Sweet & Spicy Meatballs

Sweet & Spicy Meatballs

Sweet & Spicy Meatballs

Everyone needs an appetizer when you’re waiting to start Thanksgiving dinner! This recipe is the second dish in our holiday series! 

Let’s be honest… you arrive hungry at your Thanksgiving celebration, you know you’re going to have tons of amazing food & you’re trying to wait patiently for the blessing… but the turkey isn’t ready and Uncle Richard is late again! The people NEED an appetizer! Be everyone’s favorite family member & walk around the room with a platter of Hickok Hamburger meatballs. You will be everyone’s best friend!


You should know at the beginning of this recipe that we use a CrockPot to slow cook our meatballs! This is a great kitchen appliance we highly recommend! You can check out our model here on Amazon. Other slow cookers will work just fine. We also have to recommend our favorite CrockPot liners because no one likes cleaning that thing… especially around the holidays when there are 1,000 other dishes to do! You can check them out here!

Before cooking this recipe, please allow plenty of time for thawing your beef! We recommend thawing 1 of 2 ways. Beef thaws best in the refrigerator! For a pound of ground beef, we suggest at least 6 hours of defrost time. Second best option would be thawing in cold water. If your beef is vacuum sealed, you are probably safe to soak the package straight in the water. Otherwise, place your frozen beef in a sealed Ziploc bag for its defrost bath! Change the water out every 20-30 minutes until the meat is fully thawed.

We start by making the meatballs. In a large bowl, combine your 2 lbs of ground beef (preferably Hickok Hamburger:), 2 eggs, 2 C plain bread crumbs, 2 TBSP worcestershire, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 ½ tsp salt & 1 TBSP onion powder. Using your hands, mix these ingredients until they are consistently combined. After mixing, create your meatballs anywhere from ½” - 1” big. We like to use a 2 TBSP cookie scoop to ensure our meatballs are all around the same size so that they will cook evenly. As you make the meatballs, place them to the side on a paper plate. 

Heat a large drizzle of olive oil in your largest nonstick skillet at medium heat. Once the oil is hot, place your meatballs & start to cook at medium heat. Cook the meatballs on their first side for about 3 minutes, then use tongs to turn them all over & cook on the other side for an additional 3 minutes. After the 6 minutes are up, turn the heat to low & cover the meatballs for 5 minutes so they can start to cook through without burning the surfaces. 

During your 5 minutes of cooking time away from the meatballs, you are going to make the sauce. In a medium bowl, ½ C brown sugar, ¼ C honey, 1 C jalapeno ketchup (Heinz), 3 TBSP sriracha sauce, ¼ C soy sauce & 1 TBSP minced garlic. Stir these ingredients until they are combined evenly. 

After 5 minutes of low heat cooking, remove the meatballs from the stove and place them in your large mixing bowl from earlier. Pour the sauce over the meatballs and stir to ensure they are all completely coated. Once covered, pour the meatballs into the lined Crockpot. Try to create a bottom layer to completely cover the bottom of your pot, then put the remaining meatballs on top. Set the crockpot to cook on LOW for 2-3 hours. 

After your 2-3 hours are up, you are ready to serve your meatballs! We tried to get festive and used these cute Thanksgiving picks so that when we walked around serving them at our family celebration, people could just grab one by the pick and enjoy! We hope you & all the hungry people of Thanksgiving enjoy this recipe!


Sweet & Spicy Meatballs

Defrost Time: ~6 hours in refrigerator

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

CrockPot Time: 2-3 hours



  • 2 lbs Hickok Hamburger ground beef
  • 2 C Bread Crumbs
  • 2 TBSP Worcestershire
  • 2 Egg
  • 1 ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 TBSP Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Pepper


  • 1 C Heinz Jalapeno Ketchup
  • ½ C Brown Sugar
  • ¼ C Honey
  • 3 TBSP Sriracha
  • ¼ C Soy Sauce
  • 1 TBSP Minced Garlic


  1. DEFROST MEAT - please make sure you leave enough time to defrost your ground beef completely before starting.
  2. MAKE MEATBALLS - in a large bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, worcestershire, salt, pepper, onion powder & eggs. Mix well with your hands until combined evenly.
  3. Create evenly sized meatballs between ½” - 1” & put them aside on a paper plate. 
  4. Preheat a large drizzle of olive oil in your largest nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Once hot, place the meatballs in the skillet. At medium heat, cook on the first side for 3 minutes, then use tongs to turn them over and cook for 3 minutes on the other side. Turn down the heat to your lowest flame and cover the skillet with a lid. Cook the meatballs an additional 5 minutes on low so they can start to cook through. 
  5. MAKE SAUCE - in a medium bowl, combine jalapeno ketchup, brown sugar, honey, sriracha, soy sauce & minced garlic. Mix well with a fork until combined evenly. After the 5 minutes of covered cooking, remove the meatballs from heat and place them in your large mixing bowl. Pour the sauce over the meatballs & mix to ensure they are all completely covered. 
  6. CROCKPOT - place the meatballs in a layer along the bottom, then put the remaining meatballs on top. Pour the remaining sauce over the meatballs. Cook the meatballs in the CrockPot on LOW for 2-3 hours.
  7. SERVE - serve up the meatballs on a platter at your holiday dinner!


If you try this recipe...


Share your rating of this recipe in the comments on our Sweet & Spicy Meatballs post! Then follow along for the recipes to come and the process behind Hickok Hamburger and how we can bring you premium beef, straight to your front door!

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