Grape Jelly Meatballs are a classic sweet and savory appetizer that everyone loves! With just 10 minutes of prep time and the ultimate seasoning blend, your Crockpot slow cooks these tasty meatballs to perfection.
Homemade Grape Jelly Meatballs
These meatballs are a delicious classic. The homemade meatballs are coated in a sweet and savory grape jelly sauce and simmer in the crockpot for a couple hours. The sauce mixture of grape jelly and chili sauce may seem crazy, but the flavor is on point!
Even with all the yumminess packed into this party-worthy appetizer, it’s super easy to put together. And you could even make it a couple of days in advance! The meatballs will only become more flavorful as they sit in the fridge. You’ll definitely be sneaking some before you serve them!
Why Cook Meatballs in the Crockpot?
For ease, of course! First, the meatballs are pre-cooked in the oven, which is relatively hands off compared to hovering over the stove to cook them. Plus, they still get nice and brown on the outsides. Then the slow cooker tenderizes the meat and infuses it with flavor. You really get the best of both worlds. I’ll never make meatballs another way!
What You’ll Need
Some grape jelly meatball recipes require just three or four ingredients, but we’re going for maximum flavor here. The lineup below is the way to go!
- Ground Beef: Stick with 70-80% lean ground beef for the best flavor.
- Onion Flakes: For some irresistible savoriness.
- Italian Seasoning: Or equal parts oregano and parsley.
- Worcestershire Sauce: To deepen and enhance the other flavors.
- Salt & Pepper: Added to taste.
- Grape Jelly: You’ll need 10 ounces.
- Chili Sauce: As spicy or mild as you prefer.
- Parsley: Dried or fresh, for garnish.
Can I Use Frozen Meatballs?
Sure – using frozen meatballs can be useful if you’re short on time, but making them from scratch is definitely worth the small amount of extra effort. If you must use frozen meatballs, you’ll need a 32-ounce bag of your favorite brand.
How to Make Grape Jelly Meatballs
Making these meatballs is a walk in the park. As long as you plan for the slow cooking time, they’ll be ready to go as soon as you need them.
Prep for Pre-Baking: Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a large baking sheet with foil.
Combine Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, onion flakes, Italian seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper.
Form Meatballs: With your hands, divide and roll the beef mixture into roughly 1-inch meatballs. Place each rolled meatball onto the prepared baking sheet.
Pre-Bake: Bake the meatballs for roughly 15-20 minutes, until they’re nice and browned on the outside. The meatballs should reach at least 155°F internally when cooked throughout.
Add Meatballs, Jelly & Chili Sauce to Crockpot: Remove the meatballs from the baking sheet and place them in the bottom of a medium-sized crockpot. Add the grape jelly and chili sauce. Gently toss the meatballs with a spoon to evenly coat them in the sauce.
Cook & Serve: Cover the Crockpot and set it to low for 2-3 hours, or until the sauce is hot and bubbly. Serve with a garnish of parsley and enjoy!
Tips for Success
Make sure your meatballs are as tasty as can be with these simple tips and tricks!
- Season to Taste: Some people like more spiciness in their grape jelly meatballs, and that’s great! Using a hotter chili sauce will easily have that effect. Use what you know and like! And when it comes to salt and pepper, add as much or as little as you prefer.
- Combine Ingredients Well: Don’t be afraid to get in there with your hands and really combine that beef with the seasonings. Evenly incorporated ingredients are key for the structure of the meatballs and the distribution of flavor.
- Use a Meat Thermometer: You want to brown your meatballs in the oven until they’re at least 155°F. The best way to detect their internal temperature is with an instant read meat thermometer.
- Coat All of the Meatballs: Each little meatball should have an even, generous coating of the jelly-chili sauce. This ensures maximum flavor and juiciness across the board!
Why not have some fun and talk about ways to put a spin on this recipe! Feel free to experiment on your own or try one of the following variations.
- Use Apple Jelly Instead of Grape Jelly
- Sub Beef for Ground Turkey
- Use BBQ Sauce Instead of Chili Sauce
- Sub Jelly for Cranberry Sauce
- Use Ground Chicken
- Make Strawberry Jelly Meatballs
- Pair with Buffalo Chicken Dip: You’ve got the appetizer that everyone grabs with toothpicks down, so now you need a fabulous dip for chips! This Easy Buffalo Chicken Dip will bring your appetizer tray to quintessential status.
- Serve with Deviled Eggs: Another popular holiday appetizer, Deviled Eggs hit the spot every time. Plus, they’re super easy to make in just 20 minutes!
- Grapes Galore: If you’re gonna make grape jelly meatballs, why not stick with the grape theme for your other appetizer? My Creamy Grape Salad is an extra refreshing dish that disappears from the table mighty quick.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Leftover meatballs should be kept in an airtight container in the fridge. They will last for up to 4 days. To reheat them, place them in a Crockpot set to low, stirring occasionally until they’re heated through. Alternatively, you can warm them up over a low-heat burner on the stove or heat them in the microwave.
Can I Freeze These?
Yes! Grape jelly meatballs can be frozen for up to 3 months. Just keep them in a freezer-safe container with enough space to compensate for the expansion of the sauce as it freezes. Thaw out your meatballs in the fridge before reheating.Print
Crockpot Grape Jelly Meatballs
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
- Total Time: 3 hours 25 minutes
- Yield: 12
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Slow Cooker
- Cuisine: American
Grape Jelly Meatballs are a classic sweet and savory appetizer that everyone loves! With just 10 minutes of prep time and the ultimate seasoning blend, your Crockpot slow cooks these babies to perfection.
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 2 tbsp onion flakes
- 2 tbsp Italian seasoning (or 1 Tbsp oregano and 1 Tbsp parsley)
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 10 oz grape jelly
- 12 oz Chili sauce
- Dried or fresh parsley, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a large baking sheet with foil.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, onion flakes, Italian seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.
- With your hands, divide and roll the beef mixture into roughly 1-inch meatballs. Place each rolled meatball onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake the meatballs for roughly 15-20 minutes, until they’re nice and browned on the outside. The meatballs should reach at least 155°F internally when cooked throughout.
- Remove the meatballs from the baking sheet and place them in the bottom of a medium-sized crockpot. Add the grape jelly and chili sauce. Gently toss the meatballs with a spoon to evenly coat them in the sauce.
- Cover the Crockpot and set it to low for 2-3 hours, or until the sauce is hot and bubbly. Serve with a garnish of parsley and enjoy!
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 270
- Sugar: 12.5 g
- Sodium: 349.5 mg
- Fat: 15.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 19.3 g
- Protein: 13.4 g
- Cholesterol: 53.5 mg
Keywords: crockpot meatballs, slow cooker meatballs, jelly meatballs
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Hi, Lindsay. The meatball ingredient list calls for onion powder, but in the instructions it says onion flakes. Those are 2 different things, so just wondering which one you meant.
Onion flakes, but onion powder works in a pinch.