Slow Cooker Grape Jelly Meatball Appetizers

Sunday, December 25, 2022
What can be easier than Slow Cooker Grape Jelly Meatball Appetizers by just having to dump frozen meatballs into a slow cooker and mix them with easily found ingredients then set it and forget it?

The kids love them, adults love them and they're always a huge hit.

Plus the recipe is so easy and perfect for game day, New Year's, birthday and other special party events you may need something easy to make for.

When time permits you can even make your own homemade meatballs if you like and we also included our recipe for them but frozen mini meatballs work perfectly fine.

Any store brands mixed with the grape jelly some chili sauce, a touch of barbecue sauce for even more scrumptious flavors, a tad of Dijon mustard and viola easy peasy tasty meatball appetizers!

These tiny little meatballs are packed with great flavors and are pretty addicting that's why I make at least 50 meatballs in my recipe and you won't even make enough they go quickly.

I also leave a few plain meatballs out for those picky eaters who don't want them in sauce, there is always one in a crowd everytime.

Just scroll all the way down to the bottom to get our easy 1960s style recipe for grape jelly meatballs.

Easy Steps for making Grape Jelly Meatballs

  1. dump all the ingredients into a slow cooker
  2. mix well add the meatballs
  3. set it and forget it on low
  4. have your guests self-serve with toothpicks


  • Use cranberry jelly with the addition of 2 tablespoon brown sugar instead of grape jelly
  • Add around 1/4 cup of bourbon for an adult appetizer to the sauce
  • Substitute turkey meatballs for beef
  • Add melted cheddar cheese and bacon on top of the meatballs
  • Serve with toothpicks off to the side 
  • Make homemade meatballs instead of  the frozen ones

Ingredients You Will Need 

scroll down to the recipe card for exact measurements

  • frozen meatballs mini's
  • grape jelly
  • chili sauce
  • Dijon Mustard
  • barbecue sauce
  • apple juice

Slow Cooker Grape Jelly Meatballs

If you need to bring something to a party these are perfect, just plug in the slow cooker when you get there to keep warm after you cooked them at home.

This is the most asked for appetizer every holiday get-together and if you need to make a large amount a 5 quart slow cooker can hold at least 50 mini meatballs without a problem.

For less clean up place a plastic liner in your slow cooker so when you leave you can easily pull that out and take your slow cooker back home and leave the meatballs.

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grape jelly meatballs, beef cocktail meatballs, barbecued meatball appetizers
meatball recipes, appetizer recipes, party food recipes
Yield: 50
Author: Claudia Lamascolo
Slow Cooker Grape Jelly Meatball Appetizers

Slow Cooker Grape Jelly Meatball Appetizers

Mini grape jelly meatballs appetizers made in a slow cooker and always a hit at every party!
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 6 HourTotal time: 6 H & 10 M


  • 2 - 32-ounce bag of frozen fully cooked meatballs or use my homemade recipe below ( recipe can be cut in half)
  • 2 cups grape jelly
  • 1 bottle of chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/4 cup apple juice or bourbon if you would like an adult version
  • Note: ground turkey meatballs in place of beef or use a vegan frozen brand for those who don't want meat.
  • Meatballs (makes around 55 mini meatballs)
  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 6 tablespoons fine Italian Style dry bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon each of granulated garlic powder black pepper, and if you like hot and spicy then add a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Combine all the ingredients: chili sauce, jelly, and mustard, apple juice, barbecue sauce in a slow cooker.
  2. Stir to combine and mix well.
  3. Dump in the meatballs.
  4. Turn on low heat for up to 8 hours.
  5. Then place them on warm and use toothpicks and a slotted spoon to serve them.
  6. Homemade Meatballs:
  7. Combine meat ingredients and mix thoroughly. Shape into 50 meatballs.
  8. Bake meatballs in a preheated 400-degree oven for 15 to 20 min; drain.
  9. Note: I use an aluminum throw-away baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper so they don't stick.
  10. Add cooked meatballs into the slow cooker with sauce Low for 6 to 8 hours

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Try Some of My Other Favorite Appetizer Recipes

12 Easy Christmas Appetizers

30 Appetizer and Side Dish Recipe Roundup

New Year's Eve Party Appetizers

Game Day Recipes

Disclosure: This recipe was originally shared in 2011. It was edited and re-published in 2022.