meatballs in the crockpot
All you need are 3 simple ingredients and you are about to have your new favorite appetizer recipe!
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Table of Contents
  1. Meatball Recipe with Grape Jelly
  2. Why we love these Easy Meatballs with Jelly
  3. Grape Jelly Meatballs Ingredients
  4. How to Make Grape Jelly Meatballs
  5. Other ways to cook this Grape Jelly Meatball Recipe
  6. Meatballs with Jelly Pro Tip!
  7. How to serve Grape Jelly Meatballs
  8. How to store Meatballs with Jelly
  9. Meatballs with Grape Jelly FAQs
  10. More Easy Appetizer Recipes
  11. Grape Jelly Meatballs Recipe

These Grape Jelly Meatballs made in the slow cooker are a quick and easy appetizer that will be perfect for your holiday party or the next game day gathering!

All you need are 3 simple ingredients including grape jelly, BBQ sauce, and frozen meatballs, and you are about to have your new favorite appetizer recipe!

grape jelly meatball hero image

Meatball Recipe with Grape Jelly

These crockpot grape jelly meatballs are loved by everyone! They are probably one of the easiest appetizer recipes I have ever made.

All you need are some frozen meatballs, a bottle of barbecue sauce, and some grape jelly. Then you toss everything in the slow cooker and let the crockpot do the rest of the work.

I know it sounds weird, but the combination of the jelly and BBQ sauce just works. The frozen meatballs become super tender and full of a sweet and tangy flavor.

They are the perfect make-ahead appetizer – great when feeding a crowd.

These seriously could not be any easier to make! They only call for 3 recipes and there are 3 steps to making them. The final product is a juicy and tasty meatball.

More Easy Appetizers

Why we love these Easy Meatballs with Jelly

  • Only need 3 ingredients
  • Easy set-it-and-forget-it crockpot recipe
  • Great for game day, potlucks, tailgating, or party appetizers
  • Uses frozen meatballs, so zero prep work is necessary, just dump and cook.

Grape Jelly Meatballs Ingredients

  • 18 ounces BBQ sauce – Sweet Baby Rays is our personal favorite, but any type of barbeque sauce will work.
  • 18 ounces grape jelly – Any variety! 
  • 32-ounce bag of frozen meatballs – I use the homestyle version of frozen meatballs, but Italian meatballs will work as well. Just make sure that they are all fully cooked meatballs. You can also use homemade meatballs, but again, they should be fully cooked.

*Note: you might want to pick up some toothpicks for serving.

grape jelly meatball ingredients
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How to Make Grape Jelly Meatballs

The steps to making your slow cooker meatballs are just as easy as the ingredients list!

Once again, there are just 3 steps. Are you seeing a theme here? These are SO easy to make! Plus, you can put them in the slow cooker and leave them to cook while you do other things!

  1. Mix BBQ sauce and grape jelly in the slow cooker.
  2. Add the frozen meatballs and stir. Make sure that the meatballs are covered in sauce.
  3. Cook on low for 4-5 hours or on high for 2 hours.
  4. Serve with toothpicks for easy munching!

Other ways to cook this Grape Jelly Meatball Recipe

Don’t have a crockpot, no worries, you can make this recipe on the stovetop or in the oven as well!

Stovetop Grape Jelly Meatballs: Just add all the ingredients to a pan and simmer for 20-25 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Be sure to gently stir occasionally while the meatballs cook to keep from burning.

Oven-Baked Grape Jelly Meatballs – Mix all the ingredients into an oven-safe dish and cover with tin foil. Bake at 325°F for 20-25 minutes or until the meatballs have cooked through.

grape jelly meatball in a spoon

Meatballs with Jelly Pro Tip!

Although these meatballs are SUPER easy to make, there are still a few pointers to make sure that they turn out just right.

  • Make sure not to overcook them! I love that these can be made in the slow cooker so you can leave them to cook while you do something else. But, you do have to keep an eye on them! If you cook them on high for too long they will burn and the sauce will harden up and stick to the sides of your slow cooker.
  • Consider using a slow cooker liner when making these for super easy cleanup!
  • If you’ll be serving a larger crowd and you have a large slow cooker, you can definitely double this batch. Just make sure that you are always using the same proportions of BBQ sauce and grape jelly to get the correct flavor in your sauce!
  • If you are a fan of spicy foods, you can add chili flakes or chili garlic sauce to the mix to make some hot grape jelly meatballs! Spice fans will go crazy for this variation!
grape jelly meatball in a bowl

How to serve Grape Jelly Meatballs

  • Appetizer – Serve these meatballs as an appetizer with toothpicks! You can serve them in a big bowl, or keep it easy and serve straight from the slow cooker!
  • Side Dish: These meatballs make a great side dish for a buffet dinner or potluck dinner.
  • Dinner: Serve the meatballs on top of white rice, mashed potatoes or noodles for an easy make-ahead dinner.

How to store Meatballs with Jelly

Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Meatballs with Grape Jelly FAQs

How to Store Meatballs

Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Can I use homemade or fresh meatballs?

Yes, you can use fresh meatballs, but you will want to make sure the meatballs are cooked before adding them to the slow cooker.

What can you substitute for grape jelly in meatballs?

You can use many different flavors of jelly. Some other flavors are strawberry, apricot, and apple.

Can these grape jelly meatballs be frozen

Yes, these meatballs can be frozen for 2-3 months. Store in an airtight container in the freezer. Make sure the meatballs are completely cooled before freezing.
To Reheat Frozen Meatballs: Reheat in the microwave or on the stove top until warm throughout.

Where did grape jelly meatballs come from?

Grape Jelly Meatballs made their first appearance in Marian Burros and Lois Levine’s 1967 “Elegant But Easy Cookbook” features “Chafing Dish Meatballs.”

More Easy Appetizer Recipes

5 from 9 votes
meatballs in the crockpot

Grape Jelly Meatballs

Serves — 12
All you need are 3 simple ingredients and you are about to have your new favorite appetizer recipe!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 10 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 18 ounces BBQ sauce
  • 18 ounces grape jelly
  • 32 ounce bag of frozen meatballs

Instructions
 

  • Mix the BBQ sauce and grape jelly in the slow cooker.
  • Add the frozen meatballs and stir.
  • Cook on low for 4-5 hours or on high for 2 hours.

Jenn’s Notes

No Crock Pot? No Problem!
You can make this recipe on the stove top as well! Just add all the ingredients to a pan and simmer for 10-15 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Be sure to gently stir occasionally while the meatballs cook.

Video

Nutrition Info

Calories: 390kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 493mg | Potassium: 348mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 101IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg
Jennifer Fishkind

About Jenn

Jenn is a mom to three beautiful boys, wife to an amazing husband, social influencer and blogger. I love all things easy recipes, easy crafts, all things hacks, traveling EVERYWHERE and feeding my Pinterest addiction!

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Comments

  1. I definitely will try your great sounding meat ball recipe.

    We really enjoy your recipes.

    I am so happy and appreciative with your fantastic recipes.

    Thanks so much!

    Have a Happy, Healthy and Blessed New Year!

  2. Just curious about the type of meatballs everyone uses. Are the homestyle or Italian ones best?
    I’ve made these meatballs with chili sauce. I also add some red pepper flakes and a bit of granulated garlic (both to taste.)
    Always a favorite!!

    1. I have used both! I love the Trader Joe’s frozen meatballs that I believe are homestyle and I have used the Costco brand Italian!

  3. 5 stars
    I have made these for years! I use Costco’s meatballs & instead of BBQ sauce, I use Heinz Chili sauce. I receive lots of compliments and requests to make more. Yum!

  4. I used to make these for years. Except instead of meatballs, I used Boar’s Head cocktail weenies. My go to bbq sauce was Kraft Hickory Smoked.