Wondering how to make frozen meatballs in a crockpot? We’ve got you covered! Here’s what you need to know.

Frozen meatballs cooked in a crockpot

While I wish that I had hours and hours to spend in the kitchen every day, the reality is that I do not. Most of the meals I cook are quick and simple, but I still always try my best to make them taste good. As long as everyone is happily eating around the dinner table, it doesn’t really matter how long it took to make the meal! 

Since quick and easy foods are kind of my thing, I end up using my crockpot a lot. Crockpots, also called slow cookers, are the perfect tools to cook delicious meats. The low temperature and steady cooking method help make meat juicy and tender.

Cooking meatballs in the slow cooker is definitely one of my favorite go-to dinners. I use frozen meatballs, add my favorite sauces, and that’s it! Dinner is in the crockpot and cooking for hours, perfectly timed to be ready at dinner. 

If you want to learn all my secrets for making frozen meatballs in a crockpot, then keep reading. I have quite a few tips for you! 

Frozen meatballs in a crockpot with sauce

Can You Put Frozen Meatballs in a Slow Cooker?

Yes! You can cook frozen meatballs in a slow cooker! I just wanted to answer that question right away in case anyone was still wondering. 

In fact, frozen meatballs cook wonderfully in a slow cooker. They stay soft and juicy, cooking to the perfect temperature. You can use either store-bought frozen meatballs in your crockpot or meatballs that you made yourself and froze. Any kind of frozen meatball will work! 

How to Make Frozen Meatballs in a Crockpot With Sauce

Meatballs go so well with a lot of different sauces. Many of them you can add right to the crockpot to cook with the meatballs. Cooking meatballs in sauce in a crock pot will help the frozen meatballs become even more flavorful. The sauce will soak into the meatballs as they cook, giving you a delicious, mouthwatering appetizer or entree. 

Here is a quick look at how to make some of my favorite meatballs and sauces in a slow cooker

Meatballs and Spaghetti Sauce

Grab your favorite jar of marinara sauce and a bag of frozen meatballs and you have a complete meal! You can make frozen meatballs in a crockpot with marinara sauce so easily. 

Add a pound of frozen meatballs into the bowl of the slow cooker. Pour two cups of pasta sauce over the meatballs. Cover the crockpot and cook on low heat for 3-4 hours. Smaller meatballs will cook faster. If you want to check the internal temperature of the meatballs to be safe, it should read at least 160ºF on a meat thermometer. Then, the meatballs are ready to eat! 

BBQ Meatballs

Add a pound of frozen meatballs to the slow cooker and then pour two cups of your favorite BBQ sauce over the meatballs. Cover the pot and cook the meatballs for 3-4 hours on the low setting. I like to serve these right out of the crockpot with a toothpick or make them into BBQ Meatball Sliders. BBQ meatballs are a great appetizer!

Meatballs with Grape Jelly

Making frozen meatballs in a crockpot with grape jelly is one of my all-time favorite “secret” recipes. Everyone loves these cocktail meatballs and wonders how they are made. The real secret is just how easy they are to put together! 

Add 18 ounces of grape jelly to the bowl of a crockpot along with 18 ounces of your favorite BBQ sauce. Stir the ingredients together in the crockpot, then add two pounds of frozen meatballs. Stir the frozen meatballs in the sauce, coating them all evenly. 

Cover the crockpot and cook the meatballs for 3 hours on high. Enjoy these grape jelly meatballs as an appetizer anytime of year. 

Meatballs and Gravy

Meatballs and gravy is just as easy as cooking frozen meatballs in marinara sauce. Add a pound of meatballs and two cups of your favorite gravy to the bowl of a slow cooker and you are good to go! The gravy meatballs will cook for 3-4 hours on low heat. Use turkey meatballs to make a Thanksgiving style, meatball meal or serve them over noodles like Swedish Meatballs.

stack of cocktail meatballs with one on a silver fork

How to Make Frozen Meatballs in a Crockpot with No Sauce

If you just want plain, juicy meatballs, you can still use your crockpot. Cooking the frozen meatballs in a crockpot with no sauce may make the meatballs a little too dry. To fix this, I like to add about 1 cup of water or beef broth to the bowl of the slow cooker. This helps keep the meatballs nice and juicy as they cook. 

Cook the frozen meatballs for 3-4 hours over low heat. Use a pair of tongs to grab the meatballs out of the slow cooker, then enjoy! 

The Best Way to Cook Frozen Meatballs

If you have been considering cooking frozen meatballs in a slow cooker, you should definitely give it a try. The crockpot is one of my favorite kitchen appliances and it sure does a great job making perfect frozen meatballs. Cook them with or without sauce, whatever you’d like! I know they will turn out great.

Let me know what you think of frozen meatballs made in a slow cooker. Is it your new favorite way to make meatballs? I bet it is!


Will meatballs fall apart in a slow cooker?

No! The frozen meatballs will not fall apart as they cook. They will hold their shape nicely, just cook into extra juicy little bites.

How long to cook fully cooked frozen meatballs in a crockpot?

Fully cooked frozen meatballs will cook in a crockpot over low heat for 3-4 hours. The internal temperature of the ground beef meatballs should be 160º when completely cooked.

Do you thaw meatballs before putting them in a crockpot?

Nope! The frozen meatballs can go straight from the freezer and into the crockpot. No thawing or prebaking needed!

More Awesome Crockpot Recipes

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About Kasey Schwartz

For over 15 years, Kasey Schwartz, the mastermind behind All Things Mamma, has been the ultimate go-to for mouthwatering family recipes. Her work has been featured on Today.com, Buzz Feed, Better Homes and Gardens, and more, making her your go-to mom next door for all things delicious and family-friendly.


  1. I have a large crockpot. If I wanted to make 2 or 3 pounds of meatballs, would the cooking time remain the same?

    1. Shyanne - ATM Team says:

      It should be the same!

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