Crock-pot Turkey Meatballs In A Honey BBQ Sauce


Smell The Magic Of A Crock-Pot Meal

We love meatballs and we enjoy making meatballs in pasta sauce but what we love even more is crock-pot turkey meatballs. Since my wife is on a low-gi diet she has tried to stick with turkey mince and turkey sausages and limiting the amount of rice, potatoes and pasta she eats. We actually find the ground turkey or turkey sausages cheaper to buy as well or often find it reduced in price. I’d easily call this a frugal meal and one that is an excellent change from eating beef during the week.

To finish off the turkey meatballs we cooked them in a homemade honey BBQ sauce that I used to make my pulled pork crock-pot recipe. Creating a sauce for turkey meatballs really will make a difference in the outcome of this recipe. If you are pressed for time buying a pre-made BBQ sauce will work just fine. I’m not sure if this is what you would call healthy turkey meatballs but everything we have here is delicious ingredients right from the pantry.

Moroccan Olives

Moroccan Olives -Source

One thing that we did notice about using the ground turkey was that it lacked the flavour or the fat content that you would find in a ground beef or ground pork meat. What I did was I added in some minced up a Moroccan oil black olives that are cured in salt and have a wrinkled skin for an added flavour to the turkey. If you don’t like olives you can simply leave them out of the turkey meatballs.

Now I was going to make baked turkey meatballs but decided to just add them raw to the crock-pot gently on top of a bed of sliced white onions to create moisture to cook them through over a 6 hour period on low. After the meatballs were cooked I added in all the homemade BBQ sauce and gently mixed it in and kept the crock-pot going for a further 2 hours on low.

I didn’t add the BBQ sauce from the beginning because I didn’t want the sauce to burn or take on a different flavour because all I needed to do was heat it up at the end essentially to serve the meatballs with my side dishes. If you want to bake turkey meatballs instead of using the crock-pot you can do that as well, then transfer them and the BBQ sauce to the crock-pot but either way will work fine.

This recipe yields about 15-20 meatballs depending on how big you make them but with 1lb of turkey this would be more than enough to serve 3 adults with a nice garlic, ginger, lime, sesame fried rice and roasted fennel or Bok Choy like we did. We roasted the fennel and Bok Choy in the oven with a bit of olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Cover for 20 minutes then uncover to give it a nice golden colour. Roasted fennel becomes so sweet you can’t stop eating it. So if you aren’t a raw fennel fan, roast it and you might just find out you have a new vegetable on your menu plan this week.

Let’s get cooking!

What I like to do first is make the turkey meatball honey bbq sauce so it’s ready to go when I need it although you can add it to the crock-pot hot.

How To Make Home-made Honey BBQ Sauce?

Honey bbq sauce ingredients

  • 1 can tomato paste 60z
  • 1/2 honey
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups of minced onion
  • 5 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 5 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter


  • In a saucepan add in your butter to melt than put in the onions and simmer for 2 minutes stirring constantly.
  • Once the onions are softened add in your garlic and all the spices and stir. Always keep stirring this recipe.
  • Add in the Worcestershire sauce
  • Add in the brown sugar and honey
  • Add in your tomato paste and stir it around until you mix all the ingredients together and the paste turns brownish in colour.
  • Add in your water and apple cider vinegar and stir
  • Let simmer on the stove-top for about 30 minutes or until it reduces and thickens
  • Stir often
  • Let the BBQ sauce cool before using to let the flavours come together.

Ground turkey meatballs ingredients

  • 1lb ground turkey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup of breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon of fennel seed ground up
  • 1 teaspoon ground fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon of roasted garlic spice (bulk barn or Freshco)
  • 1 teaspoon Caribbean spice (bulk barn or Freshco)
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup minced black Moroccan olives
  • 2 large white onions
  • 1/4 cup of water

Making the meatballs

  • In a large bowl add your ground turkey, egg, breadcrumbs and mix around
  • Add in all of your spices and mix until combined
  • Add in your olives and gently fold in (try not to over-mix meatballs)
  • One by one scoop out enough to make smaller than golf ball size meatballs
  • Layer the bottom of a crock-pot with sliced white onions and a 1/4 cup water
  • Add the meatballs on top of the onions and water
  • Turn crockpot on for 8 hours on low, add BBQ sauce after 6 hours and stir the meatballs to make sure they are covered in sauce for 2 more hours on low.
  • Serve with your favourite side dishes

I hope you enjoy my turkey meatballs for the crockpot recipe and share some of your own variations for making your turkey meatballs. I’d like to know how you make yours and why you love them so much.

Do you prefer the turkey meatball, beef meatball, pork meatball, chicken meatball or a combination of meats?


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  1. livingrichcheaply says:

    My wife wanted to get a crock pot or was it a slow cooker…not sure I know the difference. Looks like a great recipe. What kind of veggies do you have there in the picture? It looks like bok choy?

  2. Crockpot meals are a real life-saver. I especially appreciate not having to turn on the oven because we don’t have air conditioning! I love roasted fennel. It really changes the taste when it’s cooked as I’m not a huge fan of it raw.

  3. This recipe looks so yummy! 🙂

  4. Thanks for sharing that yummy recipe. I would prefer chicken meatball and would love to try this coming weekend

  5. Looks delicious minus the turkey part….we don’t eat meat! I do love crockpot meals though!

  6. These look really good! I never use my crock pot and I really should!

  7. Rich Goyer says:

    Good stuff

  8. Thanks for sharing! I love crock pot meals!

  9. Christine Weadick says:

    Turkey meatballs are a favourite here!!! I usually add, the bread crumbs and the egg too but for spices I add garlic powder, onion powder, celery salt, a little soya sauce and then for the turkey I add a little ground sage. I have a sage plant in the garden right now so I might try fine chopping a few leaves of that later instead. This is the same basic recipe I use for ground beef meatballs, hamburgers, meatloaf and so on. You must make yours a little bigger than I do as I usually get a out 24 meatballs from a pound of turkey…. Sometimes I serve mine with home made cranberry sauce as I stock up on the berries in the fall and freeze them so I always have some to grab. The cranberry sauce is just the cranberries, maybe 1/2-2/3 cup sugar and about a half cup of water, heat stirring until the berry skins pop and it starts to thicken. Home made is way better than the stuff in cans plus it’s so quick and easy to make…..5-10 minutes or so, depending how long it takes you to pick over the berries for the cruddy ones. Served with some rice this is the meal here. Just don’t get between the boys and the meatballs at the table!!!!!!lol!!!

  10. Mary F Campbell says:

    Thanks for sharing Mr CBB!

  11. We use ground turkey a lot. I usually mix in some beef for texture/ fat but not always. Love the idea of the olives! I’m definitely going to try that! I find ground turkey as low as $1.99 a pound and its far healthier.

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