These Slow Cooker Crockpot Cocktail Sausage AKA Little Smokies bring the savory sensation of perfectly seasoned, slow-cooked goodness to your next meal or gathering. This easy-to-follow recipe transforms ordinary sausages into bite-sized delights that burst with flavor. Whether you’re planning a game day feast or a party appetizer that practically disappears as soon as it hits the table, these are sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
This post contains affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure here.
What Are Little Smokies and Cocktail Sausages
Cocktail sausages, also known as cocktail wieners, Little Smokies, or mini sausages, are small, bite-sized sausages that are typically served as appetizers or snacks. These sausages are often used in a variety of party and finger food settings. They can be made from different types of meat, including pork, beef, chicken, or a combination of meats, and they come in various flavors and styles.
The sausages are frequently served with dipping sauces, such as barbecue sauce, mustard, or sweet and sour sauce.
What Type of Sauce to Use
I love to make these with BBQ sauce, typically a local Kansas City BBQ Sauce like Gates. Always use your favorite and preferred brand. Here are some more sauce options:
- BBQ Sauce: Barbecue sauce is one of the most classic and widely used options. You can choose from a variety of barbecue sauce flavors, such as sweet, spicy, or smoky, to suit your taste.
- Sweet and Sour Sauce: Sweet and sour sauce provides a tangy and slightly sweet flavor that pairs well with the savory smokies.
- Grape Jelly and Chili Sauce: This is a popular combination that creates a sweet and slightly spicy glaze. Mix equal parts grape jelly and chili sauce, then heat until combined.
- Honey Mustard Sauce: Honey mustard adds a sweet and tangy element to the little smokies.
- Buffalo Sauce: If you enjoy some heat, toss them in buffalo sauce for a spicy kick. You can adjust the level of spiciness to your liking.
- Teriyaki Sauce: Teriyaki sauce offers a savory-sweet flavor with a hint of soy sauce.
- Cranberry Sauce: Cranberry sauce, particularly during the holiday season, can add a sweet and fruity touch.
How to Keep Them Warm
The biggest perk of making these in the Crockpot is it also serves as a great way to keep them warm for serving. Set the slow cooker to the “warm” setting. This will keep them at a safe serving temperature without overcooking. Remember to stir occasionally to prevent sticking and ensure even heating.
How to Make Slow Cooker Crockpot Cocktail Sausage Little Smokies
Detailed measurements and full instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Add cocktail sausages, BBQ sauce, brown sugar or sweetener, and spices to a slow cooker.
- Slow cook until the sauce is thick.
How to Serve Them
- Classic Toothpick Appetizer: Spear each little smokie with a toothpick, allowing guests to easily pick them up for a convenient and classic appetizer.
- Pigs in a Blanket: Wrap each little smokie in a triangle of crescent roll dough and bake until golden brown. This classic combination is always a hit.
- Mini Slider Sandwiches: Serve little smokies on mini slider buns, along with your choice of condiments like mustard, ketchup, pickles, and onions. Add cheese for extra flavor.
- Skewers: Thread them onto wooden skewers with pieces of bell pepper, pineapple chunks, or other colorful vegetables or fruits for a tasty and eye-catching presentation.
How to Make Them on the Stovetop
- Add all of the ingredients to a skillet at medium heat. Stir to combine the ingredients.
- Adjust the heat to low and cover the pot with a lid.
- Simmer for 20 minutes or however long it takes for the dish to warm and the sauce to thicken.
Can You Make Them Ahead of Time/How to Store
You can cook these ahead of time and store them tightly covered and sealed in the fridge for 3-4 days.
How to Reheat
You can reheat them in a slow cooker on the “warm” setting just before serving. To use the stove, reheat the on the stovetop over low heat. Stir occasionally to ensure even heating.
They can be frozen for up to 2-3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight.
More Appetizer Recipes
Slow Cooker Crockpot Cocktail Sausage Little Smokies
- Add all of the ingredients to a slow cooker or Crockpot (mine is 7quart) and stir.
- Cover the pot with the lid. Slow cook for 2-3 hours on Low or 1 hour on High until warm and the sauce has thickened.