Grape Jelly Meatballs

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These Grape Jelly Meatballs are so easy! Tender meatballs are cooked in the slow cooker with a sweet and spicy sauce. With only 3 ingredients, you’ll love how quickly this simple recipe comes together.

Grape Jelly Meatballs on a platter

Easy Meatballs with Grape Jelly

These meatballs rock! It would be hard to think of an easier appetizer for a holiday party, but we also love to make these meatballs for a super easy grab-and-go meal. Just add slider buns and your family can scoop meatballs out of the slow cooker onto the buns to make their own little meatballs sandwiches. So good!

If you like this meatball recipe, you’ll also want to try our Firecracker Chicken Meatballs, Easy Homemade Meatballs, Dr Pepper Meatballs, Sweet and Sour Meatballs, Swedish Meatballs, Teriyaki Meatballs, Barbecue Pineapple Meatballs and Asian Meatballs.

Why You’ll Love This Grape Jelly Meatballs Recipe

  • Easy. Just mix everything together in your crockpot, turn it on, then walk away. That’s it!
  • Simple ingredients. You’ll only need 3 ingredients to make this recipe. All of them are pre-made so it literally could not be any simpler.
  • So flavorful! Despite being ridiculously easy, this recipe is always a huge hit! The meatballs come out so tender and flavorful. Everyone is always coming back for seconds when I make this dish.
Grape Jelly Meatballs on a platter

Ingredients You’ll Need:

Here’s what you’ll need to make this meatball appetizer recipe (the exact measurements and full recipe instructions are below in the printable recipe card):

  • Grape jelly – We like Welch’s grape jelly for the delicious concord grape flavor, but you can use any grape jelly for this recipe.
  • Heinz Chili Sauce – Be sure you’re using Heinz Chili Sauce and not a hot pepper sauce. Chili sauce is a spiced ketchup.
  • Frozen meatballs – Be sure to use a homestyle flavor and not Italian flavor. You will find these in the freezer section of the grocery store.
ingredients for grape jelly meatballs

How To Make Grape Jelly Meatballs

Are you ready to make the best grape jelly meatballs ever? Here’s how to do it:

  • Make the sauce. To start, just dump all of the Heinz Chili Sauce and the grape jelly into a medium sauce pan. Heat this over medium heat, stirring often, until it begins to simmer.
  • Add the meatballs. Place all of the frozen meatballs into a large slow cooker, then pour the sauce over top.
  • Cook. Place the lid on the slow cooker and heat on low for 3 hours until the meatballs are hot.
  • Stir. You may need to stir the meatballs a couple of times while they cook to be sure the sauce completely coats them.
  • Serve the meatballs hot. You can serve them in a serving dish, or right out of the slow cooker.

How To Serve:

Here are some ideas for serving your cocktail meatballs:

  • Toothpicks – Provide toothpicks for people to serve themselves meatballs.
  • Buns – Meatballs on slider buns are a great way to eat this appetizer and turn it into a casual meal.
  • Hot sauce – Add some hot sauce to their meatballs for a spicy kick
  • Make it a meal – Serve over rice, mashed potatoes or egg noodles for a delicious dinner.
grape jelly meatballs appetizer

Tips and Tricks

Common Questions

  • Can I use fresh meatballs?  Yes, you could use homemade meatballs instead if you prefer. Make sure you have fully cooked the meatballs first.
  • Can I use a different kind of jelly? Of course! But then it won’t be grape jelly meatballs. 🙂 You could also use apple, apricot or even strawberry jelly.
  • Can I leave the chili out?  Yes, if you are not a fan of spicy foods then you can use regular ketchup instead of spicy ketchup.

Other Cooking Methods

  • Stove-Top – Add the ingredients in a large pot and combine. Simmer over medium/low heat for 25 minutes or until the meatballs are warmed through, stirring occasionally.
  • Oven-Baked – Add the ingredients into a baking dish and mix to combine. Cover with foil and bake at 325°F for 25 minutes or until the meatballs are warmed through.


  • Grape Jelly – replace with apricot preserves, orange marmalade, canned cranberry sauce, or raspberry jam.
  • Chili Sauce – replace with ketchup, or barbecue sauce.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

  • Storage: Transfer leftover meatballs to a food storage container with a lid or a zip top bag. Refrigerate the meatballs for up to three days.
  • To reheat: Pour the meatballs into a large saucepan and heat over medium heat, or microwave individual portions in 20-second increments until hot.
Grape Jelly Meatballs

Other Easy Appetizer Recipes

Grape Jelly Meatballs feature
5 from 42 votes

Grape Jelly Meatballs

These Grape Jelly Meatballs are so easy! Tender meatballs are cooked in the slow cooker with a sweet and spicy sauce. With only 3 ingredients, you'll love how quickly this simple recipe comes together.
Servings: 30
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 3 hours
Total: 3 hours 15 minutes


  • 32 ounces grape jelly
  • 2 12 ounce bottles Heinz Chili Sauce 24 ounces total
  • 5 pounds frozen fully cooked meatballs homestyle, not Italian flavor


  • In a medium saucepan, combine the grape jelly and Heinz Chili Sauce. Heat over medium heat until the mixture begins to simmer, stirring often.
  • Place the meatballs into a large slow cooker and pour the sauce over top of the meatballs.
  • Slow cook the meatballs on high for 3 hours, or until hot.
  • Serve the meatballs hot.

Last Step:

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  • 6 quart (or larger) slow cooker


Calories: 84kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.02g | Saturated Fat: 0.003g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 10mg | Potassium: 23mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 0.1mg


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22 comments on “Grape Jelly Meatballs”

  1. I’ve made these using Current Jelly. I learned this 20 or more years ago. I’ll have to try this recipe.

  2. I, too, have made these for years. I add 2 tsp.of lemon juice per bottle of chili sauce for a tiny bit of zing.
    There are usually none to bring home!

  3. I use cayenne pepper instead of hot sauce to spice it up a little. I feel the hot sauce changes the flavor of the chili sauce.

  4. 5 stars
    ✌️Flashback to the ‘70s!
    Still a great quick and easy go-to for potlucks, and making a fast weeknight family supper into a party! Huzzah!

  5. Avatar photo
    Linda Cloghessy

    This also works with Little Smokies. I’m making them for tonight’s Super Bowl Party at my grandson’s request. Delicious for both.

  6. Going to try this for next church gathering. Looks great and easy to make. No fuss; no mess; good quantity.

    1. Can’t find chili sauce only have sweet red chili sauce & marinade. Would this work?