These 3 ingredient Grape Jelly Meatballs are the perfect appetizer for any party or game day celebration. The unique combination of grape jelly and chili sauce make an amazingly sweet and tangy sauce for the meatballs and even easier in the crockpot!
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Grape Jelly Meatballs
This meatball recipe is SO EASY! You might be thinking that this combination of ingredients seems weird. Believe me it does sound strange but it makes the most amazing party food!
These slow cooker meatballs are an easy classic recipe loved by everyone, perfect for any holiday party from Thanksgiving, Christmas, to New Year’s Eve.
Don’t for get all the game day celebrations that you have between August all the way to Super Bowl Sunday.
I love a one pot appetizer with minimal prep work. The slow cooker serves as a serving dish and with a crock pot liner, easy clean up too!
Why you will love this recipe:
- just 3 ingredients!
- sweet, spicy, sour, and tangy flavors
- less than 5 minutes of prep
- everyone’s favorite appetizer
- guaranteed no leftovers because they will be gone in no time!
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Frozen Meatballs – I like to make my own homemade meatballs for this appetizer.
I make an extra large batch a few times a year and keep them in 2 pound packages in the freezer. You can also use turkey or chicken meatballs.
Grape Jelly – I know it sounds strange but use the plain grape jelly with no seeds or fruit pieces in it.
Chili Sauce – I use Heinz Chili Sauce. This is usually found between the ketchup and BBQ sauce in the grocery store. I promise it’s there.
In my store they have it on the top shelf but don’t be afraid to ask someone. If your grocer has a generic brand available you can use that.
How to make Grape Jelly Chili Sauce Meatballs
First: In a medium sized bowl, combine the grape jelly and chili sauce. Stir to combine.
Second: Place meatballs in the crock pot. (Use a slow cooker liner for easier cleanup)
Third: Pour sauce over the meatballs and stir to coat.
Fourth: Place the lid on the slow cooker. Cook on high for 1.5 hours or on low for 3 hours. Stir occasionally. Turn setting on warm and enjoy with forks or toothpicks.
For the full recipe and detailed instructions, please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Why do people use grape jelly in meatballs?
The sugar from the grapes, as with any fruit, pairs well with and enhances the flavor of meats. I love pineapple and chicken, orange and pork, and turkey with cranberries.
Can you substitute grape jam for grape jelly?
Yes, you can substitute grape jam or even preserves for the jelly. Try it with raspberry or strawberry jelly!
How long do you cook already cooked meatballs in the crockpot?
I use precooked meatballs so you just need to cook them long enough to reach an internal temperature of 165F. This is reached after 2 hours on high or 3 hours on low.
This will depend on how many meatballs are being cooked at one time. If you make a double batch you might need to increase cooking time.
What goes good with crockpot meatballs?
Serve these on slider buns, with rice or noodles, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, or on their own on fun toothpicks and forks.
GRAPE JELLY: You can substitute hot pepper jelly, apricot preserves, orange marmalade, raspberry jelly, or even canned cranberry sauce!
CHILI SAUCE: You can switch up the chili sauce for plain ketchup or even a basic BBQ sauce. Just watch out for extra flavors in either one that can change the flavor profile.
Ways to serve Grape Jelly Meatballs:
- Fancy or non-fancy tooth picks
- Bamboo forks
- Slider buns
- Over rice (the sauce is great with rice!)
How to store them:
LEFTOVERS: If you happen to have any leftover, you can store them in the fridge for up to 4 days. Be sure to cool them down to room temperature before placing in the fridge.
REHEAT: These meatballs reheat easily by placing back in the crock pot until heated through. You can also place the meatballs and leftover sauce in a saucepan on the stove top and heat through.
MAKE AHEAD: If you want to make these a day or two ahead of time, prepare recipe according to the directions, cool down, and place in the refrigerator, sealed.
When ready to serve, just remove from the fridge and place back in the slow cooker until warmed through.
FREEZE: You can also make these ahead of time and freeze them. Just be sure to cool them down completely before storing in an airtight freezer safe container.
You can freeze them for up to 2 months. When ready to serve, thaw overnight and then reheat in the crockpot.
Tapas Tips & Tricks
- Make sure you find plain chili sauce and not Sriracha hot chili sauce or Thai sweet chili sauce. They will be SUPER SPICY!
- Want to switch it up a little? Try barbecue sauce. Combine the grape jelly and bbq sauce as directed above.
- If using pre-made frozen meatballs, just be sure the package states that they are fully cooked. Otherwise you will have to cook them first.
- Don’t want to make them in a slow cooker? Make the sauce in a large pot on the stove top over medium heat, add the meatballs, and cook until heated through.
- You can even bake them in the oven. Combine all the ingredients in a 9×13 baking dish, cook at 350F for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove and enjoy!
The only limit is your imagination when it comes to cocktail meatballs. Want more recipes? Check out this list!
To see the rest of the list of 40+ Best Meatball Appetizers check out this post.
Looking to make these a full meal? Check out What to Serve with Meatballs for delicious side dish ideas.
If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!
Grape Jelly Crockpot Meatballs are everyone’s favorite appetizer recipe! With just 3 ingredients it’s easy to prep and disappears fast! Perfect for any occasion!
More Easy Appetizers
- 32 ounces frozen meatballs
- 1 cup grape jelly
- 2 cups chili sauce
- Place chili sauce and grape jelly in the crockpot. Stir to combine.
- Add the frozen meatballs. Stir to coat.
- Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low 3 hours or until heated through.
- Turn heat to low/warm to keep hot while serving at the party.
*If you love this recipe as much as I do, please leave me a comment and rate it 5 stars. Thank you!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 3 ounces
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 308Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 1118mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 3gSugar: 18gProtein: 12g
This nutrition information was generated via a third party. I can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.
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