Love Chinese food? Then you’ll love these spicy orange meatballs. An easy appetizer that is always a crowd pleaser!
Crockpot appetizers are great for when you’re short on time but you still want to bring or serve something delicious. I love this super easy meatball appetizer recipe because it’s not your typical grape jelly and chili sauce meatball recipe, although those are yummy too!
These spicy orange meatballs are yummy and so easy!
The sweet and spicy flavor of these orange marmalade meatballs is unique and comes together really easily using just Sriracha, orange marmalade, mustard and rice vinegar.
Sriracha vs. sweet chili sauce?
I’ve been really trying to make an effort to cut out junk ingredients lately. After reading quite a few labels, I found that Sriracha has more natural ingredients than chili sauce so I opted for that vs. chili sauce to give these meatballs some spice.
Plus, the orange marmalade add a unique orangey flavor of sweetness that chili sauce does not.
What kind of jelly is best?
You can find most flavor of jelly or jam in a “Natural” variety now. Orange marmalade is no exception.
Could you use Chinese mustard instead of yellow mustard?
Yep! But I’ve written this recipe using yellow mustard since most people have that on hand. I’m all for simplifying my condiment collection otherwise it can get out of hand quickly! It can also be hard to find bottled Chinese mustard. Good news is, you can easily make your own Chinese mustard using yellow mustard and rice vinegar.
If you have Chinese mustard on hand, then just leave out rice vinegar.
Garnish only if you want.
If you want to go the extra mile, toss some chopped green onions on top. They add some nice fresh green color and also a little flavor and crunch. Totally optional though!
What type of meatballs are best? Can you use frozen meatballs?
You can use any variety of meatball you prefer. Go light and choose a meatless “meatball” or turkey meatballs.
Use pork meatballs, chicken or beef.
Make your own meatballs or buy frozen. Totally up to you!
Just avoid Italian seasoned meatballs since this is a Chinese-style recipe.
How long does it take to cook frozen meatballs in a crockpot?
This is a question I hear a lot. It depends if the meatballs are precooked or raw. If you’re using already cooked frozen meatballs, you only need to “cook” them long enough for them to be thoroughly heated all the way to the center. In this sauce, that takes about an hour on high heat.
However, you can test one by cutting it in half and carefully feeling the center to see if it’s hot. If you’re making your own meatballs using raw meat, I’d recommend cooking them first in the oven then adding them to your crockpot with the sauce.
What do you need to make these meatballs?
There are a few things you’ll need or want to make these meatballs:
That’s it! This is such an easy appetizer. Perfect to take to a pot luck, serve at a party you’re hosting, or serve them over rice for an easy dinner!
- 1 24oz bag of frozen meatballs (chicken, beef, or turkey — your choice)
- 7 oz orange marmalde
- 3 tbsp yellow mustard
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1-3 tbsp Sriracha sauce to taste
- Add frozen meatballs, orange marmalade, yellow mustard, rice vinegar and Sriracha sauce to your slow cooker.
- Cook on high for 1-2 hour or until sauce is bubbling. Stir and then set to warm.*
- *To speed up the cooking process, you could cook these on the stove in a large pot on high for about 10 minutes and then transfer to a crockpot to keep warm.