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Slow cooker meatballs get a sweet-and-sour kick from tangy limeade

There’s no ice allowed in this limeade. This limeade is served hot — over meatballs, that is.

Limeade takes on a whole new life in this recipe and is made into a sauce along with orange marmalade that adds even more citrus flavor to the meatballs.

Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

To give the sauce an Asian flair, soy sauce and fresh ginger are added, which are a wonderful complement to the citrus.

Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Since the meatballs are made with a ground pork-and-beef blend, they’re much lighter overall. You can eat these without the rice, but I wouldn’t recommend it — the sauce topping the meatballs drizzles into the rice and lets you eat up every last drop.

Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Slow cooker limeade meatballs recipe

Leftover meatballs freeze nicely in a ziptop bag.

Serves 3

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 2 hours 20 minutes | Total time: 2 hours 35 minutes


  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 drizzles olive oil
  • 5 limes, juiced
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 3 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 teaspoons water
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, for garnish


  1. To a large bowl, add the ground pork, ground beef, onion, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, pepper, salt and breadcrumbs. With your hands, mix together, and roll into meatballs (a size that is a bit smaller than a golf ball).
  2. Heat a large skillet on medium heat, and add the olive oil.
  3. Add the meatballs, and turn them as they start to brown. Continue to cook and turn the meatballs until they are browned on all sides. Set aside.
  4. To the slow cooker bowl, add the lime juice, sugar and water. Whisk together.
  5. To the lime mixture, add the marmalade, soy sauce and ginger. Whisk together.
  6. Add the meatballs, and gently stir them into the limeade sauce.
  7. Cover the slow cooker with the lid, and set the cooker to cook on low for 2 hours.
  8. Just before serving, heat a small pan on medium heat, and ladle the juice from the slow cooker into it.
  9. To a small bowl, add the cornstarch and water. Stir together until the cornstarch is dissolved.
  10. To the pan with the juice from the slow cooker, slowly whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Stir until the sauce starts to thicken. If the sauce is too thin, then to a small bowl, add more cornstarch and water. Whisk together, then slowly add to the sauce.
  11. Serve the meatballs over rice, and top with the sauce and cilantro.

More meatball recipes

Teriyaki mango and apple meatballs
Cheese-stuffed meatballs
Spicy garlic baked meatballs

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