Crock pot grape jelly & BBQ meatballs – only 3 ingredients!


BBQ Meatballs.. easy to make in the crock pot, this recipe only takes 3 ingredients and 5 minutes to prep! Doesn’t get better than that.

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These crock pot grape jelly meatballs are a family favorite. They are seriously so good and the perfect appetizer for game day! They almost remind me of sweet and sour meatballs but taste better! My Grandpa has been making them for years and we always loved them growing up. My sister even talked him into making them as an appetizer at her wedding. Everyone loved them! Now of course my family has their actual “homemade meatballs” which are amazing and I’ll have to that recipe soon. The best part about these bbq meatballs is no one would ever know they were so simple to make. You could even turn them into a main dish and serve them over sticky rice. YUM!

Crock pot grape jelly meatballs on -only takes 3 ingredients and 5 minutes to prep! YUM!

I love getting the meatballs from Costco or Kroger. They taste the best in my opinion. And sweet baby ray’s BBQ sauce is my personal favorite. :)

Easy BBQ Meatballs Video

Crock pot grape jelly and BBQ meatballs

Yield: 50 meatballs

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 3 hours


1 (32-ounce) bag frozen fully cooked meatballs (about 50)
1 (18-ounce) jar grape jelly 
1 (18-ounce) BBQ sauce


Combine the grape jelly and BBQ sauce in a small bowl or in the base of your slow cooker. Add meatballs and stir until they are coated with the sauce. Cook on high for 2 to 3 hours.
Enjoy as an appetizer or serve over rice for a main dish.

To half this recipe, use 25 meatballs, 1 cup grape jelly and 1 cup BBQ sauce.

Crock pot grape jelly meatballs on -only takes 3 ingredients and 5 minutes to prep! YUM!

If you want to mix things up you can always try 2 packages of lit’l smokies instead of meatballs too. So good!

Sweet and sour smokies
YUMMM! Enjoy! :)

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Jamielyn Nye

Creative director and founder of I Heart Naptime. Jamielyn aspires to reach women, get their creative juices flowing, and to genuinely inspire. When she’s not creating, Jamielyn loves to chase her three little monkeys and snuggle up on the couch with her man.

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  1. Chrissy posted on September 15, 2014 at 10:05 pm (#

    These look and sound similar to a friend’s meatballs that are amazing! I cannot wait to try these out for something different!!!

  2. Lisa posted on September 16, 2014 at 11:29 am (#

    We’ve been making these for years at my mom’s, but in lieu of bbq sauce, we use Heinz Cocktail Sauce. Has a tangy flavor. Secret is not to stir often so they get some little crunchy bits and they won’t fall apart.

    • Jamielyn posted on September 20, 2014 at 11:25 pm (#

      Mmmm sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing Lisa!

  3. Lidia Anderson posted on September 16, 2014 at 12:08 pm (#

    Been making these for years and they are wonderful!  Don’t overthink it, just throw it all together – guaranteed to be eaten immediately!

    • Jamielyn posted on September 20, 2014 at 11:25 pm (#

      They really are wonderful! I love how easy they are too! :)

  4. Michelle posted on September 17, 2014 at 11:42 am (#

    These meatballs are amazing!! I love how easy they are too!

  5. Peppermint posted on September 18, 2014 at 3:24 pm (#

    What brand are the meatballs?

  6. Kristyn posted on September 18, 2014 at 5:09 pm (#

     GREAAAAAT picture – seriously, these look so yummy!

  7. Shaunta posted on September 19, 2014 at 10:56 pm (#

    These look so good! We always have a bunch of different little munchies like this for New Year’s Eve and I think I’m going to add these to the mix this year. Thanks!

    • Jamielyn posted on September 20, 2014 at 11:20 pm (#

      I love little appetizers like these too! Glad you could add these to your NYE mix. :)

  8. Melissa Hughes posted on September 21, 2014 at 5:40 pm (#

    I’ve made these for years and they are always eaten up immediately. I use Heinz Chili Sauce instead of bbq sauce. I’m thinking a combination of all 3 (bbq, chili sauce, and grape jelly) would be good as well.

    • Jamielyn posted on September 22, 2014 at 12:32 pm (#

      Mmmm a combo of all three of those would be delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Rebecca+Cooper posted on October 3, 2014 at 8:25 am (#

    These sound so interesting! Going to have to give them a try!!

    • Jamielyn posted on October 5, 2014 at 12:39 am (#

      I love how easy they are! Hope you enjoy this family favorite!

  10. sierra posted on October 10, 2014 at 1:47 pm (#

    Instead of 3 hours on high could i do 6 on low?

    • Jamielyn posted on October 16, 2014 at 12:28 am (#

      Yes definitely! :)

  11. Noelle posted on October 17, 2014 at 3:41 pm (#

    Made this for a teacher potluck today at work.  Nearly every teacher came by my room to ask for my recipe! Haha

    • Jamielyn posted on November 18, 2014 at 8:01 pm (#

      I love when that happens! I’m so glad everyone liked it, thanks for trying it! :)

  12. Amanda posted on October 18, 2014 at 12:02 pm (#

    Is it possible to use fresh ground beef for the meatballs?

    • Jamielyn posted on November 18, 2014 at 8:12 pm (#

      Hi Amanda! I haven’t tried this recipe with fresh ground beef since it makes it a super simple meal with frozen meatballs. I would think it would work the same but I would cook your meatballs first and then add them to the sauce.

  13. Kaitlin posted on November 1, 2014 at 3:56 pm (#

    Can you do this with uncooked homemade meatballs?

    • Jamielyn posted on November 19, 2014 at 5:40 pm (#

      It should work great with homemade meatballs! I would suggest cooking the meatballs first!

  14. Beverly posted on November 1, 2014 at 7:31 pm (#

    Ok, I’ve come across this, and want to try it, but my family is kinda picky. Can you taste the grape jelly??

    • Jamielyn posted on November 19, 2014 at 5:41 pm (#

      I’m not a fan of grape jelly on sandwiches and I love these meatballs so I would say you can’t tell! :)

  15. Hannah posted on November 3, 2014 at 11:37 pm (#

    Could I make these in the morn/afternoon, bring in Tupperware to a party and reheat them in the oven? Trying to find simple yet tasty appetizer to bring to a dinner party but something I can make before. If I can hear them up, what temp in the oven would you recommend? Would you recommend tossing in am oven safe casserole dish? Thanks!

    • Jamielyn posted on November 19, 2014 at 5:46 pm (#

      Yes definitely! You could even microwave them if you didn’t have time to heat them up in the oven! I wouldn’t do higher than 350 if you decide to heat them in the oven.

  16. Hannah posted on November 4, 2014 at 11:50 am (#

    Hi! I’ve made these before and I want to make again but I need to make them ahead of time and bring them to a dinner party. Would that still be good? I can cook them in the crockpot during the day and then store them in the refrigerator and then heat them up in the oven at the party. Would like your feedback on this. And if it’s ok what temp in the oven do you recommend and for how long?

    • Jamielyn posted on November 19, 2014 at 5:48 pm (#

      Yes that would work fine! I have even reheated them the next day in the microwave and they tasted amazing! I would do 350 for 8-10 minutes and then check them!

  17. Patti posted on November 8, 2014 at 5:12 pm (#

    What Brand are the meatballs?? What store do you get them at?? 

    • Jamielyn posted on November 14, 2014 at 12:00 am (#

      Hi Patti! I usually get the Italian style meatballs from Costco!

  18. Patti posted on November 8, 2014 at 5:13 pm (#

    What brand of meatballs and where did you buy them?

  19. Christina posted on November 8, 2014 at 10:24 pm (#

    Don’t laugh but what other things would be good to serve if I was throwing this into my dinner mix? They seem so tasty but I don’t need to use them as an appetizer just yet. Thank you for any suggestions :) 

    • Jamielyn posted on November 19, 2014 at 6:15 pm (#

      We usually have them over rice with vegetables on the side! :)

  20. Maureen Sierra Del Fuego posted on November 13, 2014 at 10:36 pm (#

    What flavor of meatballs do you use?  I think I’ve seen various flavors.  

    • Jamielyn posted on November 13, 2014 at 11:44 pm (#

      I usually use the Italian Style Beef! :)

  21. Maureen+Sierra+Del+Fuego posted on November 13, 2014 at 10:38 pm (#

    I’ve seen various flavors of meatballs, which do you use?

  22. Jennifer posted on December 28, 2014 at 7:24 pm (#

    Hi, I don’t have a crock pot (yes I know!) can i make them in a regular pot?

    • Jamielyn posted on January 6, 2015 at 2:33 pm (#

      Yes you can definitely make them in a regular pot! :)

  23. Tracy posted on December 29, 2014 at 3:38 pm (#

    I’m planning on making these for new years eve and I have honey bbq sauce. do you think that will work?

    • Jamielyn posted on January 6, 2015 at 2:33 pm (#

      Yes that should work great! :)

  24. Natasha posted on December 31, 2014 at 11:14 am (#

    Hi! Do you think any flavor bbq sauce would be good?? I am not a huge fan of BBQ sauce, but I love Devil’s Spit! Do you think that, with the jelly, and the meatballs would be good together??

    • Jamielyn posted on January 6, 2015 at 2:36 pm (#

      I haven’t tried Devil’s Spit, but I’m sure it would be delicious!

  25. Tracey posted on December 31, 2014 at 12:56 pm (#

    Have my ingredients ready. Bringing these to a New Year’s Eve party tonight. Hope they’re a hit. 

    • Jamielyn posted on January 6, 2015 at 2:36 pm (#

      Hope you enjoyed these Tracey! :)

  26. Maddie posted on December 31, 2014 at 4:20 pm (#

    These look sooooo good! Instead of doing frozen meatballs I just made my own, they are cooking in the crock pot right now. I hope they turn out good!

    • Jamielyn posted on January 6, 2015 at 2:36 pm (#

      These would definitely be good with homemade meatballs! Hope they turned out delicious!

  27. Maranda posted on January 4, 2015 at 4:15 pm (#

    These are awesome!  I did add just a dab of mustard and a dash of liquid smoke.  Turned out great!!  Thank you.

    • Jamielyn posted on January 6, 2015 at 2:41 pm (#

      Mmmm sounds delicious! Thanks for giving them a try! :)

  28. Patti posted on January 9, 2015 at 2:51 am (#

    Looks super delicious Jamielyn! I will try this tomorrow! Quick question- Would 1 18oz jar grape jelly and 1 18oz BBQ sauce be enough for 70 meatballs or should I add more? Thanks Patti! 

    • Jamielyn posted on January 13, 2015 at 7:53 pm (#

      Hi Patti! I would probably add a little more to get them all fully coated. :)

  29. Percy posted on January 9, 2015 at 7:50 pm (#

    finally a recipe for my favourite meatballs of all time thank you thank you thank you !!! The only place I had ever had them was at my buddies house whenever we are there for special events and sporting events and his wife would never give me the recipe !!! So now I can make them for myself and my kids whenever I want thank you !!! 

    • Jamielyn posted on January 12, 2015 at 10:10 pm (#

      I’m so glad you found what you were looking for! These meatballs are so good. Enjoy!

  30. Kathi posted on January 11, 2015 at 1:24 pm (#

    I mistakenot got Grape Jam instead of jelly……iS that going to make a dInference?

    • Jamielyn posted on January 14, 2015 at 10:57 pm (#

      It should taste the same Kathi! Hope you enjoy. :)

  31. paula KNIGHT posted on January 14, 2015 at 1:13 pm (#

    Sounds fabulous.  I bet u could substitute any flavor jam ie raspberry, pepper jelly, etc.

    • Jamielyn posted on January 14, 2015 at 11:14 pm (#

      So many possibilities! I will definitely have to try another flavor of jelly. :)

  32. Amber posted on January 14, 2015 at 7:57 pm (#

    What size crock pot did you use?  Would it fit in smaller size one?

    • Jamielyn posted on January 14, 2015 at 11:17 pm (#

      Hi Amber! I usually use a 7 quart crock pot! If you use a smaller one, you could always half the recipe. :)

  33. Glenela Rajpaul posted on January 25, 2015 at 10:51 pm (#

    My husband is Hindu & doesn’t eat beef. Do you think turkey meatballs would change the flavor any?

    • Jamielyn posted on February 2, 2015 at 2:43 pm (#

      It would change the flavor a little, but it would still be delicious I’m sure. :)

  34. Teresa posted on January 26, 2015 at 10:59 am (#

    There are different types of meatballs. Which is the best, Italian style? I never know which will taste better with BBQ sauce. Please advise. Thx

    • Jamielyn posted on February 2, 2015 at 2:26 pm (#

      Hi Teresa! I always use the meatballs from Costco! :)

  35. Jeremy posted on January 26, 2015 at 4:15 pm (#

    Sounds good! Today on this very cold winter evening in new jersey, i am making the meatballs with chili sauce and cranberry sauce. Never had them however my fiance’s mother makes them and they are very Good! :)

  36. Tracey posted on January 28, 2015 at 3:12 pm (#

    Is it possible to freeze some of the meatballs for later use? (after they have cooked all together..)

    • Jamielyn posted on February 2, 2015 at 4:57 pm (#

      Yes that should work just fine! :)

  37. Donna Jost posted on January 31, 2015 at 10:42 pm (#

    I am making these tomorrow for the Super Bowl party! I bought Wal-Mart brand home-style meatballs and am using Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce and the grape jelly! I also toss in some dried minced onion flakes. I am also tossing in several bags of Hillshire Farms Little Smokes (2 bags beef, 1 bag turkey). I made this last Christmas for our office party and it was a huge hit!! The crock pot came home empty…I washed the crock pot at the office…so I came home with a clean crock pot!!

    • Jamielyn posted on February 2, 2015 at 5:10 pm (#

      Little smokies are also really good in this grape jelly BBQ mixture! Hope you enjoyed these at your Super Bowl party. :)

  38. Meg posted on February 1, 2015 at 12:25 am (#

    I love crockpot meatballs that taste sweet. I am making this for a super bowl party. I hope i can share these as there is supposed to be lots of snow stopping me. Other wise i will have to  keep them for myself which i am not complaining one bit. More for me (and my husband and kids)!

    • Jamielyn posted on February 2, 2015 at 2:34 pm (#

      Hope you enjoyed these! They are one of my favorite appetizers. :)

  39. Lynn posted on February 1, 2015 at 8:38 am (#

    PAULA KNIGHT posted on JANUARY 14, 2015 at 1:13 PM (#31)
    Sounds fabulous.  I bet u could substitute any flavor jam ie raspberry, pepper jelly, etc.

    One of my coworkers used to bring these for every potluck we had, but he would also bring another crockpot where he would use mustard and red currant jelly. They were both WONDERFUL! Both of them were always the first dish to be gone! I just have trouble finding red currant jelly at my local grocery. 

  40. Mama_of_3 posted on February 1, 2015 at 2:39 pm (#

    Looking forward to these for the game today!  Just wondering, do you throw the meatballs into the crockpot while still frozen, or do you defrost them first? I added mine while still frozen and am not sure if I should be anticipating a longer cook tune. Thanks and Happy Super Bowl!!

  41. Mama_of_3 posted on February 1, 2015 at 2:54 pm (#

    Looking forward to these for the game today!  Just wondering, do you throw the meatballs into the crockpot while still frozen, or do you defrost them first? I added mine while still frozen and am not sure if I should be anticipating a longer cook time. Thanks and Happy Super Bowl!!

    • Jamielyn posted on February 2, 2015 at 2:27 pm (#

      Hi! Sorry I didn’t respond in time, but yes you throw them in frozen! :) Hope they turned out well for you.

  42. Amanda Z posted on February 1, 2015 at 11:30 pm (#

    I made these tonight, and they were delicious!! I brought them to a super bowl party and they were all gone when we left.  I ended up doing half chili sauce and half bbq sauce, and it was great!  For anyone that has celiac, and is too lazy to make their own meatballs, Farm Rich has gluten free meatballs, couldn’t be easier!

    • Jamielyn posted on February 2, 2015 at 1:42 pm (#

      Thanks for your comment Amanda! I’m so glad you liked these meatballs! :)

  43. Doris posted on February 7, 2015 at 6:04 pm (#

    Can I use ground Venison?

  44. tiffany posted on February 11, 2015 at 12:50 pm (#

    Making these now!!!

  45. T posted on February 13, 2015 at 3:12 pm (#

    Just so I’m clear, the meatballs go into the slow cooker frozen right. They dont have to be thawed?

    • Jamielyn posted on February 24, 2015 at 10:31 pm (#

      Yes, they go in frozen! :)

  46. mary taylor posted on February 28, 2015 at 3:24 pm (#

    Can you use boneless beef chuck ribs and how long to cook if browning??

    • Jamielyn posted on March 13, 2015 at 3:12 pm (#

      Hi Mary! I’ve never tried it but I’m sure it would work great! :)

  47. Michie posted on March 2, 2015 at 1:52 pm (#

    Do I bake meatballs first or throw in  crockpot frozen? 

    • Jamielyn posted on March 10, 2015 at 1:28 am (#

      I put them in the crock pot frozen! :)

  48. Emily fox posted on March 5, 2015 at 12:05 am (#

    Any way you could send me a recipe for 12 pounds of meatballs? I’m making these as one of my wedding appetizers in a week and I’m terrible with ratios!

    • Jamielyn posted on March 13, 2015 at 3:53 pm (#

      Hi Emily! I believe you would just multiply the recipe by 6. So 6 bags of meatballs, 6 jars of jelly, and 6 bottles of BBQ sauce! :)

  49. Whitney posted on March 11, 2015 at 8:26 am (#

    i got so excited when I saw this recipe in Pinterest! My mother used to make these, I’m making theses this weekend. Thanks. 

  50. Tina posted on March 17, 2015 at 8:17 am (#

    Love how simple this is! I made these last night for an office party today (3rd) time making them) and the sauce is as thin as water : ( Any suggestions for fixing or preventing this next time?

    • Jamielyn posted on May 27, 2015 at 8:10 pm (#

      Hi Tina! I have made these on the stove as well and they seem to be a little thicker. You could try leaving out some of the sauce and adding it near the end as well. :)

  51. DeAnn posted on March 19, 2015 at 2:11 pm (#

    Any particular meatball better than another?  I know that I’ve seen different kinds in the store. Italian style, plain , etc.

    • Jamielyn posted on March 21, 2015 at 6:17 pm (#

      I’ve used plain and Italian style, they are both good! :)

  52. Kelly Brown posted on March 26, 2015 at 5:13 pm (#

    Try this with cranberry sauce – regular or whole berry –  in place of the jelly. It is even better, trust me!

    • Jamielyn posted on March 26, 2015 at 11:52 pm (#

      Yum! Sounds great, I’ll have to give it a try!

  53. Nicole posted on March 28, 2015 at 5:19 pm (#

    Would it still be the same 3 hrs on high or 6 hrs on low if I’m doing about 4.5 lbs of meatballs or should I do it longer?

    • Jamielyn posted on May 3, 2015 at 12:40 am (#

      I would split the meatballs into two different crock pots to cook more evenly! :)

  54. Paris posted on April 1, 2015 at 8:17 pm (#

    Do I thaw meatballs before cooking?

    • Jamielyn posted on April 3, 2015 at 7:25 pm (#

      Nope, you can put them in frozen! :)

  55. Stacey posted on April 2, 2015 at 9:50 pm (#

    These were a big hit at my work potluck today! Thank you for sharing

    • Jamielyn posted on April 18, 2015 at 11:49 pm (#

      I’m so glad they were a hit! :)

  56. Laura at Creative Supergirl posted on April 23, 2015 at 2:18 pm (#

    I am getting ready to try these. Two of my mother’s friends were raving about these meatballs. I plan to make them for a party in a couple of weeks but wanted to try them out first. I’ve heard amazing things but I’ll find out tonight!

    • Jamielyn posted on May 2, 2015 at 11:45 pm (#

      Hi Laura! I hope you enjoyed these. They are so simple and delicious! :)

  57. chantel posted on April 24, 2015 at 9:00 pm (#

    I’m having quite a bunch at a bday party this weekend. I have a 32oz bag of frozen meatballs but i’m thinking of adding another bag. Would I have to double all the ingredients or would that be a lot?

    • Jamielyn posted on May 2, 2015 at 11:39 pm (#

      Hi Chantel! You would probably need to use two crockpots to double the recipe! :)

  58. Jeff B posted on April 25, 2015 at 9:13 pm (#

    I love these but every time I’ve made them in a crock pot the meatballs end up soaking in a watery/greasy bath at the end. The jelly and cocktail sauce gets really watered down and doesn’t stick to the meatballs like I see in the photos.  I use good quality frozen meatballs. I’m thinking I might have to cook the meatballs, drain off the liquid and then add the jelly and cocktail sauce and heat another hour or so. Have you seen this before? There really isn’t many things that can go wrong here but I’m kinda scratching my head wondering what’s going wrong.

    • Jamielyn posted on May 27, 2015 at 7:51 pm (#

      Hi Jeff! I’ve never had a problem with the sauce being watered down. I would try cooking them over the stove, that is how my grandparents originally made the recipe. Or you could add half of the sauce later. :)

  59. Jo Bromwell posted on April 26, 2015 at 1:26 pm (#

    Thank you for sharing! I am trying this today, for my sons 34th Birthday Celebration! Recipe so simple! I have had these before and they are delicious! So I know this will be a winning appetizer.

  60. shannon posted on May 26, 2015 at 6:42 am (#

    Wld it make a difference in bbq sauce, like if I used honey bbq instead of regular bbq sauce? 

    • Jamielyn posted on May 27, 2015 at 8:14 pm (#

      It should turn out the same, just with a little different taste! :)

  61. Lauren @ Rustic Honey posted on June 13, 2015 at 8:24 pm (#

    I have to try these! They sound and look delicious! My family has a similar bbq meatball recipe but I know for sure it wouldn’t beat the ease of this one! This would be a good recipe to keep ingredients on hand for unexpected parties! Thanks for sharing! :)

    • Jamielyn posted on June 16, 2015 at 2:35 pm (#

      These are definitely an easy party appetizer! I hope you enjoy them when you give them a try! :)

  62. Vicky posted on June 18, 2015 at 1:36 pm (#

    Would this work with chicken wings?

    • Laura Capello posted on June 19, 2015 at 8:06 am (#

      Yes, I think that would be delicious!

  63. Chosen posted on June 18, 2015 at 10:15 pm (#

    This looks good. I am from Australia and has not tried it yet and cant wait to do it. Would grape jam be ok to use instead of jelly? I am not sure if we have grapes jelly here. The cooking though takes a lot of time. Can this be cooked in oven too? Thanks

    • Laura Capello posted on June 19, 2015 at 8:05 am (#

      Hi Chosen! I think grape jam would be a lovely substitute if jelly is not available. You could cook this in the oven, but keep an eye on it to make sure the meatballs cook through and the sauce doesn’t burn. :)

  64. Nikki posted on July 11, 2015 at 6:05 pm (#

    Hi! Thanks for the recipe. Just made them tonight and wanted to ask if there was a way to make the sauce any thicker? It provided a great flavor, but my husband and I were hoping for it to be a bit more like syrup than marinade. Thanks! 

    • Laura Capello posted on July 12, 2015 at 10:10 am (#

      Hi Nikki! By the end of the cooking time, the sauce should be thicker and more sticky than a marinade. If it was still thin for you, your crock pot may not be working optimally. If you don’t want to replace it, try decreasing the jelly and bbq sauce to 13 ounces each and see if that helps. :)

  65. carole posted on July 26, 2015 at 4:14 pm (#

    I’ve always used  apple jelly. I’m going to try  grape next time

  66. Hannah posted on August 3, 2015 at 3:21 pm (#

    Anyone know what the weight watchers points would be for this? 

    • Laura Capello posted on August 3, 2015 at 8:46 pm (#

      Hi Hannah! It would depend on the type of meatballs you use. I’d recommend making a recipe on their website or on the app, to figure out the points value for what you’d consider a serving to be. (I can relate!)

  67. Eileen Krohn posted on August 8, 2015 at 1:28 pm (#

    Love your stuff

  68. Gayle Haskell posted on August 11, 2015 at 3:07 pm (#

    I’ve made the grape jelly meatball recipe for many years but  i use Chili sauce
    (next to the Ketchup) instead of the BBQ sauce. Very sweet and enjoyable but
    sometimes i add a TBL spoon of yellow mustard to tame the sweetness down a little bit. ( a lot of sugar  combined in these two ingredients  )
    I also like Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce the best. It’s a good division between the
    Robust flavors of most other sauces and the Honey sweet sauces. 
    Try my recipe and see if this could be an alternate to your recipe in a pinch.
    I’ll try your recipe this weekend.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Jamielyn posted on August 11, 2015 at 5:45 pm (#

      Sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing! :)

  69. Maria posted on September 5, 2015 at 11:42 am (#

    I am so excited to try these today. Just popped them all in my slow cooker before I left for work. Will it make a difference if I leave it on low heat and let it cook close to seven hours?

    • Laura Capello posted on September 8, 2015 at 5:52 pm (#

      Six hours on low should work! Hopefully that extra hour will make it ok!

  70. Sandi mathis posted on September 30, 2015 at 8:42 pm (#

    I also add a can of crushed pineapple.  Tastes great over rice.

  71. Anna-Maria Darton posted on October 2, 2015 at 11:38 pm (#

    I am so excited to try this recipe.  I’m sure my son will love this on rice just like you said. 😀

  72. anne hennelly posted on October 29, 2015 at 3:29 pm (#

    I have been making these meatballs for years. My cousin gave me the recipe. She said to use original KC Masterpiece bbq sauce. I’m not sure if that bbq sauce is local or is national. But they were delicious! They are always gone right away. Can’t wait to make them for my church Christmas party this year.

  73. Catherine posted on October 30, 2015 at 3:49 pm (#

    Thanks! I am so trying this tomorrow. :)

  74. Jillian posted on November 13, 2015 at 3:23 pm (#

    How would i make my own meatballs ..any specia way or just like normal italian meatballs??

    • Laura Capello posted on November 13, 2015 at 5:33 pm (#

      Just like normal Italian meatballs, but maybe with less herbs and garlic. :)

  75. Linda posted on November 15, 2015 at 11:38 pm (#

    when my son got married, the caterer made these meatballs by using pinante sauce and grape jelly.  They were delicious and everyone raved about them!

  76. Christine Bertrand posted on November 23, 2015 at 2:08 pm (#

    You dont even need the BBQ sauce….all i use is grape jelly, ketchup and meatballs!
    Everyone LOVES them….i buy the frozen meatballs and bake them in the oven for 45 minutes with cajun seasoning mix on them.
    Then combine everything in the crock pot. Making some for work tomorrow!

  77. Frank posted on November 30, 2015 at 11:38 pm (#

    A good friend has been bringing this in to the office for potlucks for over 20 years.  She can bring something else….as long as she also brings those grape jelly meatballs.  They always sell out.

  78. Jeri posted on December 2, 2015 at 12:01 pm (#

    I don’t have a crockpot.  May I just simmer them slowly on the stove in a sauce pan?

    • I Heart Naptime posted on December 2, 2015 at 2:39 pm (#

      Yes! I’d cook on a very low temperature with the lid on. :)

  79. Stacey posted on December 14, 2015 at 4:49 pm (#

    If I serve these as a meal, rather than an appetizer, how many will this recipe serve?

    • I Heart Naptime posted on December 14, 2015 at 6:52 pm (#

      This is two pounds of meat, so it should go quite far. It can feed my family of five (two of which are teenage boys!) and have leftovers for one or two lunches. :)

  80. Sarah posted on December 23, 2015 at 7:49 pm (#

    These are great! We add onions too the mixture and then eat it over mashed potatoes! So good!

  81. Marisol posted on December 29, 2015 at 3:46 pm (#

    Hi… what if you dont have a crockpot? How would you make these in the oven? 


    • I Heart Naptime posted on December 30, 2015 at 8:33 am (#

      The key would be to heat it low and slow. I’d set the oven to 225 and make sure I have a tight fitting lid. Even at that low temperature, they’d probably be done an an hour or two.

  82. Jody posted on December 31, 2015 at 5:43 pm (#

    We are about to have a crowd dive into these favorites! We’ve also enjoyed them with a can of jellied cranberry sauce in lieu of the grape jelly! Delish!!

  83. Nia posted on January 3, 2016 at 7:35 pm (#

    Cant wait to try these they sound delicious!!!

  84. Devin posted on January 4, 2016 at 12:34 pm (#

    These sound great! I’m trying them out for dinner tonight. Just wanted to say thanks for the recipe! 

  85. Sarah posted on January 9, 2016 at 4:35 pm (#

    Love this recipe! We do the meatballs over mashed potatoes and have steamed veggies on the side! 

  86. Missm83 posted on January 17, 2016 at 3:30 pm (#

    I am making these as we speak…my fiance is at work so I’m hoping it will be a great surprise. My co worker made these and I fall in love!I hope be will too

  87. David posted on January 24, 2016 at 9:12 am (#

    Would this recipe be good with frozen Swedish meatballs?

    • I Heart Naptime posted on January 24, 2016 at 10:08 am (#

      If they are plain and not in any sauce, they should work!

  88. Suzie Van Ornam Chatel posted on January 28, 2016 at 4:25 pm (#

    I have made these for years, but using little smokie sausages. My whole family loves them.

  89. Shelley posted on February 7, 2016 at 3:53 pm (#

    Thanks for sharing this!! I was looking for an easy crockpot meatball recipe for our Super Bowl potluck today, and I just knew I’d found someone after my own heart when I saw your website name! My meatballs are cooking as we speak. Can’t wait to eat them! (They smell great!)

  90. Cathy posted on February 8, 2016 at 2:30 pm (#

    I made the frozen meatballs with the grape jelly and chilli sauce for Superbowl yesterday and I have some leftovers can I freeze them even though the meatballs were already frozen?

    • I Heart Naptime posted on February 8, 2016 at 4:51 pm (#

      I wouldn’t – not because of the meatballs, but because of the sugar crystallization in the sauce. Maybe a great leftover for lunch with some rice?

  91. Jill posted on February 8, 2016 at 6:10 pm (#

    Hi there!! I’ve made these a few times now and they’re so awesome! Can you simply double the recipe? 2 18oz jars, 2 18oz bottles and 6 hours?

    • I Heart Naptime posted on February 8, 2016 at 6:35 pm (#

      You can definitely double the quantity, but you shouldn’t need to double the time. Three hours should do the trick. :)

  92. Kellye Williams posted on February 20, 2016 at 10:32 am (#

    Had to make something fast for a Church event! I was late so I looked up recipe for meatballs sauce saw yours and it’s the Best! Thank you! Being a Single Mom I had to budget so I went to food for less bought a bag of Turkey meatballs! Got the Jelly and BBQ sauce at the 99 cent. store! Everybody Loved them! 

    • I Heart Naptime posted on February 20, 2016 at 4:39 pm (#

      Yay, I’m so glad everyone enjoyed them!

  93. Charlene posted on February 22, 2016 at 6:32 pm (#

    Can I substitute Apricot preserves for the grape jelly?

    • I Heart Naptime posted on February 22, 2016 at 9:30 pm (#

      I haven’t tried it, but I bet it would be delicious!

  94. Melly posted on February 22, 2016 at 7:45 pm (#

    I am making these now… Should the sauce be thick or watery?

    • I Heart Naptime posted on February 22, 2016 at 9:29 pm (#

      Thick when you start, and very thick and sticky after they have cooked. :)

  95. Cherie Hiller posted on February 26, 2016 at 4:48 pm (#

    Just curious if cooking them on high helps with the sugars in the jelly so they are stickier because I cooked them on low and the sauce was a bit runny but I used equal parts BBQ to jelly ratio. Have you ever cooked them on low? Do you like them on high better?

    • I Heart Naptime posted on February 26, 2016 at 6:45 pm (#

      Did you cook them on low for twice as much time? It should have make the sauce be thick and saucy that way. :)

  96. Meredith posted on March 18, 2016 at 8:28 am (#

    If you are using a bag of pre cooked frozen meatballs do you put them in the crock pot frozen or thaw them before? What would be the time limits for frozen?

    • I Heart Naptime posted on March 18, 2016 at 9:44 am (#

      I started with frozen meatballs and on high, it took 3 hours. :)

  97. Allie posted on March 23, 2016 at 5:00 pm (#

    These look awesome!! Are they super super sweet? I’ve also seen a recipe with a packet of ranch dressing powder and bbq sauce for the sauce. Have you ever tried that version? 

    • I Heart Naptime posted on March 23, 2016 at 5:51 pm (#

      These are sweet, but not dessert-sweet. They have that nice spicy/salt/sweetness balance. :)

      I haven’t tried that version! If you do, let me know how they taste!

  98. Jen posted on May 6, 2016 at 3:19 pm (#

    Can you start with frozen UNcooked meatballs?  I assume they’ll cook on high for 3 hours, right?

    • I Heart Naptime posted on May 7, 2016 at 8:54 am (#

      You could try! My bigger concern isn’t of them not cooking through, but getting kind of slimy, as frozen mean when cooking tends to get. Since this will be in a sauce and the juices will be released, your result may be more soupy than sticky with the sauce.

  99. Cherrygashes posted on May 18, 2016 at 10:53 pm (#

    I always add garlic powder and Montreal steak seasoning, still using the same recipe.  When we have chili sauce on hand, I add a little in as well.   Just gives it a little more yum. 

  100. rachel posted on May 26, 2016 at 5:22 pm (#

    Can I use grape jam instead of jelly?

    • I Heart Naptime posted on May 27, 2016 at 9:46 am (#


  101. Cindy posted on June 1, 2016 at 11:19 pm (#

    As crazy as this sounds, I make these with grape jelly and ketchup! They are yummy . . .

    I have 60 people joining us to celebrate our son’s high school graduation and plan to make a boatload of them for the high school kids and will put them in our downstairs “kid cave.” Might make a few different types in different crockpots! My colleague does an even simpler version. She uses meatballs and only one additional ingredient – Jack Daniels BBQ sauce. They are amazing!

  102. Marsha posted on June 9, 2016 at 9:50 am (#

    Is it necessary to thaw the meatballs first? Some crock pot instructions state not to put frozen food in them. So if they are thawed how would that change the cook time on them?

    • I Heart Naptime posted on June 9, 2016 at 10:52 am (#

      The time should likely be the same either way, because you want the sauce to get delicious and sticky. :)

  103. Ruthanne Schiavone posted on July 27, 2016 at 5:31 pm (#

    I have used Costcos Turkey meatballs and no one knew they were not beef. I’m making them Saturday for a 97 yr olds birthday.

  104. Janet posted on August 2, 2016 at 10:35 am (#

    I use chili sauce in mine…

    • I Heart Naptime posted on August 2, 2016 at 11:41 am (#


  105. Beth posted on August 11, 2016 at 2:36 pm (#

    Is there a different way to make this without a crockpot I’m a cook for a preschool and think they would enjoy this 

    • I Heart Naptime posted on August 11, 2016 at 3:51 pm (#

      Low and slow on the stove top in a big pot or in the oven at 250 would work!

      If you’re starting with frozen, you may want to test run a small batch at home. I think at 250, 90 minutes would be good but I’m not 100% certain. :D

  106. Sarah posted on August 12, 2016 at 10:56 am (#

    I make these all the time but for my sauce I use
    1 cup grape jelly
    1 jar chili sauce
    1 Tbsp lemon juice
    Thought I’d pass on my take on this recipe.

    • I Heart Naptime posted on August 12, 2016 at 11:59 am (#

      Sounds delicious, Sarah!

  107. Craig J posted on September 23, 2016 at 5:32 pm (#

    I made these for a friend and everyone wanted to know how they were made. Easy and oh so good. Thanks for sharing.

  108. Wendy posted on September 30, 2016 at 6:36 pm (#

    I am putting the meatballs in the crock pot in the morning. Do I need to put them in frozen or is it ok to put them in the fridge overnight to unthaw them ?Do I need to 

    • I Heart Naptime posted on October 1, 2016 at 11:56 am (#

      Frozen or thawed meatballs both work greet!

  109. Anita posted on October 1, 2016 at 12:28 pm (#

    How often to stir (started frozen) so don’t fall apart?

    • I Heart Naptime posted on October 2, 2016 at 10:58 am (#

      I only stir when I add them all to the crockpot, and again before serving – that’s it! :)

  110. Sarah posted on October 19, 2016 at 9:18 pm (#

    Could I freeze it ahead of time? Thinking of bringing it camping and would rather mix it ahead of time and freeze so it’s less to pack.

    • I Heart Naptime posted on October 20, 2016 at 7:41 am (#

      I’d just bring the frozen meatballs and unopened cans and assemble at the camp ground, would be less mess and easier to pack. :)

  111. Victoria Brown posted on October 19, 2016 at 10:47 pm (#

    Thanks I’m gonna make the meatballs for my sons 2ND B-Day party.

  112. Cindy posted on October 30, 2016 at 4:57 pm (#

    Just put mine in the Crock pot. I used Super Store Angus Frozen meatballs ( box of 64), Welch’s Grape JELLY & of course Sweet Baby Rays regular BBQ sauce. Just like your recipe called for…no tweaking for this girl. I am cooking mine slow for 6 hours. I plan on taking the whole Crock pot to work in the morning and letting them stay on warm until party time! Making them for our Halloween pot-luck at the office for tomorrow. I can’t wait to see the reactions on peoples faces when they indulge. :-)

  113. Sharon posted on November 2, 2016 at 5:52 pm (#

    This recipe is also amazing if you substitute the bbq sauce for chilic sauce, WOW, is all I can say! We also do cocktail weiners in this sauce and they are always a hit.

  114. Cherrio78 posted on November 2, 2016 at 7:02 pm (#

    We use grape jelly and 2 jars of chili sauce. They are amazing.

  115. mspence posted on November 10, 2016 at 4:48 am (#

    These are perfect-the same kind we used to have for Christmas.

  116. Courtney posted on November 10, 2016 at 9:53 am (#

    May be a silly question, but could someone please tell me if you are adding the entire jar of jelly and the entire bottle of BBQ sauce? I didn’t see measurements anywhere, so I’ll assume yes, but just wanted clarification.

    • I Heart Naptime posted on November 10, 2016 at 1:50 pm (#


  117. dcgirl posted on November 23, 2016 at 3:39 pm (#

    Am getting ready to make these using grape jam,Heinz 57 chili sauce,and sweet & spicy BBQ sauce. Because I’m using fresh meatballs will cook them 1/2-3-4 done before adding sauce to crockpot. Because one person said the sauce got mushy Im going to add half the amount till almost done in crockpot then will add more as needed. .
    Either way look delicious for a pre Thanksgiving day dinner. They’ll go great with crackers and cheese,salami,etc..!!!

  118. Trish posted on December 23, 2016 at 11:33 am (#

    Can I double this

    • I Heart Naptime posted on December 23, 2016 at 2:51 pm (#

      Definitely! :)

  119. Melanie posted on December 24, 2016 at 7:45 pm (#

    I’ve never been a huge appetizer maker and have always wanted to try one of these easy, super-delicious recipes. I chose this one, and man were they delicious! I used lil’ smokies with cheddar and it was an easy peasy appetizer. You might not think the cheese would go with the sweet sauce, but it went together really well. Definitely bookmarking this page to make again! Thanks!

  120. BJ posted on December 27, 2016 at 1:52 pm (#

    Has anyone tried this with cocktailweiners?
    I’ve tried the meatballs & they were great!

    • I Heart Naptime posted on December 27, 2016 at 5:16 pm (#

      Yes! We’ve tried it and it’s just as delicious! :)

  121. Michael West posted on February 13, 2017 at 4:25 pm (#

    BBQ and meatballs sold me. . adding grape jello to it is awesome!

  122. CZgator posted on April 20, 2017 at 11:40 am (#

    I had these for the first time at a party a couple of years ago and they were so good I went and bought a crock pot just to make them! I have also heard of substituting apricot jelly for the grape, which would probably give it a citrus/Asian flavor. I do like the Baby Rays BBQ, though, because it is sweet and tangy.

  123. Samm'ys Mom posted on April 28, 2017 at 12:17 am (#

    If you double the recipe do you need to increase the cooking time in the crock pot?

    • I Heart Naptime posted on April 28, 2017 at 7:57 am (#

      You shouldn’t need to! :)