Home » Recipe Index » Thanksgiving Recipes

BBQ Grape Jelly Meatballs

This easy crockpot recipe has so much to offer! BBQ grape jelly meatballs are sweet and saucy — serve on the side, as an appetizer, or make it your main course! 

fork in a cooked meatball

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information, please read my disclaimer.

I absolutely loved these meatballs as a child. It took me years to realize it was so easy and needed only three ingredients. Frozen meatballs, BBQ sauce, and grape jelly. That’s it! 

The barbecue sauce is a good mix of slightly spicy and sour, depending on the brand. And you can use any brand you want to!

Meanwhile, the grape jelly is thick, sweet, and sticky. Stirred together and slowly thickened in the crockpot, those flavors meld together for a sauce that smells absolutely incredible — and tastes even better!

My BBQ and jelly meatballs take just over 3 hours to prepare and feed up to 12 people. Load them in the crock pot, forget about them, give them a quick stir, and you’ll have a feast for all of your friends and family!

Here’s what I’m going to teach you in this post: 

  • A crock pot recipe for tasty, tangy, and sweet BBQ grape jelly meatballs!
  • How to make meatballs with grape jelly and BBQ sauce on the stove if you’re in a time crunch.
  • Some extra tips and tricks to make tips to make this recipe perfect for you!

Savory, sugary, sticky, and satisfying. These BBQ grape jelly meatballs are way too good to be just an appetizer! Serve on game day or any weekday — either way, they’ll be gone in no time!

ingredients to make bbq grape jelly meatballs

How to Make BBQ Grape Jelly Meatballs

A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.

STEP ONE: Pour the BBQ sauce and scoop the grape jelly into the crock pot. Stir well to combine.

sauce in slow cooker

STEP TWO: Drop the frozen meatballs into the crockpot, folding them into the sauce until each meatball is thoroughly coated.

frozen meatballs in slow cooker

STEP THREE: Cook on low for 4-5 hours or on high for 2-3 hours. Stir periodically so everything cooks and heats evenly.

STEP FOUR: Once the BBQ and jelly meatballs are warmed through, they’re done! Keep the crockpot on low to keep warm for serving.

frozen meatballs in slow cooker

What Goes With BBQ Jelly Meatballs?

BBQ and jelly meatballs can be your main protein or a side dish. If you’re making it your main course, then consider a starchy side to fill things out. Sticky white rice or mashed potatoes, for example. 

A simple salad of mixed greens and chopped veggies, such as peppers, tomatoes, or cucumbers, would also be great!

If they’re your side dish, then a good main course might be a spicy noodle or stir fried dish.

How Do You Thicken Sauce For BBQ Jelly Meatballs?

The sauce for these BBQ grape jelly meatballs is already pretty thick! But if you’d like it to be even thicker, you can give the jelly and barbecue sauce a bit of time in the crockpot before adding the meatballs.

This will allow it to cook down and thicken — it also leads to a more intense flavor.

You can also use a cornstarch and water mixture, slowly pouring and whisking it into the sauce, to make it thicker.

Use equal parts of cornstarch and water, starting with just a tablespoon or so at first, until the sauce thickens to your liking.

meatballs with a bite out of one

Should I Thaw Meatballs Before Putting In Crockpot?

It isn’t necessary, no. You can, if you would like — the cooking time will simply be an hour or so shorter than if you were to use frozen meat. 

Can You Make Meatballs With Grape Jelly And BBQ Sauce On The Stove? 

Yes! If you’re short on time or need some extra portions, you can add all of the ingredients and mix them together in a large pot.

Cover and cook on medium heat, stirring regularly, until the meatballs are warmed through the center. This should take 25-20 minutes.

I will say that the stovetop method doesn’t provide the same sticky coating that slow cooking in the crockpot does, but the flavors are all still there!

meatballs being stirred by wooden spoon

How Long Do Cooked Meatballs Last In The Fridge?

It ultimately depends on the protein, but you generally don’t want to let these sit in the fridge for any longer than 4 days. 

Keep them in an airtight container along with the sauce. After a night in the sauce and warmed the next day on the stovetop, BBQ grape jelly meatballs can be even tastier as leftovers!

bowl filled with meatballs

Other Crockpot Recipes You’ll Love:

Yield: 8-12 servings

BBQ Grape Jelly Meatballs

meatballs being stirred by wooden spoon

Savory, sugary, sticky, and satisfying. These BBQ grape jelly meatballs are way too good to be just an appetizer! Serve on game day or any weekday — either way, they’ll be gone in no time!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups BBQ sauce
  • 1 (18 ounce) jar grape jelly
  • 2 pounds frozen meatballs

Instructions

Crockpot

  1. Combine BBQ sauce with grape jelly in the crockpot; stir well.
  2. Stir in the frozen meatballs until evenly coated.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours, or high for 3 hours. Stir the meatballs a few times during the cooking time, until they’re warmed through.

Stovetop

  1. In a large Dutch oven set over medium heat, combine jelly and BBQ sauce. Cook, stirring often, until bubbly.
  2. Stir in meatballs and coat completely with the sauce. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 25-30 minutes, until meatballs are heated through. Stir the meatballs a few times to avoid scorching.
  3. If necessary, add about ¼ cup of water to thin out the sauce before serving.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 453Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 75mgSodium: 1481mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 3gSugar: 29gProtein: 17g

This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo on Instagram tagging @EverydayFamilyCooking! I love to see your pictures!


samantha

About Samantha

I’ve always had a love of cooking and creating new recipes, so it only made sense to create a food blog so I could share those recipes with you. This site is designed to provide easy and flavorful recipes with as little ingredients as possible. That means you still get great flavor combinations without all that extra time and effort. Read more...

2 thoughts on “BBQ Grape Jelly Meatballs”

Leave a Comment

SEEN ON

as seen on promo graphic

SEEN ON

as seen on promo graphic
Skip to Recipe