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I’m often asked, “How did you come up with that recipe?” or “Why did you select those flavors?” I wish I had some super sophisticated answer to share, but I don’t. What I make everyday is usually based on cravings. I have a book to write down all of my recipe thoughts. Somethings get made and sometimes I even wonder what in the world was I thinking when I came up with that idea.
So this easy recipe, Crock Pot Meatballs with Peach Chipotle BBQ Sauce, was inspired by one of my favorite obsessions. Chips and salsa. If you looked inside my fridge at this moment, you’d see at least 3 different salsa jars. I have a serious problem which I don’t care to kick. I LOVE salsa. One of the jars I recently devoured was a mango chipotle salsa. It was perfectly spicy but with a kick of sweetness. That salsa barely lasted a day in my house. It was so good.
Unlike me, my husband won’t eat just chips and salsa for dinner. So I started brainstorming the ways I could bring the sweet and spicy kick from the salsa into an actual meal.
BBQ Sauce has a lot of the same ingredients as salsa, it’s just handled a little bit differently. By adding some peach preserves and chipotle peppers to a standard BBQ sauce, I’d be able to recreate the taste from the salsa. And meatballs make my husband happy, so that was a no brainer. But to make things easier for me, I decided to brown the meatballs in a skillet and then cook them in a slow cooker.
Who doesn’t love sliders for dinner?! This recipe is perfect for a busy work week, a kick off to the weekend dinner or as a game day appetizer. These little sliders will be eaten and gone in no time. The meatballs are made with ground turkey and pork, so they’re healthier than the average ground beef meatball. The BBQ sauce is made from scratch, so there aren’t any preservatives or ingredients you can’t pronounce in it. Plus, you can totally make the BBQ sauce your own by adding your favorite kind of jelly. I picked peach because I had some on hand.
I can hardly wait to make these Crock Pot Meatball Sliders again. They’re way more satisfying than chips and salsa.
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1.5 tsp cumin
- 1.5 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup beer or broth
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup peppers and sauce from canned chipotles in adobo, minced
- 2/3 cup ketchup
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup beer or broth
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp molasses
- 1/2 cup peach preserves
- Salt, to taste
- Slider Buns/Rolls
- For the meatballs: In a large bowl, add the first 10 ingredients and mix with your hands. Once the ingredients are combined, shape into meatballs. You can use a medium sized cookie scooper or 2 tablespoons would work. Add olive oil to a large skillet at medium heat. Brown meatballs on all sides, do not over cook. You just want to give the meatball a nice sear. Cook meatballs in batches - don't over crowd the skillet. Add cooked meatballs to a slow cooker coated with cooking spray. Once all of the meatballs are in the slow cooker, pour in beer or broth. Cook on low for 5 to 6 hours.
- For the sauce: In a sauce pan set at medium heat, add oil & onions. Cook until the onions are translucent. Add garlic and stir. Cook until fragrant. Add chipotle peppers and sauce. Stir until combined with onion & garlic. Stir in the ketchup, vinegar, water, mustard, molasses, and peach preserves. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Taste and add salt if needed.
- Once the meatballs are cooked, remove from slow cooker. Drain out the liquid. Return meatballs to slow cooker and cover with BBQ sauce. Turn slow cooker setting to warm and cover with lid. Let the meatballs sit in the slow cooker for at least 10 minutes. Serve BBQ meatballs on slider rolls.