Marmalade Meatballs

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 5 minutes

Marmalade Meatballs are a zesty twist on a classic crockpot appetizer, with Catalina dressing, sweet orange marmalade and red pepper flakes.

On Game Days, everyone loves easy Appetizer Recipes that you can cook in a Crockpot, like Cocktail Meatballs and Buffalo Chicken Dip. This new meatball recipe is so good, it might not last until half time!

Marmalade Meatballs in sauce in crock pot


Crockpot Meatballs have to be one of the easiest recipes to ever make for the holidays. You just throw them in your slow cooker with a marinade then set and forget until it’s time to party.

These meatballs are perfect appetizers for potlucks, Super Bowl parties, or holiday celebrations like Christmas and New Years’ Eve. It doesn’t take much effort to serve them, just bring out your crockpot and keep some toothpicks nearby.

What is so great about simple, easy recipes like Marmalade Meatballs is that you can alter the recipe if you don’t have all the ingredients on hand that you need.

If you don’t have orange marmalade on hand, or can’t find it at the store, you can substitute apricot jelly. Catalina salad dressing is at most major grocery chains, but you can use French dressing or ketchup instead.

Marmalade Meatballs Collage

This recipe does have red pepper flakes in it, but it isn’t overly spicy. If you prefer a milder taste you can just leave them out or use chili powder.

While this yummy meatball recipe is great for appetizers, these would make a great Game Day lunch on hoagie roll with toppings like cabbage and green onions. 

Turn these into a homemade take-out inspired dish and serve your sweet and sour Marmalade Meatballs with Chow Mein or Fried Rice. They make a perfect (and easy!) substitute for Orange Chicken.



  • In a slow cooker, combine the salad dressing, marmalade, Worcestershire sauce and pepper flakes. 
  • Stir in meatballs. 
  • Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until heated through.
Marmalade Meatballs in serving bowl


  • Meatballs: Instead of frozen meatballs, use this Homemade Meatball recipe. Fully cook before adding to your slow cooker. Turkey or chicken meatballs can be substituted as well.
  • Spicy: This recipe has a bit of kick from the red pepper flakes but you can make it as spicy as you like by adding in your favorite hot pepper sauce.
  • Fruit: Add some fruity, holiday flavor of this dish by adding frozen cranberries and orange zest. Go more tropical by adding pineapple chunks and swapping in Apricot jam for the orange marmalade.
  • Soy Sauce: If you don’t have Worcestershire sauce on hand, or you aren’t a fan of its taste, swap in some soy sauce.
Marmalade Meatballs in sauce in crock pot with spoon


Can I make these ahead of time?

You can make these ahead of time by mixing the sauce ingredients and storing sealed in the fridge for up to a week. Thaw the meatballs before you are ready to cook.

Can I cook these quicker on high?

Yes, you can cook these in your slow cooker set on the high setting for a cook time of 1-2 hours, or until warmed through.

Can I double the recipe?

As long as you have a 6 quart or larger crockpot, you can double this recipe. You want enough room to stir your meatballs, plus a smaller crockpot may take longer to get everything warm.



  • Serve: Keep warm in crockpot for up to 4 hours, or at room temperature for 2 hours.
  • Store: These marmalade meatballs will be good for up to 4 days in the fridge in a sealed container.
  • Freeze: Freeze your leftover meatballs for up to 1 month. Reheat on stovetop to reach safe internal temperature.
Marmalade Meatballs in serving bowl

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Marmalade Meatballs

Marmalade Meatballs are a zesty twist on a classic crockpot appetizer, with Catalina dressing, sweet orange marmalade and red pepper flakes.
Yield 10
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 5 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 16 ounces Catalina salad dressing
  • 1 cup  orange marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons  Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 package frozen fully cooked meatballs , thawed, 32 ounces


  • In a slow cooker, combine the salad dressing, marmalade, Worcestershire sauce and pepper flakes.
  • Stir in meatballs.
  • Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until heated through.


Calories: 307kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 376mg | Potassium: 239mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 44IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg
Marmalade Meatballs Collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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