Slow Cooker/ Snacks and Appetizers

Slow Cooker Grape Jelly Meatballs

These 3-ingredient slow cooker grape jelly meatballs only take 5 minutes of prep to make a fun appetizer for game day or holiday parties.

Slow cooker grape jelly meatballs stacked in a wide white bowl and topped with fresh parsley.

Slow cooker grape jelly meatballs are a classic party appetizer and crowd-pleaser that’s great for game days or as a cocktail appetizer for holiday parties. With only 3 ingredients and 5 minutes of prep time, it’s quick to throw together but still has plenty of room to build on. You can use either BBQ sauce or chili sauce for this recipe with some grape jelly as a base flavor profile. Try adding in some smoked paprika for a smoky aftertaste, or spice it up a little with some chili powder/cayenne. You can even use the sauce to cook some little smokies instead.

It’s a pretty simple recipe that’s more of a guideline really since there’s not much to it. Throw in some toothpicks or mini forks to make this a fun appetizer to serve at holiday parties, potlucks and family gatherings. If you’re looking for something sweet and spicy with some pineapple in it, try these sweet heat meatballs instead. Or if you’re just an all-around meatball fan and want something to toss over some pasta, try these slow cooker Italian meatballs. Back to the recipe, let’s have some fun making some meatballs!

Cooked slow cooker grape jelly meatballs swimming in a lot of sauce in a slow cooker.

SLOW COOKER GRAPE JELLY MEATBALLS RECIPE TIPS

Meatballs – I used homestyle frozen meatballs. You can put them in the slow cooker directly from frozen, there’s usually no need to thaw them out. If they’re frozen together, thaw them a little until they separate easily.

Grape jelly – I used the 20 oz. bottle of Welch’s brand grape jelly for this recipe. If you’re not a fan of grape jelly, you could substitute with a 14 oz. can of jellied cranberry sauce instead.

BBQ sauce – I used original Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce but some variations use Heinz chili sauce instead.

Stovetop method – Cook on medium heat in a covered Dutch oven for 30 minutes or until sauce is hot and bubbly.

Slow cooker grape jelly meatballs stacked in a wide white bowl and topped with fresh parsley.

Make It Your Own

Spice it up – Add some cayenne or chili powder to give these meatballs some heat.

Make it smoky – Add some smoked paprika to give these meatballs a smoky flavor.

Little smokies – Substitute meatballs with 2 (14 oz.) bags of little smokies to enjoy the sauce with other finger food.

A slow cooker grape jelly meatball on an mini appetizer fork.

And that’s about it. The flavor you get out of this really is surprising for such a simple, 3-ingredient recipe but there you have it. If you do make any variations, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Enjoy your meatballs!

For more 3-ingredient recipes, try out this cream cheese sausage dip, or an easy Alfredo sauce to have with some pasta. Or try some 5-ingredient recipes like honey garlic chicken, meatball pasta bake, herbed ranch chicken, Everything Bagel salmon, or this slow cooker three-packet roast.

MORE MEATBALL RECIPES TO TRY

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Slow cooker grape jelly meatballs stacked in a wide white bowl and topped with fresh parsley.

Slow Cooker Grape Jelly Meatballs


  • Author: The Cooking Jar
  • Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 5064 meatballs 1x

Description

These 3-ingredient slow cooker grape jelly meatballs only take 5 minutes of prep to make a fun appetizer for game day or holiday parties.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 bag (32 oz.) frozen homestyle meatballs (about 64 meatballs)
  • 1 bottle (20 oz.) grape jelly
  • 1 bottle (18 oz.) BBQ sauce / 1 bottle (12 oz.) Heinz chili sauce

Instructions

  1. Place the meatballs in a 6 qt. slow cooker, pour grape jelly and BBQ sauce over them.
  2. Stir to combine until the meatballs are fully coated in the sauce.
  3. Cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 3-4 hours or until meatballs are warmed through and sauce is bubbly.
  4. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Turn the slow cooker to the warm setting for up to 4 hours to keep the meatballs warm for a party.
  • Add more flavor with some smoked paprika, chili powder, or cayenne.
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 2 hours

♡ Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon.com. You can learn more about it here.

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