These Grape Jelly BBQ Meatballs are easy to make in the crock pot. This recipe only takes 3 ingredients and 5 minutes to prep! Doesn’t get better than that.
These meatballs are a tried and true appetizer recipe of mine. They literally couldn’t be easier to make and everyone always loves them. Other easy go-to’s are little smokies, meatball sliders and pigs in a blanket.
Table of Contents
The Perfect Appetizer
These crockpot BBQ 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 these crockpot meatballs 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 recipe,” which are just as amazing.
The best part about these BBQ meatballs is that no one would ever know how simple they are to make. You could even turn them into a main dish and serve them over sticky rice. YUM!
3 simple ingredients!
These slow cooker grape jelly meatballs are so easy to make. You just need the 3 ingredients below to get started:
- Meatballs: I love getting the frozen meatballs from Costco or Kroger. They taste the best in my opinion. Homemade meatballs taste great as well if you have the time.
- Grape jelly: I keep it simple and use Smucker’s grape jelly.
- BBQ Sauce: Sweet baby ray’s BBQ sauce is my personal favorite. :) You can also make a homemade BBQ sauce if preferred.
How to Make Crockpot BBQ Meatballs
- Add ingredients to crockpot. Pour grape jelly and BBQ sauce in the bottom of your crockpot. Add in the meatballs and stir until fully coated.
- Cook meatballs in crockpot. Cook frozen meatballs in crockpot for 2 to 3 hours on high, or until warm. Make sure to stir a few times throughout.
- Serve and enjoy! Garnish with sliced green onions if desired and serve as an appetizer or main dish.
There are plenty of ways to easily mix up the flavors in this recipe. Check out some other yummy variations below:
- Sub Heinz chili sauce for BBQ sauce for an extra kick, like I did with these chili sauce meatballs.
- Replace grape jelly with 16 ounces sliced or diced pineapple for Hawaiian meatballs.
- Use 1/4 cup honey instead of jelly for a a little healthier alternative (add more or less to to taste).
- Make cranberry meatballs with leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving. Sub an equal amount of cranberry sauce for grape jelly.
- Use 2 packages of little smokies instead of meatballs.
We love to serve them with coconut rice, green beans and fresh cut pineapple.
If you’d like to thicken your sauce, you can mix together a cornstarch slurry (about 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch and 1 Tablespoon of water) and stir it into the sauce and allow it to simmer.
This is the base of the sauce (which helps thicken it) and brings the best flavor. I promise you won’t taste the grape flavor.
More Easy Appetizers:
- Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Ham and Cheese Sliders
- 4-Ingredient Cheese Ball
- Easy 7-Layer Dip
- Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
HUNGRY FOR MORE? Subscribe to my newsletter and follow on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for all the newest recipes!
Crockpot Bbq Meatballs
- 1 (18-ounce) jar jar grape jelly
- 1 (18-ounce) jar BBQ sauce
- 1 (32-ounce) bag frozen fully cooked meatballs (about 50)
Optional: Cooked rice, Sliced green onions
- In a medium bowl or the base of a slow cooker, combine the grape jelly and BBQ sauce. Add meatballs and stir until coated in sauce.
- Cook on high 2 to 3 hours or low 3 to 4 hours. Turn the slow cooker to warm until ready to serve.
- Enjoy as an appetizer or serve over rice and top with green onions for a main dish.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!
I cooked 1.75 lbs of meatballs (about 30 meatballs) in the oven, let them cool a bit, then put them in the crockpot with 1 cup of jelly and 1 cup of sweet baby rays bbq sauce. 2 hours later…omg, deliciousness. I did 1 hour on high and then 1 hour on low. Great recipe. The meatballs disappeared and everybody was talking about them!
Can I double the recipe?
Yes, as long as you have a big enough crockpot. You may just need to stir more frequently and add an extra 30-60 minutes cook time.
Can it be made with turkey meatballs?
Yes you can :)
My fiance went to the store for the ingredients and got italian meatballs instead of homestyle. Will it still taste the same?
We’ve made with Italian and they were good :)
So this is a southern staple! Great recipe. I use Italian meatballs for more flavor, as well as a dash of onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper and Lawry’s seasoning salt.
Easy and very delicious! A family party favorite.
so glad you enjoyed the crockpot meatballs!
Can the meatballs be frozen or should I thaw them before I start?
I place them in frozen :)
Can I make this in a pressure cooker?
Yes you can. I’d add about 3/4-1 cup water with the frozen meatballs and other ingredients. Then cook on high for 5 minutes.
Can you use jam instead or does it have to be jelly
Yes you can, I just prefer jelly as it doesn’t have the seeds like most jams.
This is a FANTASTIC recipe. I’ve been making it and bringing it to parties for years and it always goes quick.
If y’all are on a diet like me, switching the meatballs to chicken meatballs, grape jelly to sugar-free grape jelly, and bbq sauce to sugar-free, lessens it to about 220 calories (depending on the brands you use).
Does this change the flavor much? My daughter is type 1 diabetic and we like sugar free bbq but the sugar free jelly is not our fav lol. Wondering how it is mixed all together.
Made this Sunday for our Family Gathering at church. So easy and very delicious. I will be using the recipe again!
This is a great one to take to a potluck! Thanks for sharing, Debbie.
Thanks very much for your review Debbie!! I’ll be trying this too!!!