Southern Grape Jelly Meatballs

Grape jelly meatballs

The Spruce

  • Total: 6 hrs 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 6 hrs
  • Yield: 18 servings

These great tasting grape jelly meatballs are always a hit, and once you taste them, you'll see why. The combination of chili sauce and grape jelly with the Dijon mustard makes a flavorful, tangy sauce. Besides that, it's fun to see the look on people's faces when you tell them about the grape jelly.

Provide napkins, small plates, and toothpicks or forks for serving. Keep the meatballs in the slow cooker on low or move them to a chafing dish. 


  • 1 1/2 cups chili sauce
  • 1 cup grape jelly (see a few variations below the recipe instructions)
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 3 tablespoons fine dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    grape jelly meatballs ingredients
    The Spruce
  2. Heat the oven to  400 F (200 C/Gas 6). Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.

    Foil-lined baking sheet.
     The Spruce
  3. Combine chili sauce, grape jelly, and mustard in Crock Pot and stir well. Cook, covered, on high while preparing the meatballs.

    Grape jelly meatball sauce.
     The Spruce
  4. Combine the ground beef with the beaten egg, bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, and salt; mix thoroughly.

    Mixing meatballs.
     The Spruce
  5. Shape into about 2 1/2 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; drain well. Alternatively, place a cooling rack in the pan and bake the meatballs on the rack.

    Baked meatballs.
     The Spruce
  6. Add meatballs to the sauce, stir to coat, cover and cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours.

    Meatballs in the crockpot.
     The Spruce
  7. Place in a serving dish, or leave in the crock pot, and serve with toothpicks.

    Grape jelly crockpot meatballs.
     The Spruce
  8. Enjoy!


  • The recipe is easily doubled or tripled for a crowd, and you can use prepared frozen meatballs or your own meatball recipe with the easy grape jelly sauce.
  • 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.

Recipe Variations

  • Substitute currant jelly or apple jelly for the grape jelly.
  • If you don't have chili sauce, 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.