Sweet and hearty grape jelly meatballs make for a classic appetizer or main course! Full-bodied and spicy, these fellas are sure to please the crowd.

Grape Jelly Meatballs with toothpicks, sprinkled with chopped parsley

Grape jelly meatballs are perfect for holiday potlucks and football parties. These tasty little treats are drenched in chili sauce, spiced with cayenne, and rounded out with that sweet grape jelly flavor. I assure you that you won’t be ashamed to show your face when delivering these tender and juicy morsels!

And you cannot top the minimal prep work. Aside from a few cranks of the elbow as you whisk together the sauce, seriously the only thing you need to do is set a timer! Bookmark this recipe for the next time you encounter a last minute “everyone pitch in” sort of gathering.

I doubt that you need further encouragement to try grape jelly meatballs, but I’ll lay it on thick as the chili sauce! DIY people need not opt out of this one either. If you find yourself disappointed with the negligible elbow grease required, you can always make your own meatballs, chili sauce, and jelly! Consider jarring leftovers of the latter two ingredients for an additional hostess gift.


  • Grape jelly chili sauce meatballs require only four ingredients!
  • The meatballs are so flavorful!
  • Prep work for crockpot meatballs grape jelly style is a cinch.
  • Grape jelly and chili sauce make for a surprisingly tasty combination.

Grape Jelly Meatballs in a shallow white bowl

What Are Grape Jelly Meatballs?

In this recipe for crockpot meatballs, grape jelly is king — hence the name! Grape jelly meatballs are simply cocktail meatballs simmered in jelly, chili sauce, and pepper. Simple, yet delicious.

This is a popular dish in the Deep South, and possibly one of the quickest appetizers or entrees you will ever encounter. They were also the hottest food trend of 1962, according to this Insider article! Some things never go out of style.




What Ingredients Do You Need To Make Grape Jelly Meatballs?

Whoever first thought of cooking meatballs with grape jelly is a superstar in my book. Such a sweet, fruity flavor! Besides these two ingredients, all you need is a jar of chili sauce and a bit of cayenne pepper. That’s really all, folks!

Prepared ingredients for Grape Jelly Meatballs

How Do You Make Grape Jelly Meatballs?

Simply mix together cocktail meatballs grape jelly, chili sauce, and cayenne pepper, coating well, then cover and cook for a few hours in the crockpot! This is seriously one of the simplest recipes out there. Of course, you can always up the time commitment factor by making the individual ingredients (jelly, chili sauce, and meatballs) yourself!

Step By Step How To Make Grape Jelly Meatballs

Step By Step: How Do You Make Grape Jelly Meatballs

1. Add grape jelly to the crockpot.
2. Whisk to break up the jelly.
3. Add chili sauce.
4. Add cayenne pepper.
5. Mix well.
6. Turn crockpot on low, and cover and cook 2-4 hours on high.


Grape Jelly Meatballs in a shallow white bowl
5 from 1 vote

Grape Jelly Meatballs

Sweet and hearty grape jelly meatballs make for a classic appetizer or main course! Full-bodied and spicy, these fellas are sure to please the crowd.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings 6 -8 servings
Calories 567 kcal
Author Kathleen


  • 1 (30 Ounce) Jar Grape Jelly
  • 2 (12 Ounce) Jar Chili Sauce
  • Pinch Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 Pounds Frozen Cocktail Size Meatballs


  1. Add the grape jelly, chili sauce, and cayenne pepper to the crockpot and whisk mixture to break up the jelly so it will mix in.

  2. Add the frozen meatballs to sauce and toss with a rubber spatula to coat the meatballs. 

  3. Turn Crockpot on low, cover and cook on high for 2 hours or low 4 hours.

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Nutritional Information

Nutrition information will vary based on the specific products. To be safe, check the nutrition facts labels of your products. Optional object listed above have been left out of nutritional data.

Nutrition Facts
Grape Jelly Meatballs
Amount Per Serving (1 /6 of the recipe)
Calories 567 Calories from Fat 297
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 33g 51%
Saturated Fat 11g 55%
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 13g
Cholesterol 99mg 33%
Sodium 2646mg 110%
Potassium 447mg 13%
Total Carbohydrates 137g 46%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 117g
Protein 21g 42%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Rubber spatula mixing Grape Jelly Meatballs and sauce in a crockpot

Recipe Notes For Grape Jelly Meatballs:

Grape jelly selection: Jelly selection is a delicate matter for some, but I think hard to go wrong with either Smuckers grape jelly meatballs or Welch’s grape jelly meatballs.  If you are feeling extra creative, check out HGTV’s article on how to make your own grape jelly!

Meatball selection: Pretty much any cocktail sized (read: not ginormous!) meatball will do the trick in this recipe. Again, if you want to do everything homemade style, where there’s a will there’s a way! Here’s my fav meatball recipe

Chili sauce selection: For the uninitiated, chili sauce is a spicy tomato and chili rich hot sauce. You can find it at most local groceries! Adjust the spice level to your liking. (And yes, you can make this at home as well. Recipes vary, but the basics are tomatoes, onions, chilies, garlic, salt, and vinegar.)  

Crockpot alternatives: If you don’t have a crockpot or want to supervise your meatballs more closely, you can, of course, make these on the stove top as well! Just mix and simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat until the meatballs are warmed through, for about thirty minutes.  

Variations: Some diners love meatballs with grape jelly and bbq sauce instead of chili sauce. If you have awakened a hankering for other flavorful meatball varieties, you might also like to try another holiday fav, my Cranberry Meatballs. And, don’t forget my Teriyaki Meatballs, or my Sweet And Sour Meatballs. They serve as those anytime appetizer that guests gorge themselves on.

Can You Make Grape Jelly Meatballs Ahead Of Time?

Yes, sir or ma’am! These meatballs keep for up to four months in the freezer and two days in the fridge. Reheat them on a low heat setting either on the stove or in the crock pot, stirring occasionally, until they are heated through. As an added bonus, you get to savor that grape and chili aroma for a second time!

Ladle scooped Grape Jelly Meatballs from crockpot

How Do You Freeze Grape Jelly Meatballs?

Meatballs with grape jelly and chili sauce are easy to freeze. Layer them in an airtight freezer safe bag or container, and freeze for several months at a time (aim for three or four months to be on the safe side).

Don’t forget to let the meatballs cool completely before portioning out into your freezer container! I recommend cooling them in the fridge for food safety reasons.

What To Serve With Grape Jelly Meatballs:

Typically, these little gems are served as an appetizer at parties, potlucks, and such. But, there’s no reason not to raise the roof and serve these for dinner! Grape jelly and chili sauce meatballs go great with plain or savory sides like pasta, mashed potatoes, and or cooked veggies. Garden salad and garlic bread are two other common pairings.

Grape Jelly Meatballs with toothpicks, sprinkled with chopped parsley

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Step By Step How To Make Grape Jelly Meatballs