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Crockpot Meatballs with Grape Jelly and BBQ Sauce are an easy appetizer made in the crock pot with only 4 ingredients and 5 minutes of prep time. Serve them up on game day, at holiday parties, or potlucks where they are certain to be a crowd favorite.
The taste of the sweet grape jelly combines with the BBQ sauce for a sweet and spicy sauce that pairs perfectly with the juicy meatballs.
It’s the kind of great recipe that is always a big hit at parties and people will ask you to make and over again.
This section includes ingredient notes and substitution options. Get all measurements, ingredients, and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this post.
And you need for the perfect appetizer is four simple ingredients and a crock pot. That’s it!
- Meatballs – I recommend frozen meatballs because they make the recipe quick and easy but you can use homemade meatballs if you prefer. Turkey meatballs would work, too.
- BBQ sauce – I use Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce but you can use your favorite brand.
- Grape jelly – Smucker’s is our personal favorite but you can use any brand.
- Cayenne pepper – adds extra heat. You can leave out or cut back on the cayenne pepper if desired.
How to make Grape Jelly BBQ Meatballs
This section shows you how to make the recipe with step-by-step photos and instructions. For the full printable recipe, see the recipe card below.
- Add the ingredients to the slow cooker and stir.
- Cover and cook on high for 2-4 hours on high.
- Give it a stir then serve and enjoy
Store leftover meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Reheat in the slow cooker or in the microwave.
- Once they are heated through, turn your slow cooker to the warm setting until ready to serve.
- Make your slow cooker grape jelly meatballs the main course by serving them over rice or noodles.
- You also don’t have to make a huge batch of these slow cooker meatballs every time. If you’re serving a smaller crowd you can easily halve the recipe.
Other Cooking Methods
Don’t have a crockpot? Or maybe you are in a hurry? Try one of these different ways to make bbq grape jelly meatballs.
- Add the grape jelly, BBQ sauce, and cayenne pepper to a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Whisk together.
- Add the frozen meatballs and stir to coat with the grape jelly sauce.
- Let the meatballs simmer, stirring occasionally, until heated through (about 20-25 minutes).
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk to combine the grape jelly, barbecue sauce, and cayenne pepper. Stir in the meatballs.
- Transfer to a casserole dish or Dutch oven. Cover and bake at 325 F for 30 minutes, or until meatballs are heated through.
- Add 2 Tablespoons of sriracha sauce or hot sauce for an extra kick.
- Mix in about 1/2 cup of crushed pineapple (drained) to the crockpot for a tropical flair.
- Replace the grape jelly with cranberry sauce for a tart and sweet variation, perfect for the holidays.
- Replace the barbecue sauce with a 12-ounce bottle of Heinz Chili Sauce for a sweet and tangy sauce.
Certainly, any type of jam or jelly can be used for this grape jelly meatball recipe. The flavor profile will change, but the method remains the same.
No, you can place the meatballs in the crockpot frozen. In fact, if you are using thawed meatballs you will likely have to cut down on the cooking time.
Yes, homemade meatballs can be used. If they are pre-cooked, follow the recipe as is. If they’re raw, ensure they’re cooked through during the slow cooking process, which might require additional time.
If you’re using pre-cooked meatballs, you’re primarily heating them through and allowing them to absorb the sauce flavors. They should be hot in the center when done. If using raw homemade meatballs, ensure they reach an internal temperature of 160°F.
More Easy Crockpot Recipes You Will Love
- Crockpot Apple Butter
- Copycat Cracker Barrel Fried Apples in the Crockpot
- Crockpot Apple Cider
- Crockpot Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken – only 5 ingredients!
Crockpot BBQ Grape Jelly Meatballs
- 1 32-ounce bag frozen meatballs fully cooked
- 1 18-ounce bottle barbecue sauce
- 1 18-ounce jar grape jelly
- 1 ½ teaspoons cayenne pepper optional
- Combine all ingredients in a large crockpot and stir to mix well.
- Cover and cook for 4 hours on low or 2-3 hours on high. Stir once or twice while cooking, if possible.
- Stir once more before serving.