Slow-Cooker Grape Jelly Meatballs

Try these Slow-Cooker Grape Jelly Meatballs and find out why this groovy appetizer from back in the day is still a hit. There's no easier party recipe.

Active Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 5 mins
Serves 10 (serving size: 3 to 4 meatballs)

If you grew up with bouffants, princess phones, and kitchens in avocado green, you probably remember when saucy meatballs first became the rage at church fellowships and neighborhood parties in the 'burbs. The secret ingredient was (drumroll, please)… grape jelly! It's still the secret ingredient, bringing a sweetness to the heat and spice of companion ingredients like chili sauce and barbecue sauce. And we still love those sweet-tangy-saucy little bites. They're always crowd pleasers in the South, and they're strictly a dump-and-stir proposition. Whisk together the sauce and give your slow cooker a spritz of cooking spray. In go the meatballs, in goes the sauce. Toss. Cook. Done. Sprinkle chives on top before serving. Actually, you don't even have to serve them. Just place a container of toothpicks next to your slow cooker, and guests can serve themselves. There's no easier dish this side of a pineapple sandwich. Try them and find out why this groovy appetizer from back in the day is still a hit.

Grape Jelly Meatballs
Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Ali Ramee; Prop Styling: Sarah Elizabeth Cleveland


  • 1 1/2 cups grape jelly (such as Smucker's)

  • 1 cup chili sauce (such as Heinz)

  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha chile sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • Cooking spray

  • 2 pounds frozen meatballs

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives


  1. Whisk together grape jelly, chili sauce, barbecue sauce, mustard, Sriracha, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Lightly coat slow cooker with cooking spray. Place frozen meatballs in slow cooker. Pour jelly sauce over meatballs, and toss to coat. Cover and cook on HIGH until sauce is thickened, 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring halfway through. Top with chives, and serve immediately.

Related Articles