Southern Grape Jelly Meatballs

Grape jelly meatballs

The Spruce

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 6 hrs
Total: 6 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 18 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
122 Calories
3g Fat
14g Carbs
8g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 18
Amount per serving
Calories 122
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 33mg 11%
Sodium 427mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 4mg 19%
Calcium 14mg 1%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 210mg 4%
*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 sweet-and-savory meatballs are a wonderful addition to your holiday menu, as they make for a tasty appetizer, and can be served with toothpicks, avoiding the use of silverware altogether, which means less work for you and delicious food for your guests.

The combination of chili sauce, grape jelly, and Dijon mustard is a flavorful, tangy sauce, and if you offer these meatballs with other small bites like shrimp empanadas, a cheese plate, a charcuterie selection, and fresh bread, your party can run smoothly without you working on the stove. The meatballs are finished on the crock pot so after the oven time you just mix, cover, and come back to ready-to-eat little morsels.

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Click Play to See This Southern Grape Jelly Meatballs Recipe Come Together

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups chili sauce

  • 1 cup grape jelly

  • 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • Cooking spray

  • 1 pound lean ground beef

  • 1 large egg, (lightly beaten)

  • 3 tablespoons dry fine breadcrumbs

  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 400 F.

    grape jelly meatballs ingredients
    The Spruce
  2. Combine chili sauce, grape jelly, and mustard in the crock pot and stir well. Cook covered on high while preparing the meatballs.

    Combine chili sauce, grape jelly, and mustard
     The Spruce
  3. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Grease or spray with cooking oil.

    Foil-lined baking sheet
     The Spruce
  4. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef with the beaten egg, breadcrumbs, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon or your hands, if needed.

    combine the ground beef with the beaten egg, breadcrumbs, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper for meatballs
     The Spruce
  5. Shape into about 2 or 3 dozen (1/2-ounce) meatballs or 16 to 18 (1-ounce) meatballs. Arrange the meatballs in the prepared baking pan and bake for 12 to 18 minutes, or until cooked through. Alternatively, place a cooling rack in the pan and bake the meatballs on the rack.

    Meatballs on foil pan ready to bake
     The Spruce
  6. Once cooked, discard any liquid from the baking pan and transfer the meatballs to the crock pot. Stir to coat, cover, and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours.

    Meatballs in the crockpot
     The Spruce
  7. Stir well before serving. Enjoy.

    Grape jelly crock pot meatballs
     The Spruce

If You Need Lots of Meatballs

This recipe is easily doubled or tripled to feed a crowd. Here are a few ideas to make it easier for you to host a large party:

  • Use prepared frozen meatballs to save time.
  • Prepare the meatballs the night before, bake them first thing in the morning, and place them in the crock pot.
  • For a quick version, heat the sauce ingredients in a Dutch oven or stockpot. Add the cooked or frozen meatballs, cover, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker (low setting) or chafing dish for serving.

Different Flavors

Add these flavors to your sweet-savory meatballs:

  • Use currant jelly or apple jelly instead of grape jelly.
  • If you don't have chili sauce, or don't like it, combine 1 1/2 cups of ketchup with 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of vinegar, a dash of cinnamon, and a dash of allspice.
  • Use a thick, mild barbecue sauce in place of the chili sauce and Dijon mustard. 
  • Use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef, or use a combination of beef and lean ground pork. 

How to Store and Freeze

  • These meatballs will keep in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
  • Go ahead and freeze them for later use, whether it be for a family gathering or a game day. Simply place in an airtight container, leaving room for the sauce to expand, and freeze. They will last for up to 3 months. Then to reheat, defrost overnight in the fridge and reheat in the crock pot.