best suited for you.

Recipe FAQs

what kind of meatballs are best for this recipe?

You want to use meatballs that are already cooked. The easiest option is to buy a bag of frozen meatballs, which are already fully cooked, and use those. It’s up to you if you want to use beef, turkey, chicken, pork, or plant-based meatballs. The most common options are likely beef or turkey, and I used beef, but the protein choice is up to you. If you are using non-meat (plant-based) ‘meatballs’, they likely won’t need as long to cook in your slow cooker, just a guess, but I haven’t personally tried but I would keep an eye on them.

can i use homemade meatballs?

This is not a recipe that’s intended to be made with raw or from-scratch meatballs that still need to be cooked. So yes, you can use your own homemade meatballs, but you need to cook them first. THEN you can proceed with this recipe.

can i use another marmalade, jam, or jelly?

This recipe is specifically for orange meatballs so you need to use sweet orange marmalade. I use the Smuckers brand because it’s readily available in American grocery stores, and has the right amount of sweetness without being too sweet, although you can experiment with other brands. Although stick to orange marmalade. Marmalade means there’s a bit of orange rind or orange zest in it which keeps it from being too sweet for a savory dish.

I also have recipes for Slow Cooker Grape Jelly Meatballs and Slow Cooker Hawaiian Meatballs with pineapple if those suit you better.

what size slow cooker should I use?

I recommend a 6-quart or 7-quart slow cooker for optimal results.

should i slow cook on low or high?

You can use either setting. It doesn’t matter and I would gauge it simply what works better for your meal planning and schedule. 2-3 hours on high vs. 4-6 hours on low. Since these meatballs are already cooked, they’re just absorbing the sauce in the Crock-Pot and it’s up to you how you want to handle that.

can i make this in an instant pot?

This delicious appetizer recipe is best suited to be made in a slow cooker.

can i bake the meatballs?

You probably could combine all the ingredients in a large Dutch oven, cover with the lid or foil, and bake in a 200 to 250F oven for about 90 minutes but it’s only an educated guess and I haven’t tested this.

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5 from 1 vote

Slow Cooker Orange Meatballs

🍊🎉🙌🏻 The EASIEST 5-ingredient recipe for savory, sweet, and saucy meatballs that are infused with the flavor of orange marmalade and soy sauce! Whether you need a no-fuss weeknight dinner idea that's as easy as 'set it and forget it' or a GREAT party appetizer recipe, everyone LOVES these juicy, flavorful meatballs!
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 35
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Equipment

Ingredients  

  • 32 ounces fully cooked meatballs, thawed from frozen (beef or turkey recommended)
  • 1 ⅓ cup sweet orange marmalade
  • ¼ cup lite or reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon minced dried onions

Instructions 

  • Add the meatballs to the slow cooker.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients, stir to combine, cover, and cook on LOW for about 4-6 hours OR on HIGH for about 2-3 hours. Cooking Tips – Since these meatballs have already been fully cooked, all you're doing is simmering them with the other ingredients so they absorb the flavors. It's up to you whether you want to slow cook on low or high, based on your schedule and whatever is best for you. Since all slow cookers have different heat output levels, start checking earlier than indicated in case yours is a powerful one.
  • Serve immediately when done. Or… Tip – If you're serving these at a party or event with other food, and people will be helping themselves throughout the event, use the warm or 'keep warm' setting on your slow cooker if it has one.
  • Storage – Extra meatballs will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days. Technically, you can freeze them, but since the recipe started with frozen meatballs, it's not very logical to then freeze them again, but it's possible. Reheat leftovers gently in the microwave for about 30 seconds, or as desired.

Notes

Meatballs – Make sure you use meatballs that have already been fully cooked. The easiest thing to use for this recipe is a bag of frozen meatballs that you thaw and then use. You can use beef, turkey, chicken, pork, or plant-based. Read the FAQs about using homemade or uncooked meatballs. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1meatball, Calories: 100kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 19mg, Sodium: 114mg, Potassium: 86mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 9IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 9mg, Iron: 0.3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

More Easy Meatball Recipes:

Crockpot Grape Jelly Meatballs — The EASIEST holiday appetizer that’s made with just 3 INGREDIENTS! People adore these saucy meatballs loaded with FLAVOR! A perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s celebrations and holiday parties. Or make them for your next tailgating or game day party!

Slow Cooker Grape Jelly Meatballs - The EASIEST holiday appetizer that's made with just 3 INGREDIENTS! People adore these saucy meatballs loaded with FLAVOR! A perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's celebrations and holiday parties. Or make them for your next tailgating or game day party!

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Slow Cooker Hawaiian Meatballs – The EASIEST meatball recipe that’s sure to be a hit at parties and events! Or turn this into a no-fuss weeknight meal and serve these pineapple-infused Hawaiian meatballs over rice! Made with only 6 ingredients so you can just set your slow cooker and let it do all the work!

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Red Curry Meatballs - Indian-spiced beef meatballs are simmered in a homemade red curry sauce that's perfectly spicy, savory, and so comforting especially when served over a bed of basmati rice! Learn how to recreate this ethnic dish that'll IMPRESS your family and friends and have everyone begging for more!

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

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