Easy Grape Jelly Meatballs Recipe
These juicy Grape Jelly Meatballs are the best appetizer recipe. Tender and juicy meatballs smothered in a sweet and spicy sauce and slow-cooked to perfection. The sauce has just three ingredients and you’ll love how easy it is.
Grape Jelly Meatballs are perfect for New Year’s parties or any gathering. If you are looking for a crowd-pleasing appetizer, these are always a hit, along with our Jalapeno Poppers or the Easy Cheese Ball.
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Grape Jelly Meatballs
These delicious grape jelly meatballs are loved by everyone. Meatballs tossed together with grape jelly, bbq sauce, and garlic chili sauce then slow cooked until tender, saucy and flavorful.
We love serving these during the holidays, game nights, or even for a simple dinner over fluffy white rice.
Ingredients for Grape Jelly Meatballs
With just 4 basic ingredients you can have this amazing appetizer thrown together and allow the crockpot to do the rest of the work.
- Meatballs – For this recipe we use frozen meatballs made of pork, beef, and chicken from the local grocery store. You can use any of your favorite frozen meatballs for this recipe.
- Grape Jelly – Any grape jelly will work, we prefer using Smucker’s grape jelly.
- Chili Sauce – You can also adjust the amount for the level of heat you prefer. Any chili sauce will work for this recipe, we love Huey Fong Chili Sauce (the same sauce we use in Shrimp Cocktail Sauce and Springroll Dipping Sauce).
- Barbecue Sauce – We love Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce for this recipe.
How to Make Grape Jelly Meatballs
This recipe is so easy to make. With just 5 minutes of prep time, you can have this appetizer ready to go in your crockpot.
- Into the slow cooker, add: frozen meatballs, jelly, bbq, and chili sauce to the slow cooker. Toss until combined. TIP: You can also mix the bbq, jelly and chili sauce in a separate bowl then pour over the meatballs.
- Cook on low for 3-4 hours, stirring halfway through cooking. Once the meatballs are cooked, turn the slow cooker to warm and keep warm until ready to serve.
- Garnish with parsley or chives if desired.
Other Cooking Methods
If you do not have a slow cooker, don’t worry, here are two other methods that you can use to make these meatballs.
- Stovetop Grape Jelly Meatballs – Add the meatballs, barbecue, grape jelly, and chili sauce in a Dutch oven or large pot and combine. Simmer over medium/low heat for 25-30 minutes or until the meatballs are warmed through, stirring occasionally to keep the sauce from burning.
- Oven-Baked Grape Jelly Meatballs – Add all the ingredients into a casserole dish or Dutch oven and mix to combine. Cover with lid or foil and bake at 325°F for 20-25 minutes or until the meatballs have cooked through. Note: Adjust the cooking time based on the size of your meatballs.
There are several different ways to enjoy these meatballs! Here are some of our favorite ways:
- Appetizer – They make for the ultimate appetizer, serve with toothpicks at your next gathering, or game day tailgating party!
- Side Dish– Serve these as a side dish for the holidays. The flavors in these meatballs really stand out and this recipe always gets compliments.
- Entree – Serve over cooked rice or with Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes or pasta as a main entree.
You can store the grape jelly meatballs in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
You can use any type of frozen meatballs that you like, Italian, Angus, and turkey meatballs work great for this recipe. The frozen Italian-style meatballs from Costco work great.
Yes, if you do not like spicy foods then you can leave out the chili sauce completely.
While the grape jelly is classic to this recipe, you can switch up the flavor of jelly you use for different flavors! You can also use strawberry, apple, apricot, mixed berry jam, or preserves.
Here’s a great food storage guide from the FDA – print this and tape it inside one of your kitchen cabinets to reference.
- To Freeze – Once cooled, add to a freezer-safe container and freeze for 2 to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
- To Reheat – Grape Jelly Meatballs reheat well. Just add them back to the slow cooker to reheat or you can also reheat in the oven, stovetop, or microwave until steamy hot and fully heated through.
More Party Appetizers
- Cowboy Caviar (Bean Salsa)
- Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Best Guacamole Recipe
- Crispy Baked Chicken Wings
- Bacon Wrapped Chicken
Grape Jelly Meatballs are a real treat. Everyone is always surprised when they find out what is in the sauce. It’s a keeper of a recipe.
Easy Grape Jelly Meatballs Recipe
These juicy Grape Jelly Meatballs are the best appetizer recipe! Tender and juicy meatballs smothered in a sweet and spicy sauce and slow-cooked to perfection. You can easily scale this recipe up, or scale down if using a smaller crockpot.
Add the frozen meatballs, grape jelly, barbecue sauce, and chili sauce into the base of the slow cooker. Mix until well combined.
Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours, stirring halfway through cooking. Keep covered and on the warm setting until ready to serve. Garnish with parsley or chives if desired.
NOTE: The chili sauce gives the meatballs a slight kick. If you want your meatballs on the sweeter side, you can omit the chili sauce completely.