I am in a relationship with my slow cooker.

Seriously… my Cook ‘n’ Carry 6-Quart Crock-Pot and I have seen it through thick and thin. From multiple moves to new relationships, from new puppies to pregnancy and a baby… my Crock-Pot has always been my side. Even to this day, it doesn’t steer me wrong. At the end of a long and stressful day wranglin’ the kiddos, I know I can always come home to a hot and delicious meal brewing in the kitchen.

This recipe for sweet vegan meatballs was a hit with my family… both adults and kids alike! Honestly, it took next to no prep work and was ready to eat in less than 3 hours, which is almost nothing in Crock-Pot time.

The hardest part of this recipe (other than waiting to devour it) is chopping your veggies at the beginning. That’s it! If you can handle dicing up an onion and a couple of bell peppers, then this dish is right up your alley.

I’m typically more of a “savory” vs. sweet person… but let me tell you, these vegan meatballs hit the spot! The “sweet” in this recipe can come from one of two places: either a sweetener of your choice (like maple syrup) or canned fruit (like mandarin oranges or pineapple). I’ve made this dish both ways, and they both turn out delicious. Use whatever you’ve got on hand… or try both!

We opt to use Trader Joe’s Meatless Meatballs in this recipe, but you can use any vegan (or non-vegan!) meatballs that you’d like in this recipe. My one recommendation, however, is to opt for frozen vs. fresh. I’ve only ever made this dish using frozen meatballs, and I’m not sure how freshly made ones would hold up in the Crock-Pot’s high heat setting.

Crock-Pot Sweet Vegan Meatballs

Total Time: 10 minutes prep, 2-3 hours cooking
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:

  • Cooking spray (I love Trader Joe’s Coconut Oil spray!)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, minced
  • 1 1/2 c. tomato sauce
  • 1 c. maple syrup OR 1 c. canned fruit with juice
  • 2 tbsp. flour (I used whole wheat)
  • 1/4 c. soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tsp. ground allspice (I use this Jamaican Allspice from The Spice Hunter)
  • 1/4 tsp. liquid smoke
  • 2 bags frozen vegan meatballs
  • Cooked white rice, for serving

Instructions:

  1. Place Crock-Pot on high setting and spray with cooking spray.
  2. While your Crock-Pot is pre-heating, add your olive oil to a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion and continue stirring until slightly cooked, about 6-7 minutes.
  3. Add bell peppers and jalapeno pepper. Let sit.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, maple syrup or fruit, soy sauce, tomato sauce, allspice, and liquid smoke. Stir until blended.
  5. Add your pepper mixture, liquid mixture, and frozen meatballs into the Crock-Pot.
  6. Cover and let cook on high for 2-3 hours. Sauce should be reduced and thick, with meatballs cooked all the way through.
  7. Serve over cooked rice.