Meatballs With Grape Jelly And Chili Sauce

Meatballs with jelly and sauce recipe

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Ever heard of the magic of just the two ingredients? Yup! Just two. Meatballs can be flavored deliciously sweet and sour with a sauce, made up of chili sauce and grape jelly. While using a slow cooker or crock pot, you can try this recipe to add to your crockpot dishes recipes. If you are using lean cuts of beef to make the meatballs, trust me, this one will turn out to be one of the best slow cooker beef recipes you have ever made. You can also use frozen meatballs from the store, but making a fresh batch at home ensures freshness and the best taste.

If you are not very much fond of beef but want to try this recipe, select lean chunks of chicken, or turkey as well. Although I very much like this version, with chili sauce, it leans on a bit spicier side. This is why I sometimes prefer sweet and sour meatballs with pineapple to enjoy a light, classic, and fulfilling meal. Serve your meatballs with spaghetti, or a platter of warm, white rice.

Ingredient Notes:

preparing Meatballs

Grape Jelly

Grape Jelly of any good brand, such as Welch makes a great ingredient to the sauce. It has a subtle, sweet flavor that balances that of chili sauce. If you do not have Grape Jelly available at your local store, you can look for any subtle sweet fruit jam which resembles the flavor, and has a smooth consistency.

Chili sauce

Chili sauce is a condiment just like ketchup, but a bit on the spicier side. Heinz is my favorite brand for chili sauce, but you can choose any brand you like.  This chili sauce is not overly spicy and lends the required kick to the meatballs.


Lean cuts of beef are what make me go crazy for the meatballs. I enjoy mixing this red mince with a lot of flavorful ingredients to create this meal. But don’t worry, if you are not a beef lover, substitute it with lean chicken or turkey mince. But remember chicken or turkey meat does not require longer cooking times.

Binding agent

Mince requires some kind of binding agent to make the meatballs which are tender, but do not crumble during cooking. To maintain their round shape, you need to add either an egg or breadcrumbs with milk. These ingredients lend moisture which prevents the mince from getting over hard during cooking.

Storage Instructions


Meatballs freeze very well and can be defrosted easily. This is why they are one of the best make-and-freeze beef recipes. Once you have fried or baked your meatballs, place them on a cooling rack so that they cool down completely. Take a freezer-friendly container and place all the meatballs in it. You can freeze them for up to 2 months; they remain fresh without losing their taste or texture.


If you plan to use your meatballs within 3 to 4 days, you can refrigerate them in a covered container. They remain fresh in the refrigerator for 1 week.


When you need to prepare the meatballs, you can take them out and place them in the refrigerator a day before use for defrosting. However, if you require to defrost them quickly, place the meatballs in the microwave and defrost them for 30 seconds. You can also defrost them in an oven, place the meatballs in a baking dish, and bake them at 350F for 7 to 10 minutes.


For meatballs

  • 1.5 lbs of ground beef
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • ½ cup milk
  • ⅔ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • Salt and black pepper up to taste

For sauce

  • 12 ounce Chilli sauce (or ketchup mixed with chili flakes)
  • 10-ounce grape jelly

How to make Meatballs with Grape Jelly and Chili sauce?

If you want to use frozen meatballs from the store, the job is very easy. Simply put the frozen meatballs, grape jelly, and chili sauce in the crockpot. Let everything cook in the crockpot for 2 to 3 hours on high settings and 5 to 6 hours on low settings.

If you want to prepare meatballs at home, follow these easy steps and check our recipe video.

Step one: Make the meatballs

In a large mixing bowl, put the minced beef. Add an egg, finely chopped onion, bread crumbs, milk, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and black pepper. If you like your meatballs spicy, you can also add cayenne pepper or chopped green chilies.

preparing Meatballs

Mix the mince well so that the ingredients are combined. Use a scoop spoon or grease your hands and shape out the meatballs between your palms.

mixing ingredients for preparing Meatballs

The ideal size is a 2-inch diameter, but you can make them large if you like.

prepare Meatballs

Step two: Cooking the meatballs

If you want to fry the meatballs, heat some vegetable oil in a pan. Fry the meatballs for 7 to 8 minutes or until they turn nice golden brown on the outside. Be sure not to overcook them if you want to cook them in a crockpot later.

frying the Meatballs

Another option is to bake the meatballs. Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Set the meatballs on a baking tray. Place them in the oven and reduce heat to 350F. Bake for 10 minutes.

deep fried meatballs

From here, you can either freeze the meatballs after they are cooled down or directly place them in a slow cooker or crockpot.

Step three: Cooking in the crockpot

Add the frozen meatballs to the crockpot. Pour chili sauce and grape jelly.

cooking Meatballs with grape jelly and chili sauce in a crockpot

Set the crockpot to high settings and cook for 3 hours, or on low settings and cook for 5 to 6 hours until the sauce gets mingled and the meatballs get the ideal flavor.

Serve hot.

Meatballs with grape jelly and chili sauce

Other Beef Recipes You Can Try

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Grape jelly used in meatballs?

Historically speaking, Meatballs with Grape Jelly, or anything sweet has been a popular appetizer since the 1960s. The fact that sugar enhances the meat flavor has led to the addition of fruit jam or fruity sauce along with meatballs. This is why we often see slow cooker beef recipes with cranberry sauce, pineapple chunks, or Grape Jelly. This goes well along with other tomato-based condiments like tomato ketchup or chili sauce too. These kinds of meatball recipes are also known as “Cocktail Meatballs”.

How long do grape jelly meatballs last in the fridge?

If you have any leftovers of meatballs with grape jelly and chili sauce, place them in an airtight container and put them in a refrigerator. They will remain fresh for 3 to 5 days. To reheat, simply put it in a microwave oven for a few seconds, or heat it on a slow flame in a saucepan.

What can I substitute for Grape Jelly?

Although the flavor comes out best when the recommended ingredients are used, you can substitute the grape jelly if it is not available. You can use the same amount of strawberry jam, Apple jelly, or Raspberry jam. Just make sure that it has not a strong sweet flavor, and has a smooth consistency.

What are the best sides to serve with meatballs with grape jelly and chili sauce?

Although meatballs go best with plain white boiled rice, many other sides go well too. These include Mashed potatoes, Jasmine rice, roasted potatoes and carrots, egg noodles, cabbage salad, fries, or your favorite pasta.

Meatballs with jelly and sauce recipe

Meatballs With Grape Jelly And Chili Sauce

Adalynn Ward
Meatballs might be the tastiest appetizer, orsometimes a complete meal, especially for Potluck parties. They are even betterwhen cooked in a slow cooker or crockpot.
4.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 40 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Servings 3 persons


For Meatballs

  • lb ground beef
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup milk
  • cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • Salt and black pepper up to taste

For Sauce

  • 12 ounces Chilli sauce (or ketchupmixed with chili flakes)
  • 10 ounces grape jelly

How to Make?

Preparation of meatballs

  • In a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients for the meatballs and mix well.
  • Grease your palms with oil. Shape meatballs of 1-inch diameter with the help of a scoop spoon. Set on a flat surface such as a baking tray.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a wok. Fry meatballs in batches for about 6 to 7 minutes, or until they achieve a nice brown texture.
  • You can bake the meatballs if you do not want to fry them. Preheat the oven to 375 °F.
  • When the meatballs are ready, turn the oven to 350 °F and bake meatballs for 10 to minutes.
  • Remove from heat and allow them to cool. Freeze in a freezer-friendly container for later use.

Meatballs with grape jelly and chili sauce

  • Simply put the frozen meatballs in the crockpot or slow cooker when you need to cook the recipe.
  • Add the chili sauce and grape jelly. Allow cooking for 3 hours on medium-high heat or 5 hours 30 minutes on low heat. Serve hot with your favorite side.


Serving: 85gCalories: 270kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 11gFat: 21gCholesterol: 45mgSugar: 3g
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Hello!! My name is Adalynn I love to eat, travel, and eat some more! I am married to the man of my dreams and have a beautiful little girl whose smiles can brighten anyone’s day!