These popular meatballs are made with ground beef, herbs, and a fabulous sweet and sour sauce made with grape jelly and ketchup. Keep the meatballs on low or warm in the crockpot and provide toothpicks, napkins, and plates for your guests.
This is an easy recipe and these meatballs are always a hit. They're perfect for tailgating, office parties, or a home game day gathering. Take them to a party or potluck and watch them disappear!
You can use cocktail sausages, frozen meatballs, or ground turkey in this recipe. Take a look at the tips and variations for slow cooker instructions and more.
Related Recipe: Southern Grape Jelly Meatballs With Chili Sauce
- 2 pounds lean ground beef (around 85% to 90%)
- 1 tablespoon parsley flakes
- 2 teaspoons dried leaf oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried leaf basil
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- For the Sauce:
- 1 1/2 cups ketchup or chili sauce
- 1 1/2 cups grape jelly
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, optional
- Heat the oven to 350 F (180 C/Gas 4). Line a large baking pan with foil.
- Mix all ingredients together; shape into 1-inch balls.
- Brown the meatballs in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Place meatballs in the prepared baking pan.
- In a bowl, combine the ketchup, lemon juice, and grape jelly; blend thoroughly.
- Add the grape jelly sauce mixture to meatballs and bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes.
- Move the meatballs to the crock pot or a chafing dish to keep warm for serving.
- Makes about 3 dozen appetizer meatballs.
Tips and Variations
- Slow Cooker Method With Baked Meatballs - Shape the meatballs and place them in the foil-lined baking pan. Bake them in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes, or until the meatballs register at least 160° F, the minimum safe temperature for ground meat (for turkey or chicken, 165° F). Transfer the meatballs to the slow cooker with the remaining sauce ingredients and cook until the sauce is bubbling -- about 2 to 3 hours on LOW or about 1 1/2 hours on HIGH. Serve from the slow cooker.
- Turkey Grape Jelly Meatballs - Make the meatballs with part or all ground turkey. Ground turkey thighs are best for meatballs. If too lean, the meatballs will be tough and somewhat dry.
- Crock Pot Grape Jelly Meatballs With Frozen Meatballs - Use about 2 pounds of good quality frozen meatballs in the recipe. Put them in the slow cooker with the sauce ingredients and cook them on HIGH for about 1 1/2 hours and then turn to LOW for about an hour, or until the meatballs are hot.
- Grape Jelly Cocktail Sausages - Substitute 2 pounds of cocktail sausages or mini wieners for the ground beef mixture. Prepare the sauce and bake with the sausages for 30 minutes or cook in the slow cooker for about 2 to 3 hours on LOW or about 1 1/2 hours on HIGH.
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