Where has the time gone?

In my real life, I’m an elementary music teacher. I teach around 600 kids – ages PreK to Fifth Grade. I spend every weekday singing and dancing with kids.

And your girl isn’t getting any younger!

So my summers are sacred.

We usually take a family vacation during Easter break, so we don’t travel during the summer. I have spent this summer creating books through KDP (Amazon’s direct publishing service) and posting them on Amazon. LOTS of different composition notebooks and calendars and planners and prayer journals.

I have NOT done schoolwork or thought about school or planned or anything.

I’ve just enjoyed my summer.

I haven’t blogged at all, but I have been cooking like crazy. Mostly in the slow cooker because using the oven heats up the house and, Lord knows, we don’t need that!

My family LOVES Dr. Pepper. Mostly Diet Dr. Pepper because that’s how we roll.

So when I saw this recipe somewhere, I was instantly on board – although I did make a couple of small changes because I know my tribe and I know what they like.

If you like those “party meatballs,” or even my “Kicky Sticky Meatballs,” you are going to love these! Lots of those recipes use grape jelly for sweetness. These use regular, full-sugar Dr. Pepper mixed with barbecue sauce.

The result is a delicious meatball in a sauce that is smoky and sweet, but not overly gloopy and sweet. It really is delicious!

Slow Cooker Dr. Pepper Meatballs


  • 2 pounds of frozen meatballs (NOT Italian meatballs)
  • 18-ounce bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce
  • 4 cups of regular Dr. Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Liquid Smoke.
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • 1/2 cup of water


  • Spray the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray OR use a crock pot liner.
  • Pour in the frozen meatballs.
  • In a large bowl or pitcher, whisk together the barbecue sauce, Dr. Pepper, and Liquid Smoke. Pour over the meatballs, add the cover, and set the slow cooker on LOW.
  • DO NOT ADD the flour and water. That comes later.
  • Cook on LOW for 6 hours, stirring now and then, if it’s handy.
  • AFTER the six hour cook time, mix the flour and water thoroughly and pour into the slow cooker, stirring to combine completely.
  • Cook for another hour or so until sauce is thick.
  • Serve over mashed potatoes or rice.

Well Duh #1: Don’t go buy Liquid Smoke just for this recipe! If you have it, use it. If you don’t, don’t worry about it! It’s not a deal-breaker!

Well Duh #2: If you are making this on a work day, just cook it while you’re gone. It’s okay if that’s longer than six hours. When you get home, mix the slurry and pour it in to thicken while you make mashed potatoes or rice.

Well Duh #3: We had these over mashed potatoes, but they would be awesome over rice, too. Mashed potatoes are my love language. Seriously. Butter, cream cheese, heavy cream, salt and pepper…my mashed potatoes are serious business. And not for the faint of heart.

Well Duh #4: I mixed my flour and water slurry in a Mason jar. Just put it in there, screwed on the lid, and shook it until it was smooth and silky.

Well Duh #5: I added a sprinkle of chopped chives over the top of each serving.

Well Duh #6: I love to make extra when I cook so that I can freeze some for another day. That’s what I did with these. I used a 3-pound (family-size) bag of meatballs, 1 1/2 bottles of barbecue sauce, and a teaspoon of Liquid Smoke. My slurry was 2 tablespoons of flour and a cup of water. This was enough for Michael, Elizabeth, and me to have dinner, plus enough to freeze a large container for us and one for Christopher (he lives in his own place now!). I made enough mashed potatoes to fill the bottom of each of those containers before adding the meatballs and sauce.

Well Duh #7: You HAVE to use regular Dr. Pepper. Diet won’t work.

This was loved – seriously adored – by my tribe. I’m so glad I made this – and that I made enough to freeze for another day! I’m especially happy that I didn’t have to heat up the house to make this!

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