Grape Jelly Meatballs

Delicious 3-ingredient Grape Jelly Meatballs. They take just minutes to prep and are the perfect dinner or appetizer for any party or get together.

It’s one of our go-to appetizers for parties and holidays. Best part? It takes just 5 minutes to prep! This easy appetizer is a favorite along with our classic slow cooker meatballs and sweet and sour meatballs.

Grape Jelly Meatballs on plate

Meatball Recipe + Grape Jelly

We’ve been long-time fans of meatballs and think they are the perfect appetizer for any party or get together.

Yes, we often make them for dinner at home too, but if you are looking for a simple yet delicious recipe to make for your next event, I highly encourage trying one of our favorite meatball recipes, like today’s grape jelly meatballs.

I know grape jelly may not be the first ingredient you think of when mixing with meatballs, but let me tell you – it’s the perfect addition to a savory meatball. And what’s even more amazing about this recipe is that it only requires 3 ingredients – the grape jelly, meatballs and chili sauce.

Oh yes, I can’t forget that it also only takes a few minutes of prep time. You can’t beat that!

Grape Jelly Meatball ingredients

making Meatballs with Grape Jelly and Chili Sauce

Making these meatballs are as easy as they sound. Since they only require 3 ingredients and just a few minutes to make you probably have figured out it’s a dump and go kind of slow cooker recipe. And if you guessed that – you’re exactly right.

If you have the time, we recommend combining the grape chili and chili sauce in a pot and cooking on medium heat until well combined before adding it to the meatballs in the crockpot.

But, we’ve also tried just dumping everything in and it works just as well. You will just need to stir the mixture every hour or so to make sure everything is being cooked more evenly.

Want to add a bit of nip to the meatballs? Just add a pinch of cayenne pepper. With little kids, we tend to leave that out.

How to Make Grape Jelly Meatballs in Crock Pot

Jelly Meatballs FAQ + TIPS

What can I use instead of grape jelly? No grape jelly? Don’t fret! Our favorite substitutes for this include red currant and apple jelly. Both work just as well and are great substitutes if you don’t have grape jelly.

Do meatballs have to be thawed before cooking? Meatballs do not need to be thawed before placing them in the slow cooker. If they are thawed you won’t need to cook as long, but putting them in straight from the freezer is quick and works perfectly with this recipe.

How to thicken grape jelly meatballs? Take about ¼ cup of the sauce from the slow cooker and add it to a pot on the stove. Add a tablespoon of corn starch and cook and mix until sauce thickens. Add more corn starch if needed and then add this to the rest of your sauce to thicken it up.

How to make grape jelly meatballs without chili sauce? Don’t have chili sauce or want to use something else. We love using BBQ sauce as a great substitute for it. You can even change that up a bit and use Honey BBQ sauce or another variety but it usually tastes great with meatballs.

How many grape meatballs to make for a party? We like to double the recipe if making this for a fun party and will use 2 bags of frozen meatballs, 32 oz. grape jelly and two 12 oz. bottles of chili sauce.

For smaller parties, we leave the recipe as is and make one bag of meatballs – which still has about 64 meatballs.

Grape Jelly Meatball Recipe on Plate

We hope you enjoy these meatballs! They really are the perfect appetizer for a party. We know things can get crazy right before a bunch of people come over so this simple, just a few minutes to prep recipe can help out!

For more meatball recipes, check out:

Grape Jelly Meatball Recipe

5 from 18 votes
Delicious 3-ingredient Grape Jelly Meatballs. They take just minutes to prep and are the perfect dinner or appetizer for any party or get together.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 5 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 666 kcal
Author Lil' Luna


  • 16 oz Grape Jelly
  • 12 oz Chili Sauce
  • 32 oz meatballs (frozen)
  • 1 pinch cayenne (optional)


  • Add grape jelly, chili sauce and cayenne pepper in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook for about 5 minutes making sure the mixture is well combined. You can also add these directly on top of the meatballs in the slow cooker for a more speedy process.
  • Place meatballs in a slow cooker and top with grape jelly mixture. (For less mess use a crock pot liner).
  • Cook on Low for 3 to 4 hours.

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About the Author

Kristyn Merkley

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I have to admit i was leery of the grape jelly ingredient, but my trust in your recipes paid off. These were AMAZINGLY good.

  2. Another go to recipe that requires little to know effort. With very few ingredients it will become another favorite Appetizer recipe.

  3. 5 stars
    These are so easy and so tasty! I usually use homemade meatballs that I keep in the freezer. everyone loves them!

  4. 5 stars
    Great meatball recipe that even kids can make!! Love the taste and SIMPLICITY!!! My daughter loves telling people she made this recipe!

  5. 5 stars
    Great camping dish. I thought a Little dry for the two bags of meatballs. ThE pict shows two 12 oz bottles of Chili sauce but printed ingr list says one. I ended up heating up bbq sauce and put over top. It was great.

  6. 5 stars
    These sweet and savory meatballs are delicious. This recipe has been around for literally decades and I’ve made it several times. I like to make the meatballs myself, but the frozen ones are quick and easy and can be a real timesaver.

  7. 5 stars
    Been making these for years. Got this recipe from my mother in law back in the 70’s. Always a big hit at parties.

  8. 5 stars
    These by far are my favorite! They taste good but now they have a sentimental reason. My mom first made these after I asked her to give them a try. She passed away last month. I’m making them in Christmas Eve in her honor.

  9. 5 stars
    I have been making these for 50+ years. It was popular back in the 1970s and still a big hit today. This is a keeper!

  10. 5 stars
    This is a great meatball recipe. Handed down from my mom, and I’ve used it for years. We use a 12 oz jar of chili sauce,
    10 oz grape jelly, 3 T lemon juice and a few shakes of Tabasco. I usually double this with a big bag of frozen meatballs.
    It’s not Christmas in our house without them.

        1. I have never tried using grape spread, so I’m not sure how it would turn out. You could certainly give it a try. The flavor and/or texture may obviously be a little different. If you do give it a try, you’ll have to let us know how it turns out!