These Grape Jelly Meatballs are a classic party appetizer! They have the perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors all wrapped up into a bite sized treat. Grape Jelly Meatballs are incredibly easy to make with only a handful of ingredients and all made in the crock pot. They are the perfect dish to take to a pot luck, office party, neighborhood barbecue or holiday get together since the slow cooker does the work and will keep them warm throughout the event.
Grape Jelly Meatballs Recipe
I am really not sure where this recipe came from, or who thought, “oh hey let’s mix ketchup and grape jelly together and throw it over meatballs!” It doesn’t seem like the most obvious thing to me, but somewhere along the way someone tried it and , wouldn’t you know, it actually worked!
These Grape Jelly Meatballs, as we call them in our family, are the classic party appetizer. They seem to grace the buffet table at every potluck, neighborhood barbecue and holiday gathering we go to. They are a little sweet, a little savory, and when the hosting a party madness is in full swing, you can make them in about 5 minutes flat, which is the ultimate bonus.
The whole dish is made in the crock pot with just a handful of ingredients. As you might imagine, the key ingredient in the Grape Jelly Meatballs, is in fact, grape jelly! Mix it with chili sauce and if you like a little kick you can add in sriracha. Then just stir in the meatballs and get ready to party!
How to serve Grape Jelly Meatballs
These little bites of deliciousness make a great appetizer, or if your family really loves them, they could even be a meal. Here are a couple of ideas on how you can serve them.
- Straight out of the slow cooker! There is no need to impress at many parties, and keeping them in the crock pot will allow for them to stay nice and warm as long as people are eating them
- On toothpicks- If you want to get a little fancier, you can arrange them on a pretty platter and stick toothpicks in them so they are easy to grab while people are mingling.
- In a bowl- Although this is just a nicer presentation than leaving them in the crock pot, it sure does make them look pretty when you pile them all up in a bowl and garnish them with some green onions like I did in the pic. The sheen from the jelly coating shines and they look gorgeous and ready to devour!
- As a meal- If you want to make these grape jelly meatballs for an entree, you can serve them on a bed of long grain rice or on top of sauteed greens.
Do you have another way that you like to serve these? If so please, please leave me a note in the comments so I can give it a try too! I would love to hear about it!
How to Make Crock Pot Grape Jelly Meatballs
This recipe is so crazy simple, you are going to love it! I am going to walk through the recipe ingredient and instructions here step by step. Hopefully that will answer any questions that may come up as you make the recipe. There is a full, printable recipe card at the bottom of this post. If you have any other questions, feel free to leave them in the comments and I will try to get back to you!
- 1 jar (32 oz) grape jelly- You will just want to use regular old grape jelly for this. I used Smuckers classic grape. I would advise against going with the super “healthy” versions like sugar free, or other in this recipe. Part of what makes this work so well is how the jelly works to provide the most awesome glaze and you just need all the good old stuff for that.
- 2 jars (12 oz) Heinz chili sauce- This isn’t something normally on your shopping list so it can be a little confusing to find at the store. I usually find it right by the ketchup. It is similar to ketchup, and does look like it in the bottle, but has more of a zing. The chili sauce typically is sold in 12 oz glass jars and you will need two of them.
- 1 tbsp sriracha (optional)- If you are serving this to kiddos you can leave it out. If you are having an adult party where people will appreciate a little spice, then add it!
- 3-5 lbs frozen meatballs- Use your preference of classic beef, pork, or turkey meatballs. This recipe is really made for 5 lbs of meatballs. If you are at a wholesale store like Sam’s or Costco, they will usually sell them in this size, otherwise you may need 2-3 bags. You can put as little as 3 lbs in and it will still work well if you need a smaller quantity.
- Mix the grape jelly, chili sauce, and sriracha (if you want it a little spicy) together with a whisk inside the slow cooker. All you do is just dump everything in and then whisk until it is smooth. Using a whisk really does help, so if you have one, I highly recommend using that over a spoon.
- Add 3-5 lbs of frozen meatballs and stir into the sauce until they are all coated. If you are using all 5 lbs, you might want to stir them in a little at a time so that you can get them all coated. Optionally, you can mix the sauce in a separate bowl and then pour it over the top and mix it in. I like to do it the first way since it means less dishes though.
- Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours. Leave on “keep warm” setting while serving. This recipe is very forgiving, so these suggestions are really minimums to get it cooked through. If you want to leave it on for 6 hours on low, that should work too as long as it stays covered with the lid for the duration of the cook time, it should turn out great for you.
More Easy Appetizer Recipes
- Hawaiian BBQ Meatballs– Reader favorite!
- Buffalo Ranch Chicken Meatballs
- Shredded Chicken Sliders– Feeds a crowd
- Cheesy Ranch Bean Dip– Only 4 ingredients
I hope that you get to enjoy this recipe on a buffet table surrounded by your family and friends soon!
If you do get a chance to try it, I would love it if you let me know! You can leave me a comment below, or if you post a picture on Instagram, make sure to tag me @easyfamilyrecipes so that I can see what you are cooking up! It makes my day to see others enjoying the recipes that I share!
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Grape Jelly Meatballs
- 32 oz grape jelly (1 jar)
- 24 oz Heinz chili sauce (2 jars)
- 1 tbsp sriracha optional
- 3-5 lbs frozen meatballs
- Mix the grape jelly, chili sauce, and sriracha (if you want it a little spicy) together with a whisk inside the slow cooker.
- Add 3-5 lbs of frozen meatballs and stir into the sauce until they are all coated.
- Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours. Leave on "keep warm" setting while serving.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)