Grape Jelly Meatballs Appetizer

Grape jelly meatballs on a white plate with parsley

The Spruce


  • Total: 60 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: 12 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
224 Calories
8g Fat
15g Carbs
23g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 224
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 11%
Saturated Fat 3g 16%
Cholesterol 68mg 23%
Sodium 354mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 23g
Calcium 37mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

These popular meatballs are made with ground beef, herbs, and a fabulous sweet-and-sour sauce made with grape jelly and ketchup. Keep the meatballs on low or warm in the crockpot and provide toothpicks, napkins, and plates for your guests.

This is an easy recipe and these meatballs are always a hit. They're perfect for tailgating, office parties or a home game day gathering. Take them to a party or potluck and watch them disappear!

You can use cocktail sausages, frozen meatballs, or ground turkey in this recipe. Take a look at the tips and variations for slow cooker instructions and more.


  • 2 pounds lean ground beef (around 85 percent to 90 percent)
  • 1 tablespoon parsley flakes
  • 2 teaspoons dried leaf oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried leaf basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup (or chili sauce)
  • 1 1/2 cups grape jelly
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for meatballs
    The Spruce
  2. Heat the oven to 350 F / 180 C / Gas 4. Line a large baking pan with foil.

  3. Mix all ingredients together.

    Grape jelly meatball mixture.
    The Spruce
  4. Shape into 1-inch balls.

    Formed grape jelly meatballs.
    The Spruce
  5. Brown the meatballs in a large skillet over medium heat.

    Browned grape jelly meatballs.
    The Spruce
  6. Place meatballs in the prepared baking pan.

    Baking grape jelly meatballs.
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  7. In a bowl, combine the ketchup, lemon juice, and grape jelly; blend thoroughly.

    Grape jelly meatball sauce.
    The Spruce
  8. Add the grape jelly sauce mixture to meatballs and bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes.

    Grape jelly meatballs in sauce.
    The Spruce
  9. Move the meatballs to the crock pot or a chafing dish to keep warm for serving.

    Grape jelly meatballs.
    The Spruce
  10. Enjoy!


  • These meatballs can be cooked in the slow cooker as well. Shape the meatballs and place them in the foil-lined baking pan. Bake them in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until the meatballs register at least 160 F, the minimum safe temperature for ground meat (for turkey or chicken, 165 F). Transfer the meatballs to the slow cooker with the remaining sauce ingredients and cook until the sauce is bubbling—about 2 to 3 hours on low or about 1 1/2 hours on high. Serve from the slow cooker.


  • Make the meatballs with part or all ground turkey. Ground turkey thighs are best for meatballs. If too lean, the meatballs will be tough and somewhat dry.
  • Use about 2 pounds of good quality frozen meatballs in the recipe. Put them in the slow cooker with the sauce ingredients and cook them on high for about 1 1/2 hours and then turn to low for about an hour or until the meatballs are hot.
  • Substitute 2 pounds of cocktail sausages or mini wieners for the ground beef mixture. Prepare the sauce and bake with the sausages for 30 minutes or cook in the slow cooker for about 2 to 3 hours on low or about 1 1/2 hours on high.