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Crockpot Meatballs with Grape Jelly and BBQ Sauce

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Crockpot meatballs with grape jelly and bbq sauce are made with just 3 ingredients. These tender meatballs feature a sweet and tangy sauce and will have your family and guests begging for more. 

Even though this classic recipe has been around forever, it never goes out of style. BBQ grape jelly meatballs are always a crowd favorite and we rarely have leftovers because they are just that good!

Crockpot meatballs with grape jelly and bbq sauce in a blue serving bowl.

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We’re sharing tips to help you get the best results with this recipe. If you don’t need the tips, scroll to the bottom for the full recipe and a printable recipe card.

The best part is this recipe requires 3 simple ingredients (that you probably have on hand) – meatballs, grape jelly and barbecue sauce. And after just 5 minutes of prep time you can set it and forget it, making it one of the easiest recipes you’ll ever make. 

We like to keep a couple of bags of frozen meatballs on hand because this recipe is one of our favorite party foods. We’ve served it for game day parties, Super Bowl, holiday parties, cocktail parties and special occasions like birthdays and showers. And sometimes I whip up a batch because it’s a favorite with the teenagers.

If you’re looking for more appetizer recipes that are real crowd pleasers, don’t miss my 27 easy football finger foods and our favorite Thanksgiving starters

Ingredients needed to make crockpot grape jelly meatballs with text overlay.

​Ingredients Needed 

  • meatballs – you’ll need about 50. You can use homemade or store-bought meatballs. If you’re using homemade meatballs see our tip below. 
  • barbecue sauce – we use Sweet Baby Ray brand but you can use your favorite bbq sauce. 
  • grape jelly – adds sweetness to the tangy sauce to balance out the flavors.

How To Make Grape Jelly Bbq Meatballs

In a small bowl or inside of the crockpot, whisk together the sweet grape jelly and barbecue sauce. It’s OK if you have chunks of grape jelly – they’ll melt while cooking.

Place meatballs in the sauce and stir to coat, then place the lid on the crockpot. 

Two image collage of BBQ sauce and grape jelly in a mixing bowl and a crockpot filled with meatballs and sauce with text overlay.

Cook on Low heat for 3-4 hours. 

Change to the Warm setting until you’re ready to serve, or serve immediately. 

Tips for Making Crockpot Meatballs with Grape Jelly and BBQ Sauce

  • Frozen meatballs are the easiest to use. And you don’t need to thaw them!
  • If you are using thawed cooked meatballs, reduce the time by about an hour (cook for 2-3 hours). 
  • Use a slow cooker liner for easier cleanup.
  • This is a easy recipe that keeps well on the Warm setting, which is great if you’re having a large gathering or not serving everything at one time. 

Substitutions and Variations 

  • Kind of meatballs – Italian meatballs, turkey, or a half and half blend of beef and Italian will work with this recipe. 
  • Make your own meatballs – use my irresistible air fryer meatball recipe to make them from scratch. Note that homemade meatballs need to be cooked before adding them to the sauce.  
  • Spicy sauce – use Heinz chili sauce in place of the bbq sauce for a zestier flavor. Or add a bit of cayenne pepper if you like them spicy.
  • Little Smokies – follow the same instructions but use 2 packages of Little Smokies in place of the meatballs. 
  • Meatball sliders – a great way to use leftover meatballs. Spoon reheated meatballs onto warm Hawaiian rolls and drizzle with a little sauce. 

What can I use in place of grape jelly?

Almost any sweet jelly, like raspberry or apricot, will work with this recipe. You can also substitute an equal amount of jellied cranberry sauce.

Close up of slow cooker filled with grape jelly meatballs and barbecue sauce.

Different ways to cook crockpot bbq meatballs

  • Oven baked – Whisk the sauce in a 9×13 baking dish or large baking sheet with high sides. Add the meatballs and carefully stir to coat. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees F. 
  • Stovetop – In a large saucepan over Medium Low heat, simmer the meatballs and sauce for 30 minutes, stirring often. The meatball sauce won’t be as thick and sticky, but it’s still delicious. 

What to Serve With Grape Jelly Meatballs

Pair crockpot grape jelly meatballs with these easy appetizers – oven baked ranch pretzelscrack chicken pinwheels, and million dollar dip

Or you can serve the meatballs and sauce as a main dish over egg noodles or rice with sweet potatoes or green bean casserole.

How to Store 

Slow cooker grape jelly meatballs can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stovetop over Low heat or in the microwave for a couple of minutes. 

With just a few simple ingredients and the convenience of your slow cooker, you can create a dish that is both delicious and incredibly easy to make. These tender crock pot meatballs with an irresistible sweet and tangy sauce are sure to be a big hit at your next party, game day gathering or family dinner.

So go ahead and print this easy recipe because you’re going to be making it on repeat.

More Easy Snacks and Appetizers: 

**Save Crockpot BBQ Grape Jelly Meatballs Recipe For Later**

Crockpot meatballs with grape jelly and bbq sauce in a crockpot with text overlay.
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Close up of Crockpot Meatballs with Grape Jelly and BBQ Sauce.

Crockpot Meatballs with Grape Jelly and BBQ Sauce

Crockpot meatballs with grape jelly and bbq sauce are made with just 3 ingredients. These tender meatballs feature a sweet and tangy sauce and will have your family and guests begging for more. 
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Course: Appetizer, Dinner
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 390kcal
Author: Lori @ A Reinvented Mom


  • 32- ounces meatballs, frozen or homemade, about 50 meatballs
  • 18- ounce bottle barbecue sauce
  • 18- ounce jar grape jelly


  • Whisk together the barbecue sauce and grape jelly in a medium bowl or in the crockpot liner until combined. Don’t worry about the chunks of jelly – they’ll melt during the cooking process. If you mixed the sauce in a bowl, pour it in the crockpot.
  • Add the meatballs and stir to coat with sauce.
  • Place the cover on the crockpot and cook on Low for 3-4 hours.
  • Serve immediately or hold on Warm until you’re ready to serve.


  • If using homemade meatballs, cook them first, then continue as directed.
  • No need to thaw frozen meatballs. If you are using thawed meatballs, reduce the cooking time by about an hour.
  • See the article for additional substitutions and variations.
  • Oven directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Proceed as directed but place the sauce and meatballs in a 9×13 casserole dish. Bake for about an hour.
  • Stovetop directions: Cook in a large pot over Medium-Low heat, stirring regularly, for about 30 minutes. The sauce won’t be as thick and sticky as the crockpot method but the meatballs will still taste great.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Reheat for 1-2 minutes in the microwave or on the stovetop over Medium heat until heated through.
This dish can be served as an appetizer or as an entree over cooked rice or noodles. Use 3-4 meatballs for an appetizer serving and 6-8 meatballs for a dinner serving.
Tried this recipe?Mention @AReinventedMom or tag #areinventedmom

Nutritional Estimate

Calories: 390kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 494mg | Potassium: 348mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 101IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is provided as a reference, using an online calculator. We recommend verifying the information independently for accuracy.

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