These crock pot grape jelly meatballs are a delicious appetizer that takes very little work! They’re perfect for the holidays, Super Bowl, or a party all year round!
When it comes to appetizers – whether they be Christmas appetizers, Super Bowl appetizers, or even everyday appetizers – I like to keep them quick and easy. You have enough to worry about as a host to slave over complicated food.
These crockpot grape jelly meatballs are pretty much the easiest appetizer ever – all you really need is a little time!
It’s a classic recipe that we’ve upgraded with a better flavor profile to make them a bit sweet, a bit savory, and 100% delicious! Plus, because you cook them the crockpot, they’re pretty much a pour everything in and go type dish!
I made them for lunch when we were trying out all of these candy cane game ideas, and they were gone in minutes!
Why you’ll Love these meatballs
- Easy – I mentioned it above but it’s super easy to just toss everything in the crockpot, give it a quick stir, and cook. That’s literally all you have to do.
- Great flavor – unlike some of the grape jelly meatballs I’ve tried before, they ones are super flavorful. The grape jelly combined with the chili sauce gives these a nice sweet and savory flavor.
- Foolproof – there’s pretty much no way to screw up this recipe unless you just totally forget about them and leave them cooking too long. But these days most crockpots have a timer on them so just set your time and make sure it turns off when they’re done!
- Meatballs – the recipe calls for 32 oz package of frozen Swedish meatballs. You could also make your own meatballs and freeze them (prior to making this) then use them for this dish if you prefer homemade to frozen.
- Garlic paste – you can also substitute 3/4 tsp of garlic powder instead of the garlic paste, but I like how well the garlic paste combines with the other ingredients
- Pineapple juice – if you don’t have pineapple juice on hand, you can also just orange juice. The flavor will be just a bit different but still yummy.
- Light brown sugar – these can technically be made without the sugar, but it does make a big difference if you omit this.
How to Make grape jelly meatballs
This might be the easiest recipe I’ve ever posted on my site and that’s saying a lot since I have things like easy Oreo truffles and roasted root veggies. This one takes the cake for being the easiest appetizer I have by far.
First put the frozen meatballs, grape jelly, and chili sauce in a large crockpot. Stir them around a bit.
Then add the pineapple juice to the chili sauce container and shake well to loosen up any remaining sauce.
Pour this into the slow cooker as well.
Now add the brown sugar and garlic paste and stir everything together to combine. You want to make sure that the meatballs and sauce are all mixed in.
Cook on high for 2 1/2 – 3 hours, then turn to warm for serving. I found that they were cooked and ready to enjoy by about 2 1/2 hours but every crockpot cooks a little different.
Stir again after you remove the lid right before serving.
Serve either with a wooden spoon or small toothpicks for people to take individual meatballs.
While these make a super easy appetizer, they’d also make a great dinner for your family. Make a batch, serve them with some mashed potatoes and honey roasted carrots for a delicious meal the entire family will enjoy. I know mine did!
Double the recipe in a large crockpot if you are trying to serve a large crowd. They go quickly and the recipe doubles great.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
You can cook these in advance and refrigerate then place back in the crockpot to reheat. Since you’re cooking from refrigerated the second time around, they shouldn’t take as long to warm.
Serve in the crockpot to keep them warm for serving rather than moving to a large serving platter or other plated dish. The sauce is much better warm.
You can cook these crockpot meatballs directly from frozen. Just add the frozen meatballs and other ingredients in and cook.
You can leave the meatballs in the crockpot overnight if you cover the crockpot and put it in the refrigerator. Meatballs should always be refrigerated.
Once cooked, these meatballs should be eaten within three days if stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Grape jelly meatballs can be gluten free if you use gluten free meatballs or use your own that don’t use breadcrumbs. The rest of the ingredients are normally gluten free – just make sure to check the label for ingredients.
More Easy Appetizers
If you’re looking for easy appetizers, I’ve got your covered! These are some of our reader favorites!
- Layered buffalo chicken dip – this buffalo chicken dip combines chicken, buffalo sauce, and a little ranch dressing for the best buffalo chicken dip you’ll ever try!
- Easy fruit salsa – everyone will love this simple fruit salsa with homemade cinnamon chips, great for parties for an afternoon snack!
- Homemade pepperoni rolls – make these in the brick oven or regular oven for a pizza lover must-try
- BBQ pulled pork sandwiches – another super easy appetizer that will keep both kids and adults happy, plus an amazing cabbage slaw to enjoy on top!
Crockpot Grape Jelly Meatballs
- 32 ounces frozen Swedish meatballs
- 16 ounces grape jelly
- 12 ounces chili sauce
- ¼ cup pineapple juice
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 1 TBS garlic paste
- Add frozen meatballs, grape jelly, and chili sauce to crockpot.
- Add the pineapple juice to the chili sauce container and shake to loosen up any remaining sauce then pour it all into crockpot.
- Add brown sugar and garlic paste, then stir to combine.
- Cook on high for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, then turn crockpot to warm to serve.
Tips & Notes:
- Pineapple juice – can be replaced with orange juice
- Light brown sugar – can be omitted but does make a big difference in flavor
- Garlic paste – can be replaced with 3/4 tsp garlic powder