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Grape Jelly Meatballs

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close up overhead shot of Grape Jelly Meatballs in a crockpot
Made in the crockpot, these easy three-ingredient grape jelly meatballs are the perfect appetizer for any gathering!
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Table of Contents
  1. Grape Jelly Meatballs Ingredients
  2. How To Make This Grape Jelly Meatballs Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

With only three ingredients, these simple grape jelly meatballs have forever been a staple at parties and are the perfect balance between sweet and savory. Tender meatballs are smothered in barbecue and grape jelly sauce and simmered in the slow cooker to make this delicious and easy appetizer. 

Don’t miss our crockpot Swedish meatballs and our buffalo meatballs recipes for more saucy meatballs that are great for entertaining. 

overhead shot of Grape Jelly Meatballs in a crockpot

Grape Jelly Meatballs Ingredients

Grape Jelly Meatballs raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

  • 18 ounces BBQ sauce
  • 18 ounces grape jelly
  • 1 (32-ounce) bag of frozen meatballs

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

GRAPE JELLY: Any brand of sweet grape jelly works well in this recipe. Instead of grape jelly, you could also use a can of smooth cranberry jelly for a tangy flavor or pour in 16 ounces of diced pineapple for sweet and sour meatballs.

FROZEN MEATBALLS: I typically purchase home-style frozen cooked meatballs, but you can also make this easy recipe with Italian or another flavor you love. Turkey meatballs also make a good substitute or you could also use homemade meatballs and just make sure to fully cook them first.

BBQ SAUCE: Sweet Baby Ray’s will forever be my favorite barbecue sauce, but you can use any brand you love or make your own homemade. If you want an extra little kick, you can choose a spicy sauce or if you prefer something milder, you can go with that too. Some people swear by Heinz chili sauce for this great appetizer.

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How To Make This Grape Jelly Meatballs Recipe

PRO TIP:

I love using a crockpot liner to make clean-up easy. You can also spray the slow cooker dish with non-stick cooking spray before pouring in your ingredients.

STEP ONE: Mix the BBQ sauce and grape jelly in the slow cooker.

PRO TIP:

If you want to skip the crockpot for these easy grape jelly meatballs, you can add all the ingredients to a pan and simmer for 10-15 minutes over medium heat. Be sure to gently stir occasionally while the meatballs cook. 

Grape Jelly Meatballs process shot of bbq sauce and grape jelly being whisked together in a crockpot

STEP TWO: Add the frozen cooked meatballs and stir.

Grape Jelly Meatballs process shot of meatballs being added to the crockpot

STEP THREE: Cook on low heat for 4 to 5 hours or on high for 2 hours. You can leave these cocktail meatballs on the warm setting after they’re ready to serve so that they stay at the perfect temperature for guests to enjoy. 

PRO TIP:

The meatball sauce in this recipe is a slightly thinner sauce than some other recipes. Don’t worry if it doesn’t thicken up, it’s supposed to be this way.

Grape Jelly Meatballs process shot of meatballs being cooked in the crockpot

How To Serve

These crockpot meatballs are a classic party appetizer that makes an appearance at almost every gathering. Add our seven-layer dip and stuffed mushrooms for a trifecta of tasty treats.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: Store any leftovers of these slow cooker meatballs in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

IN THE FREEZER: You can also freeze leftovers for up to 2 months.

close up shot of a spoonful of Grape Jelly Meatballs

A crowd favorite at holiday parties and game day gatherings, with only three simple ingredients and a couple of minutes of prep time, you’ll love how easy these grape jelly meatballs are to make and the delicious flavor they have!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

If I double the recipe, do I double the cooking time as well?

For these slow cooker grape jelly meatballs, you don’t need to double the cook time Just make sure to give it a stir partway through cooking to make sure everything heats evenly.

How long can I store the leftovers in the fridge?

These crockpot grape jelly meatballs will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Can I make my own meatballs for this delicious recipe?

If you prefer to make your own meatballs, you certainly can. They will taste just as yummy as the premade ones.

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close up overhead shot of Grape Jelly Meatballs in a crockpot

Grape Jelly Meatballs

5 from 3 votes
Made in the crockpot, these easy three-ingredient grape jelly meatballs are the perfect appetizer for any gathering!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings 10

Ingredients
  

  • 18 ounces BBQ sauce
  • 18 ounces grape jelly
  • 32 ounces 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 to 5 hours or on high for 2 hours.

Notes

Note: I love using a crockpot liner to make clean-up easy. You can also spray the slow cooker dish with non-stick cooking spray before pouring in your ingredients.
 
Note: If you want to skip the crockpot for these easy grape jelly meatballs, you can add all the ingredients to a pan and simmer for 10-15 minutes over medium heat. Be sure to gently stir occasionally while the meatballs cook. 
 
Note: The meatball sauce in this recipe is a slightly thinner sauce than some other recipes. Don’t worry if it doesn’t thicken up, it’s supposed to be this way.

Nutrition

Sodium: 591mg | Calcium: 40mg | Vitamin C: 5mg | Vitamin A: 121IU | Sugar: 42g | Fiber: 1g | Potassium: 418mg | Cholesterol: 65mg | Calories: 468kcal | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Fat: 20g | Protein: 16g | Carbohydrates: 56g | Iron: 1mg
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  1. Melissa says

    If I double the recipe do I double the cooking time as well? I know some recipes yes and others no. Thank you in advance.

    • Layne Kangas says

      I don’t think you’ll have to double the cooking time, as long as you’re using the pre-cooked, frozen meatballs. You’ll just need to make sure to stir while cooking so everything is even! Enjoy 🙂

  2. Miranda says

    5 stars
    I love these meatballs, the only thing was I found them kinda runny. How can I thicken up the sauce? Should I?

    Thanks!

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