crockpot meatballs with grape jelly sauce

crockpot meatballs with grape jelly sauce

Calling all hungry crowds and cocktail parties! Crockpot Meatballs with Grape Jelly Sauce, the easiest and most delicious party appetizer on the planet, is a lifesaver – make a double batch! 



  • 1 (32 ounce) bag frozen fully-cooked meatballs (see notes to make meatballs from scratch)
  • 12 ounces chili sauce
  • 10 ounces grape jelly


To sauce the meatballs in a slow cooker: 

  1.  Simply toss frozen meatballs in your crockpot with chili sauce and grape jelly, then cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours or high for 2 to 3 hours, until the sauce is hot and bubbly.For easy serving, keep them warm in the crockpot or transfer them to a serving dish, offering a spoon or toothpicks for grabbing.

 To sauce the meatballs on the stovetop:

  1.  In a saucepan, combine meatballs, chili sauce, and grape jelly. Cover and simmer over medium heat until the sauce is hot, about 10 minutes. 

 To make the meatballs:

  1.  In a large bowl, combine ground beef, pork, breadcrumbs, chopped onion, milk, egg, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper for a flavorful meatloaf mixture.
  2. Using a strong spatula or your hands (gloves recommended!), mix the ingredients well and roll them into 1-inch meatballs, yielding about 48 total. 

To fry the meatballs:

  1. Heat vegetable shortening in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.Fry the meatballs in batches over medium-high heat until browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes per batch (internal temp should reach 165°F for 15 seconds), adding more shortening as needed if the pan appears dry. 

 To bake the meatballs: 

  1.  Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, top with a rack, arrange meatballs, and bake for 20 minutes until browned and crispy on the edges (internal temp should be 165°F for 15 seconds).


  1. While regular chili sauce works perfectly, feel free to swap it for sweet chili sauce for a slightly different but equally delicious flavor twist!
  2. This recipe is adapted from “Appetizer Meat Balls” in the Calico Capers Go To Cookbook. 


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