These crockpot meatballs with grape jelly and chili sauce make the perfect appetizer or main dish! It’s such an easy recipe that only requires 3 ingredients, but is full of great flavor, and hardly any work is needed!
Talk about the easiest appetizer recipe in the world! I love when a crock pot recipe says to dump everything in and go! It makes dinner time and parties a breeze to host. Lots of times I will make a double batch of my classic meatballs to freeze so I can use them for our next party without having to run to the store for frozen meatballs.
If we serve these for the main course, we always have a comfort side dish like mashed potatoes or roasted veggies. When it’s party time we go all out with fan faves such as Pigs in a blanket, bacon cheeseburger sliders, buffalo chicken fries and meatballs, southwest roll-ups, and jalapeno poppers! Talk about a spread!
- Easy appetizer with simple ingredients.
- A classic recipe that can also be used for a no-fuss main course weeknight meal.
- Perfect for game-day parties and large crowds.
What Ingredients do I Need for Grape Jelly Chili Sauce Meatballs?
- pre-cooked Oven Baked Meatballs or 32 oz. bag of frozen meatballs
- Heinz chili sauce
- grape jelly
- Chopped parsley for garnish
Before You Start: If you aren’t using a big bag of frozen meatballs, you will need to make a homemade batch ahead of time. Do not put raw meatballs directly in the crockpot for this recipe.
How to Make Slow-Cooker Grape Jelly Meatballs
ADD MEATBALLS AND SAUCE: Place the meatballs into the slow cooker and pour the grape jelly and chili sauce on top.
COOK: Place the lid on and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours. Stir at the one-hour mark.
SERVE: Plate and garnish with parsley for a main meal, or serve with toothpicks as an appetizer.
- We like using homemade meatballs which makes 24 large meatballs or 48 smaller, cocktail meatballs. If you are making these for a holiday party or Super Bowl party, the smaller ones are great appetizer sizes.
- Serve these straight from the crockpot by placing a few toothpicks in them and leaving some beside the pot. Turn the crockpot to warm once they have finished cooking.
- This recipe is not meant for raw meatballs. You can place frozen or thawed meatballs directly in the post. Be sure to pre-cook the homemade ones if you are using those.
- For a thicker sauce, vent the lid on the crockpot after the initial cook time for another 15-30 minutes to allow some of the liquid to evaporate. You can also make a cornstarch slurry to mix in.
Every culture has its own version of what a meatball should taste like!
- Spicy meatballs – For a little kick, add some sriracha, Thai sweet chili sauce, or cayenne pepper. Be careful, because too much will make these really hot!
- Barbecue sauce – if you don’t have chili sauce, you can add ketchup with a little seasoning along with your favorite bbq sauce. If it needs to be a little sweeter brown sugar can be added.
- Other meatballs – we like using ground beef, but turkey or chicken meatballs can be substituted. The best meatballs for those who want to be a little healthier would be the kind from Trader Joe’s or making your own meatballs since you know exactly what is going in them.
We recommend storing leftover grape jelly meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. To freeze, place the cooled cooked meatballs in a freezer bag or container for up to 3 months. If you used frozen meatballs to start with, it is not recommended to refreeze those. Only freeze if you made homemade meatballs.
There’s just something about that sweet and savory combo that goes together. The sugar in the jelly adds just enough flavor to balance out the tangy flavor of the chili sauce.
Crockpot Grape Jelly Chili Sauce Meatballs
- 1 recipe pre-cooked Oven Baked Meatballs or 32 oz. bag of frozen meatballs
- 12 oz. jar Heinz chili sauce
- 18 oz. jar grape jelly
- Chopped parsley for garnish optional
- Place the meatballs into the crock of the slow cooker.
- Pour chili sauce and grape jelly over the meatballs – you can swirl them together over the meatballs or simply dump them in and stir after they have been cooking for awhile.
- Place the lid on the crockpot and cook on LOW for 4 hours or HIGH for 2 hours. Stir the meatballs and sauce together after the first hour.
- For thicker sauce, vent the lid of the crockpot and continue cooking for 15-30 minutes until some of the liquid has evaporated and the sauce has thickened.
- Serve with toothpicks straight out of the crockpot, or plate and garnish with chopped parsley.