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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!
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.
Throw the frozen meatballs into your Crockpot, and mix them up with the chili sauce and jelly.
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.
Questions about these grape jelly cocktail meatballs? Have you tried them? Let’s chat in the comments below!
Grape Jelly Meatballs
- 24 ounces frozen cooked meatballs
- 1 cup Heinz chili sauce
- 1 cup grape jelly (I used Smuckers)
- 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.
- 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 information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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