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.

A crockpot full of grape jelly meatballs topped with chopped greens and a ladle.

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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.

A ladle full of grape jelly meatballs topped with chopped greens.

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.
A crockpot with frozen meatballs, jam, barbecue, and chili sauce ready to be baked.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
A toothpick with two meatballs being held.

To Serve

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.
A white plate loaded with meatballs topped with chopped greens.

Common Questions

How to store grape jelly meatballs?

You can store the grape jelly meatballs in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Can I use fresh meatballs?

Yes, you can use Homemade Meatballs or even our Turkey Meatballs. You’ll want to be sure to cook the meatballs first.

What kind of meatballs do I use?

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.

Can I omit the chili sauce?

Yes, if you do not like spicy foods then you can leave out the chili sauce completely.

What other jelly can I use?

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.

Make-Ahead

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.
Grape jelly meatballs in a slow cooker topped with fresh chopped greens with a ladle.

More Party Appetizers

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.

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Easy Grape Jelly Meatballs Recipe

5 from 430 votes
Author: Valentina Ablaev
Grape jelly Meatballs in slow cooker with serving spoon
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.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 12 servings as an appetizer

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

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.

Nutrition Per Serving

342kcal Calories35g Carbs13g Protein16g Fat6g Saturated Fat1g Polyunsaturated Fat7g Monounsaturated Fat54mg Cholesterol558mg Sodium322mg Potassium1g Fiber26g Sugar85IU Vitamin A3mg Vitamin C28mg Calcium1mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Easy Grape Jelly Meatballs Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
342
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
16
g
25
%
Saturated Fat
 
6
g
38
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
7
g
Cholesterol
 
54
mg
18
%
Sodium
 
558
mg
24
%
Potassium
 
322
mg
9
%
Carbohydrates
 
35
g
12
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
26
g
29
%
Protein
 
13
g
26
%
Vitamin A
 
85
IU
2
%
Vitamin C
 
3
mg
4
%
Calcium
 
28
mg
3
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: grape jelly meatballs
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $$
Calories: 342

Valentina Ablaev

I am Valentina, the creator behind the food blog Valentina’s Corner where I share our family’s favorite recipes. When I am not in the kitchen, I enjoy spending quality time with my husband and 5 children. We invite you to join us on our blogging journey!

Read more posts by Valentina

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Elise
    April 27, 2024

    We served this recipe today at our first grandchild’s baby reveal and they were a big hit!! Will be adding to the entertainment menu as a must have. Thanks for the recipe 👍🏽.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      April 27, 2024

      That’s wonderful, Elise!

      Reply

  • Danny
    March 23, 2024

    Wow these meatballs were outstanding!!! I was a bit concerned about the grape jelly being too sweet but no worries the flavors balanced out perfectly. Do not skip the Asian chili garlic sauce because it really takes it over the top!!!

    Reply

  • Chris B KC
    February 11, 2024

    Made these with plant based meatballs so simple and delish! I used three bags of Gardein meatballs, Sweet Baby Ray’s sugar free bbq sauce and Sambal Olek chili paste will definitely be making these again.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 11, 2024

      Nice to know that you enoyed it and that you were able to make it work using the substitutions that you used. Thanks a lot for sharing!

      Reply

  • L
    February 10, 2024

    If I ever come across a recipe like this again -.- my mil calls me and says she’s making these w frozen meatballs and grape jelly and I laugh… we don’t cook like that in this household

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 10, 2024

      Thank you for sharing that with me L, we all have our preferred cooking methods, perhaps you have a favorite cooking technique for this dish?

      Reply

  • Trisha
    February 9, 2024

    Hi! I can’t wait to make this recipe for Super Bowl party but I made a mistake and bought frozen raw meatballs instead of fully cooked can I still make these with your recipe and what’s the steps to do that?
    Thank you

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 10, 2024

      Hi Trisha! I would prepare the meatballs according to the package instructions then continue on with the recipe. I have made this with homemade cooked meatballs too.

      Reply

  • Frannie in The True North
    December 26, 2023

    I’m going to make the meatballs myself. How many pounds of ground beef do I need? Thanks so much, all the best for a healthy, successful New Year.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 26, 2023

      Hi Frannie! In the “common questions” section above, I linked my homemade meatball recipes. You can reference one of those recipes for the amount of ground meat used. I hope you love the recipe!

      Reply

  • Charlotte
    December 2, 2023

    These are so delicious! I’d like to make them for a party, but would need to double it. Do you think that would work? If so, how long would they need to cook? TIA!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 2, 2023

      Hi Charlotte, doubling this recipe will work, you may need to adjust the time slightly to ensure everything is cooked through.

      Reply

  • Marilyn
    December 1, 2023

    The recipe and the reviews say nothing about the size crockpot to use. I have several. What size?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 1, 2023

      Hi Marilyn. If you click on “slow cooker” in red font in the recipe card, it will show the one suggested for the recipe. It was an 8qt.

      Reply

  • HN
    October 5, 2023

    What is everyone using for chili garlic sauce? Can’t find it anywhere. What about adding sirracha and garlic ? I have a bottle of sirracha from before the shortage ….?

    Reply

    • Lisa B.
      November 14, 2023

      I used plain chili sauce because I did not find any with garlic and so I added some minced garlic. I’m in the process of cooking these, so will see how they turn out.

      Reply

      • Barbara
        November 18, 2023

        My recipe has always been 2 jars chili sauce and one jar grape jelly. I use 2 bags of (Walmart brand) small Italian meatballs. So yummy!! I’ve also did another version by changing out grape jelly and using a can of jellied cranberry sauce!

        Reply

  • Cecilia
    September 2, 2023

    I love this recipe.
    I changed it up a little by adding I/2 jar of orange marmalade to this recipe. It’s always a hit.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      September 2, 2023

      That sounds wonderful!

      Reply

  • Angie
    July 18, 2023

    Can’t wait to try this recipe. Are you using bite size meatballs?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      July 18, 2023

      Hi Angie, these are pretty standard, bite-sized yes. I like the size of the meatballs at Costco in the freezer section if you are looking to use store-bought.

      Reply

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