A Crowd-Pleasing Sweet Heat That Everyone Goes Crazy For

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Indulge in the irresistible combination of sweet and heat with these Crowd-Pleasing Sweet Heat Meatballs. Packed with flavor and perfect for gatherings, these meatballs are sure to be a hit with everyone.

Why Make This Recipe

These Sweet Heat Meatballs offer a unique twist on traditional meatballs, combining the sweetness of honey and apricot preserves with the kick of hot sauce. They are easy to make, versatile, and incredibly delicious, making them a crowd favorite at parties, potlucks, and family dinners.

How to Make Crowd-Pleasing Sweet Heat Meatballs


  • Meatballs
    • 2 pounds ground beef
    • 2 eggs
    • 22 saltine crackers, crushed
    • ⅓ cup dry minced onion
    • ½ cup milk
    • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
    • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
    • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Honey Buffalo Sauce
    • ¼ cup Frank’s Red Hot Original Sauce, plus more to taste
    • ¼ cup honey
    • ¼ cup apricot preserves
    • ¼ cup brown sugar
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch


  1. Preheat oven to 450F degrees and line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Whisk eggs in a large bowl, then add all remaining meatball ingredients and mix well.
  3. Roll the meat mixture into meatballs and place them on the baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes or until lightly browned.
  4. In a bowl, whisk together all the Honey Buffalo Sauce ingredients.
  5. Place a layer of meatballs in the slow cooker, drizzle with some sauce, then add the remaining meatballs and sauce.
  6. Cover and cook on low heat for 2 hours, stirring halfway. Adjust the hot sauce to taste.
  7. Keep the meatballs warm until serving.

How to Serve Crowd-Pleasing Sweet Heat Meatballs

Serve these meatballs as an appetizer at parties or as a main dish with rice or pasta. They pair well with a side of coleslaw or steamed vegetables.

How to Store Crowd-Pleasing Sweet Heat Meatballs

Store any leftover meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop before serving.

Tips to Make Crowd-Pleasing Sweet Heat Meatballs

  • Use lean ground beef for healthier meatballs.
  • Allow the meatballs to cool slightly before serving to prevent burns.
  • Adjust the amount of hot sauce to suit your taste preference.


For a twist, substitute ground chicken or turkey for beef in the meatballs. You can also experiment with different types of hot sauce for a unique flavor profile.


  1. Can I make these meatballs ahead of time? Yes, you can prepare the meatballs and sauce in advance and store them separately in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
  2. Can I make these meatballs in the oven only? Yes, you can bake the meatballs in the oven and then toss them in the sauce before serving.
  3. Can I freeze these meatballs? Yes, you can freeze cooked meatballs in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Reheat in the oven or microwave before serving.


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