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These 3-ingredient savory-sweet grape jelly meatballs are easily made in your slow cooker for the perfect party recipe that will go quickly at any gathering! 

Need more crowd-pleasing appetizers? Try my Easy Buffalo Chicken Dip or these Deviled Eggs.

grape jelly meatball being held up on a cocktail toothpick

Wait, what?

Ok, so meatballs with grape jelly and chili sauce might sound a little nuts, but your slow cooker does some magic wizardry, and somehow you get an amazing sauce out of it! The sweet, tangy, and savory combination is irresistible, and this recipe is an American classic that’s definitely worth making if you’ve never tried it before. 

If you’re invited to a last-minute potluck and you’re not in the mood to cook, it’s time to dust off your Crockpot and make this impressive yet effortless grape jelly meatball recipe! Everyone will want to know what’s in that addictive sauce.

What you’ll need

  • Meatballs – use pre-cooked frozen meatballs. I recommend buying something fairly plain so that the sauce can shine. I usually get frozen angus beef meatballs. You can use homemade meatballs if you wish, however.
  • Chili sauce – Heinz chili sauce is the tried and true variety for this recipe. Despite the name, this sauce isn’t spicy. It’s quite similar to ketchup but a bit more flavorful and slightly less sweet. Definitely note that it is very different from Asian style sweet chili sauce!
  • Grape jelly – I used Smuckers for that classic taste, but if you have a favorite brand or even homemade, feel free to use it

How to make grape jelly meatballs

This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

adding frozen meatballs, heinz chili sauce, and smuckers grape jelly to a crockpot

Throw the frozen meatballs into your Crockpot, and mix them up with the chili sauce and jelly.

grape jelly meatballs in a Crockpot before and after cooking

Cook on high for 2-3 hours or 4-6 hours on low. Keep them warm until it’s time to dig in. That’s it!

Substitutions and variations

  • I buy one 24 oz. package of meatballs for this recipe, but the package size can vary depending where you live and what your grocery store carries. It’s easy to adjust the sauce (use a little less or little more, keeping the same 1:1 ratio) if you buy a slightly smaller or slightly larger package.
  • Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or a few dashes of hot sauce for a little kick.
  • You can swap the chili sauce for ketchup it’s all you have.
  • If you want more of a smoky flavor, use half BBQ sauce and half chili sauce!

What to serve with these meatballs

Leftovers and storage

  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.
  • You can also freeze leftover grape jelly meatballs for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat, place them in a small saucepan over a low heat until warmed through. I wouldn’t recommend microwaving them since the texture may get rubbery.
grape jelly meatballs in a white bowl

Questions about these grape jelly cocktail meatballs? Have you tried them? Let’s chat in the comments below!

grape jelly meatball being held up on a cocktail toothpick
5 from 3 votes

Grape Jelly Meatballs

These 3-ingredient savory-sweet grape jelly meatballs are easily made in your slow cooker for the perfect party recipe that will go quickly at any gathering! 
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 3 hours
Total: 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

  • 24 ounces frozen cooked meatballs
  • 1 cup Heinz chili sauce
  • 1 cup grape jelly (I used Smuckers)

Instructions 

  • Add the frozen meatballs to your slow cooker.
  • Pour the sauce ingredients over the meatballs, then toss with 2 spoons until coated.
  • Cook for 2-3 hours on high or 4-6 hours on low. The sauce will thicken more as it cools a bit. Use the "keep warm" setting if you're not going to be eating them right away.

Notes

  • If you’re serving this as an appetizer, it serves 8+, but it really depends what else it’s served with and how much people eat. If you want to serve it as a main course (like with rice or mashed potatoes, it’ll serve 4).
  • Frozen meatball package sizes vary. If yours is larger, add a bit more of the chili sauce and grape jelly (like up to 1.5 or 2 cups each).
  • I used ketchup in the nutrition info since my database doesn’t have Heinz chili sauce. It’s similar in calories, so it gives you a ballpark figure.

Nutrition

Calories: 375kcal, Carbohydrates: 37g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 61mg, Sodium: 333mg, Potassium: 371mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 27g, Vitamin A: 160IU, Vitamin C: 6mg, Calcium: 25mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

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10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    So simple, but WOW! I made this for my staff Christmas party potluck. Everyone was raving about it and asked if I made it. I told them it was only three ingredients and they couldn’t believe it. This will be another “go to” recipe when I need a quick appetizer. Who knew chili sauce and grape jelly would be so good together. Almost as good as peanut butter and chocolate.

  2. A family favorite for years! I personally like the health benefit of making my own meatballs, add some Worcestershire to the sauce and a few tablespoons of fresh lemon juice while substituting blackberry jelly for the grape.

    1. Hi Rachel! I haven’t tested it in the IP, so I’m not really sure on timing. I’m also a bit worried that pressure cooking meatballs that are likely already cooked could be overkill and lead to dry/rubbery meatballs. You probably could simply put them in there and use the sauté setting to warm them through, though, and then have them on “keep warm” if you’re taking them to a party or something. Let me know if you try!

    1. Yes… I’d do it over a low heat and stir often to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Ensure they’re heated through. Hope you enjoy the recipe, Gloria!