Slow Cooker Meatballs in Chipotle Sauce

Serve these meatballs with some of the sauce over cooked rice. Top with guacamole and sour cream, if desired, or serve along with an avocado salad.

Serves: 6Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 4 hoursDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 6


  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 tsp. garlic powder, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder, divided
  • 1⁄4 tsp. dried Mexican oregano
  • 2 canned chipotle chili peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1⁄2 tsp. salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 1⁄2 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 1⁄2 lbs. ground pork
  • 1 large egg plus 1 small white onion, peeled and diced
  • 10 soda crackers, crumbled


  • Add vegetable oil and sliced onions to a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker; stir to coat the onions in the oil. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes or until onions are transparent. Stir in 1 1⁄2 teaspoons garlic powder, 1 tablespoon chili powder, and oregano. Cover and cook on high for 15 minutes. Stir in chipotles in adobo sauce, tomatoes, broth, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook on high while you prepare the meatballs.
  • Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • Add ground beef, ground pork, egg, diced onion, remaining 1 tablespoon chili powder, remaining 1 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder, and crumbled crackers to a large bowl; use hands to mix. Form into eighteen meatballs. Place on a baking sheet; bake for 10 minutes or until browned on the outside but still rare on the inside.
  • Use an immersion blender to purée the sauce in the slow cooker. Add the browned meatballs to the sauce. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours.