Grape Jelly Meatballs Recipe – 3 ingredients and 5 minute prep! Tender, juicy meatballs blanketed in a sweet and spicy sauce. You’ll love how simple this recipe is!

grape jelly meatballs recipe - black bowl filled with meatballs and sweet spicy sauce

 

If you’ve been looking for a quick and easy appetizer for entertaining this holiday season that’s always a hit, this is your recipe.

Just 3 ingredients and less than 5 minutes prep these juicy, tender crockpot meatballs are the perfect appetizer or snack for any gathering. 

grape jelly meatballs recipe - black bowl with a pile of meatballs blanketed in sweet spicy sauce

A two-ingredient sauce means this recipe really is that simple. Blend your favorite bbq sauce and grape jelly (yes really!) along with a bag of frozen meatballs. 

Give them a try at your next family gathering – from the upcoming holidays to New Year’s parties or a Super Bowl party.

what kind of meatballs are best?

To keep this recipe super simple, I highly recommend giving frozen meatballs a try. I’ll admit I was a little skeptical but was wildly surprised at how delicious they are.

Of course, you make definitely make homemade meatballs using your family favorite recipe. Small meatballs are the best way to go – perfect for holiday parties.

Here are a few meatball recipes on my site:

Air Fryer Turkey Meatballs – ground turkey, bread crumbs and a few spices air fried for juicy meatballs loaded with delicious taste in just 10 minutes.

My go-to Ground Beef Meatballs – use ground beef or turkey – classic meatball recipe – great for everything from Grape Jelly Meatballs to marinara sauce.

Chicken Meatballs – ground chicken and spinach – another good option for Grape Jelly Meatballs. Roll about 1″ in size for easy cocktail meatballs.

WHAT’S IN THIS GRAPE JELLY MEATBALLS RECIPE?

These meatballs were originally by someone in the 60’s and have a lot of different names: party meatballs, easy grape jelly meatballs, cocktail meatballs, sweet and sour meatballs and bbq meatballs among others.

Here’s what you’ll need to make them:

  1. frozen meatballs (I used all beef)
  2. bbq sauce (Sweet Baby Ray’s Sweet ‘n Spicy used)
  3. grape jelly

These are the meatballs I used. Any frozen meatballs will work well (beef, beef/pork, etc).

HOW TO MAKE THIS GRAPE JELLY MEATBALLS RECIPE:

Add the bbq sauce and grape jelly to the slow cooker. Whisk or stir to blend then add the frozen meatballs to the sauce, turning to coat them.

Cook on high 2 to 3 hours or on low 3 to 4 hours until the meatballs are warmed through.

If you like a thicker sauce like you see here, remove the lid from the slow cooker for the last 1/2 hour of cook time. This lets some of the moisture escape and thickens the sauce. 

When the meatballs having finished cooking, give them a good stir and switch the slow cooker to the warm. You can serve them right from the slow cooker with toothpicks.

grape jelly meatballs recipe closeup of meatball on a toothpick

EASY VARIATIONS TO THIS RECIPE:

  • Use leftover cranberry sauce using an equal amount of cranberry sauce in place of the grape jelly.
  • Instead of barbecue sauce, use bottled chili sauce or Frank’s Red Hot Sweet Chili Sauce.
  • For spicy meatballs substitute a pepper jelly or other spicy jelly for grape jelly.
  • Apricot preserves along with either chili sauce or bbq sauce also make a perfect combination.
  • If you prefer a sweeter taste, add a tablespoon or two of brown sugar to the sauce.

WHAT TO DO WITH LEFTOVERS:

If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, these meatballs make an easy snack. Cool completely then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

LOOKING FOR MORE EASY APPETIZERS?

Fig Goat Cheese Puff Pastry

Cranberry Brie Pastry

Cheesy Garlic Christmas Tree Bread

Enjoy!

pinterest pin for grape jelly meatballs recipe closeup of meatball on a toothpick

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grape jelly meatballs recipe - black bowl filled with meatballs and sweet spicy sauce

Grape Jelly Meatballs Recipe

3 Ingredient Grape Jelly BBQ Meatballs with just 5 minute prep! Tender, juicy meatballs blanketed in a sweet and spicy sauce. You’ll love how simple this recipe is!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories

Equipment

  • Slow Cooker/Crock Pot

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound frozen meatballs all beef used
  • 1 cup Sweet Baby Ray's Sweet 'n Spicy BBQ Sauce
  • 1 cup grape jelly

Instructions
 

  • Add the bbq sauce and grape jelly to the slow cooker. Whisk or stir to blend.
  • Add the frozen meatballs to the sauce, turning to coat them.
  • Cook on HIGH 2 to 3 hours or on LOW 3 to 4 hours until the meatballs are warmed through.
  • NOTE: If you like a thicker sauce remove the lid from the slow cooker for the last 1/2 hour of cook time.
  • When the meatballs having finished cooking, give them a good stir and switch the slow cooker to the warm (you can serve right from the slow cooker!).
Keyword crock pot recipe, slow cooker recipe, easy holiday appetizer, grape jelly meatballs, grape jelly meatballs recipe, 3 ingredient meatballs, crockpot meatballs, bbq meatballs,, super bowl meatballs,
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2 Comments

    1. Thanks Bette! That’s one reason I’m recirculating it — it’s a great classic that people sometimes forget about — plus there’s a whole new generaation of home cooks that NEED this easy recipe.