Slow Cooker Grape Jelly Meatballs — The EASIEST holiday appetizer that’s made with just 3 INGREDIENTS! People adore these saucy meatballs loaded with FLAVOR! A perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s celebrations and holiday parties. Or make them for your next tailgating or game day party!

Slow Cooker Grape Jelly Meatballs - The EASIEST holiday appetizer that's made with just 3 INGREDIENTS! People adore these saucy meatballs loaded with FLAVOR! A perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's celebrations and holiday parties. Or make them for your next tailgating or game day party!

3-Ingredients Grape Jelly Meatball Recipe

If you’re looking for the easiest, no-brainer holiday appetizer that every loves, then put these grape jelly meatballs with just 3 main ingredients on your list!

Nothing fancy or complicated, but it’s amazing how much flavor these meatballs have. They’ve been a classic since the 1960’s for a reason. It’s because people just adore them.

There’s some magic that happens in the slow cooker when you combine the meatballs with the bbq sauce and jelly, and let them slow cook for hours. The depth of flavor is just incredible!

Slow Cooker Grape Jelly Meatballs - The EASIEST holiday appetizer that's made with just 3 INGREDIENTS! People adore these saucy meatballs loaded with FLAVOR! A perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's celebrations and holiday parties. Or make them for your next tailgating or game day party!

They’re not too sweet, despite using jelly, and they have much more flavor than just a standard barbecue meatball.

These slow cooker grape jelly bbq meatballs are perfect for for all your holiday season parties and get-togethers, including Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve celebrations. 

They’re also great for tailgating, game day parties, and Super Bowl.

Best of all, you just plop everything in your slow cooker and let it do the work and make the meatball magic happen.

Slow Cooker Grape Jelly Meatballs - The EASIEST holiday appetizer that's made with just 3 INGREDIENTS! People adore these saucy meatballs loaded with FLAVOR! A perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's celebrations and holiday parties. Or make them for your next tailgating or game day party!

Ingredients for BBQ Grape Jelly Meatballs

It’s hard to believe all the flavor that these little meatballs have when there are only three main ingredients!

But yes, you will just need the following 3 ingredients to make these Crockpot appetizer meatballs:

Slow Cooker Grape Jelly Meatballs - The EASIEST holiday appetizer that's made with just 3 INGREDIENTS! People adore these saucy meatballs loaded with FLAVOR! A perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's celebrations and holiday parties. Or make them for your next tailgating or game day party!

How to Make Grape Jelly Meatballs in a Slow Cooker

Preparing the frozen meatballs in your slow cooker couldn’t be simpler! It really doesn’t get any easier than these meatballs with grape jelly and bbq sauce. 

  1. Add the meatballs, barbecue sauce, and grape jelly to your slow cooker and stir to combine.
  2. Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours, stirring every hour or so.

Slow Cooker Grape Jelly Meatballs - The EASIEST holiday appetizer that's made with just 3 INGREDIENTS! People adore these saucy meatballs loaded with FLAVOR! A perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's celebrations and holiday parties. Or make them for your next tailgating or game day party!

What Are the Best Frozen Meatballs for Crockpot Meatballs? 

I strongly suggest using precooked frozen meatballs. Thaw them before you add them to the slow cooker. 

You’ll need a 48-ounce bag. I get them from Costco or my regular supermarket if they’re on sale. 

I use beef meatballs, although you could use a beef and pork combination, or just pork.

Slow Cooker Grape Jelly Meatballs - The EASIEST holiday appetizer that's made with just 3 INGREDIENTS! People adore these saucy meatballs loaded with FLAVOR! A perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's celebrations and holiday parties. Or make them for your next tailgating or game day party!

Can I Use Homemade Meatballs? 

While you could make your own meatballs, it’s more work and really not my preferred option for this easy holiday appetizer.

Can I Use Plant-Based Meatballs? 

I’ve never tried this recipe using plant-based meatballs so it’s hard to say what would happen and if they would stand up to hours on end in the slow cooker without falling apart. 

If anyone tries with plant based meatballs, let me know how it goes.

Slow Cooker Grape Jelly Meatballs - The EASIEST holiday appetizer that's made with just 3 INGREDIENTS! People adore these saucy meatballs loaded with FLAVOR! A perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's celebrations and holiday parties. Or make them for your next tailgating or game day party!

Should I Slow Cook Meatballs on Low or High?

You can cook on high, and the meatballs will be ready in 2 to 3 hours.

However, I recommend cooking them on low so the meatballs really have a chance to absorb all the flavors of the barbecue sauce and jelly.

What Kind of BBQ Sauce Is Best for Crockpot Meatballs?

I like to use Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce when preparing these bbq jelly meatballs. It’s just a nice classic bbq sauce that my family really enjoys.

However, feel free to customize the flavor of your slow cooker meatballs by using a a spicier barbecue sauce or a sweeter sauce like a honey barbecue sauce.

Slow Cooker Grape Jelly Meatballs - The EASIEST holiday appetizer that's made with just 3 INGREDIENTS! People adore these saucy meatballs loaded with FLAVOR! A perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's celebrations and holiday parties. Or make them for your next tailgating or game day party!

Can I Use Other Flavors of Jelly?

Yes, you can! Instead of the grape jelly I used, in my opinion, some good jelly variations include peach or apricot preserves, orange marmalade, or try hot pepper jelly. 

If using hot pepper jelly, I wouldn’t use 30 ounces of it! I would replace some of the grape jelly with hot pepper jelly, maybe up to about 8 ounces, or more if you’re looking for some kick and spice.

If you have extra on hand, I bet that cranberry sauce would also be nice.

Again, don’t use 30 ounces of it, but throw in a cupful and then add the remainder with regular jelly to balance it out.

Slow Cooker Grape Jelly Meatballs - The EASIEST holiday appetizer that's made with just 3 INGREDIENTS! People adore these saucy meatballs loaded with FLAVOR! A perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's celebrations and holiday parties. Or make them for your next tailgating or game day party!

How to Serve Grape Jelly Meatballs 

These little gems are so scrumptious warm and fresh out of the slow cooker and are best served that way. Tender, juicy, and just pop-able!

Make them for your next holiday party and set out The Best Cheese Board, Ham and Cheese Sliders or some Cheddar Pigs In A Blanket and everyone will be thrilled.

If you want to make these for more of a meal rather than an appetizer, I recommend serving them with rice which soaks up the extra barbecue sauce and jelly mixture just beautifully.

How to Grape Jelly BBQ Meatballs

The grape jelly meatballs will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days or up to 3 months in the freezer.

Slow Cooker Grape Jelly Meatballs - The EASIEST holiday appetizer that's made with just 3 INGREDIENTS! People adore these saucy meatballs loaded with FLAVOR! A perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's celebrations and holiday parties. Or make them for your next tailgating or game day party!

Slow Cooker Grape Jelly Meatballs - The EASIEST holiday appetizer that's made with just 3 INGREDIENTS! People adore these saucy meatballs loaded with FLAVOR! A perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's celebrations and holiday parties. Or make them for your next tailgating or game day party!

Slow Cooker Grape Jelly Meatballs - The EASIEST holiday appetizer that's made with just 3 INGREDIENTS! People adore these saucy meatballs loaded with FLAVOR! A perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's celebrations and holiday parties. Or make them for your next tailgating or game day party!
Yield: 96

Slow Cooker Grape Jelly Meatballs

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 5 minutes

The EASIEST holiday appetizer that's made with just 3 INGREDIENTS! People adore these saucy meatballs loaded with FLAVOR! A perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's celebrations and holiday parties. Or make them for your next tailgating or game day party!

Ingredients

  • 48-ounces frozen precooked meatballs, thawed
  • 40-ounces barbecue sauce
  • 30-ounces grape jelly

Instructions

    1. To a 7-quart slow cooker (or similar sized such as 6 to 8 quarts) add the meatballs, barbecue sauce, grape jelly, stir to coat evenly, and cover.
    2. Cook on low for 5 to 6 hours or on high for 2 to 3 hours* (See Notes), stirring every hour or so.
    3. Serve warm and fresh. Extra meatballs will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months.** (See Notes)

Notes

*You can cook on high, and the meatballs will be ready in 2 to 3 hours. However, I recommend cooking them on low so the meatballs really have a chance to absorb all the flavors of the barbecue sauce and jelly.

**Regarding serving size and the nutritional stats provided as a courtesy only, but assuming that each meatball weighs 1/2 ounce, in a 48 ounce bag, there will be approximately 96 meatballs. Assuming that as an appetizer, a serving is 4 meatballs per person, that makes 24 servings overall. This is how the stats are calculated, but your mileage may vary. Also, not every drop of sauce will be consumed, so the stats are a bit artificially elevated.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

4

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 338Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 873mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 2gSugar: 36gProtein: 9g

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