This easy Keto Lil Smokies Recipe uses the crock pot for a no-fuss appetizer. Under 4 carbs for this classic potluck and party favorite!
This delicious recipe for Keto Lil Smokies is just like that classic version at every American potluck party — A bit smoky, a bit sweet, and covered in tangy barbecue sauce. This version uses a golden monk fruit in place of brown sugar for a low-carb app that tastes just like the original.
These can be frozen before or after cooking, so you can easily prepare yourself for the parties or company coming up in the next couple of months. This dump-and-go appetizer will be the easiest, most convenient recipe in your arsenal this season!
Little Smokies Ingredients
Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll need. For exact measurements and directions, scroll down to the printable recipe card below.
- Lit’l Smokies – I used Hillshire Farm pork, but other brands work, too. They carry pork, beef, and turkey. Check the nutrition label — Some have higher carbs, but Hillshire Farm pork has just 2 carbs.
- Sugar-Free Hickory Barbecue Sauce – I used G Hughes hickory sauce, but you can use whatever low-carb barbecue sauce you like best. Adding 1/2-1 teaspoon of liquid smoke can help give more of that hickory flavor.
- Golden Monk Fruit – I used the Lakanto brand, but you can use another 1:1 brown sugar replacement if you prefer something else. Granular sugar replacements also work just fine, but you don’t get quite the depth of flavor.
- Worcestershire Sauce – This adds a great depth of flavor and helps balance out the sweetness of the recipe. If you don’t have this, replace it with your favorite steak marinade.
- Liquid Smoke (optional) – If you love that smoke flavor, add a bit of liquid smoke. I’d start with 1/2 teaspoon, then increase in small amounts until it reaches your preferred taste.
How to Make Keto Lil Smokies
This easy keto appetizer recipe is so simple, you’ll have it memorized after just making it once! Here’s a step-by-step look at this easy recipe.
Make the sauce
First, add the barbecue sauce, sweetener, and Worcestershire sauce to the slow cooker. Stir these ingredients to form a well-combined sauce, then pour in both (drained) packages of little smokies. Mix all of this together, making sure every single piece is coated in sauce. This helps ensure they will soak up flavor and not dry out during cooking.
Now that everything is covered in the slow cooker, cook on low for 1-2 hours. This cooking time will depend on the size and power of your slow cooker as well as the temperature of the ingredients when you started cooking. If you allow all ingredients to reach room temperature, your appetizer will be ready quicker!
It’s safest to check at the 45 minute mark, then I’d check and stir every 15 minutes after that until they are warmed throughout. Stir at least once during the cooking to ensure even cooking.
What to Serve with Lil Smokies
These Lil Smokies can be served hot right out of the slow cooker or even cold from a lunch box. On an appetizer table, consider serving these with Keto Jalapeno Poppers, Air Fryer Mushrooms, or 5-Ingredient Keto Sausage Balls for a low-carb table full of flavor.
For game day, Keto Pretzel Bites with Cheese Sauce, Easy Keto Popcorn Shrimp, and Keto Chicken Wings would be perfect with these Lil Smokies! Add some great dip like Smoked Queso, Blue Cheese Buffalo Chicken Dip, or Beer Cheese Dip.
How to Store Little Smokies
Completely cooled Little Smokies can be stored in an airtight container up to 4 days in the fridge. If you’re sitting this out for a party, make sure it’s in a slow cooker to stay warm. Do not let it sit out more than 2 hours if it is not heated.
Freezing Little Smokies
Little Smokies can be frozen, and it’s very easy! Allow your cooked sausages to cool completely before storing — Warm food lowers the temperature of the freezer, and the condensation from warm food can lead to freezer burn.
Pour your Keto Little Smokies into a freezer bag, closing and sucking out any remaining air in the bag. Double bag if your freezer struggles with freezer burn. If possible, lay the bag flat in the freezer for 1 day, then it can be leaned up vertically to save you freezer space. These are best eaten within 2 months as the freeze can alter the texture.
Raw little smokies can be frozen, too! For a super easy meal prep appetizer, just pour your sauce ingredients in a freezer bag and mix or shake until all the ingredients are well combined. Add your raw sausages, close, and freeze like the cooked sausages above. When frozen raw, this can keep in the fridge 6-12 months.
Reheating Lil Smokies
Lil Smokies can be reheated using a slow cooker, skillet, microwave, or oven.
- Slow Cooker – Just pour back into the slow cooker, then turn on low to reheat. You can reheat on high, just make sure you’re nearby to stir and check it often.
- Skillet – On medium low, pour the sauce and Lil Smokies into the skillet. Cover with a lid and reheat 5-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Microwave – Add 1-2 servings to a microwave safe bowl and heat in 30-second bursts, stirring between cooking times. Cover with a paper towel as the sausages can burst and pop.
- Oven – Preheat to 350 degrees F, and pour your leftover Lil Smokies into a baking dish. Cover with foil or a lid, and reheat 10-20 minutes. Stir occasionally. If the sauce looks too thick, thin it out with a bit of water or broth.
FAQ’S ABOUT LITTLE SMOKIES
No, this recipe works great with little smokies made of other meats, too. Beef, turkey, and other options will use the same cooking instructions.
I used a small 2 quart slow cooker, and it was the perfect size. If you are making a double batch, you will want a larger slow cooker. If you are bringing this to a party or potluck, try finding a slow cooker with the “warm” function so you aren’t burning them on low for hours. Do not make a single batch in a large crock pot — Manufacturers recommend filling your cooker at least 1/2 full for proper cooking.
You can still enjoy this appetizer without a slow cooker! In a medium sized pot, combine your ingredients and cover with a lid. On medium low heat, cook 30 minutes to an hour. Make sure to stir every 10 minutes or so to make sure the sauce isn’t burning.
If you like this recipe for lil smokies, try these:
- BBQ Cheddar Meatballs – Can be cooked in the oven or air fryer and is PERFECT for a game day food or keto appetizer!
- Air Fryer Cauliflower – Crispy, bursting with buffalo sauce flavor, and ready super quick!
- Keto Popcorn Shrimp – Tender on the inside, crunchy on the outside. Low carb with a smoky flavor.
- Cheesy Crab and Bacon Dip – Creamy, cheesy, salty, and perfect with veggies or keto chips!
- Keto Mozzarella Sticks – WAY better than the freezer aisle option! Pork rind crumbs give these the absolute best texture!
- 2 packages (14 ounce) little smokies (I used Hillshire Farms)
- 1 1/2 cup sugar-free Hickory BBQ sauce (I used G Hughes brand)
- 1/2 cup golden monk fruit*
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- Combine BBQ sauce, monk fruit, and Worcestershire sauce to the slow cooker, then mix.
- Add little smokies to the slow cooker and stir to coat.
- Cook for 1-2 hours, stirring once or twice for even heating.
I used Hillshire Farm pork lit'l smokies and G Hughes hickory BBQ sauce because those were the lowest carb options in my store. These were used in calculating the nutrition values below.
If you don't have monk fruit, you can use another brown sugar replacement (like Swerve Brown Sugar), but you might have more aftertaste.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 14 Serving Size: about 7 sausages
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 107Total Fat: 15.9gCholesterol: 37.4mgSodium: 671.4mgCarbohydrates: 3.7gNet Carbohydrates: 3.7gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 6.5g