Southern Grape Jelly Meatballs

Grape Jelly Meatballs
Grape Jelly Meatballs. Photo and Recipe: Diana Rattray
  • 6 hrs 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 6 hrs
  • Yield: About 18 Servings
Ratings (11)

These great tasting grape jelly meatballs are always a hit, and once you taste them, you'll see why. The combination of chili sauce and grape jelly with the Dijon mustard makes a flavorful, tangy sauce. Besides that, it's fun to see the look on people's faces when you tell them about the grape jelly.

Provide napkins, small plates, and toothpicks or forks for serving. Keep the meatballs in the slow cooker on low or move them to a chafing dish. 

The recipe is easily doubled or tripled for a crowd, and you can use prepared frozen meatballs or your own meatball recipe with the easy grape jelly sauce.

What You'll Need

  • 1 1/2 cups chili sauce
  • 1 cup grape jelly (see a few variations below the recipe instructions)
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons fine dry bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

How to Make It

  1. Heat the oven to  400° F (200° C/Gas 6). Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  2. Combine chili sauce, grape jelly, and mustard in Crock Pot and stir well. Cook, covered, on high while preparing the meatballs.
  3. Combine the ground beef with the beaten egg, bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, and salt; mix thoroughly. Shape into about 2 1/2 dozen 1/2-ounce meatballs or 16 to 18 1-ounce meatballs.  
  4. Arrange the meatballs in the prepared baking pan and bake for 12 to 18 minutes, or until cooked through; drain well. Alternatively, place a cooling rack in the pan and bake the meatballs on the rack.
  1. Add meatballs to sauce, stir to coat, cover and cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours.

Makes about 18 appetizer servings.

Tips and Variations

  • Quick Version - Heat the sauce ingredients in a Dutch oven or stockpot. Add the cooked or frozen meatballs, cover, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker (low setting) or chafing dish for serving.
  • Substitute currant jelly or apple jelly for the grape jelly.
  • If you don't have chili sauce, combine 1 1/2 cups of ketchup with 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of vinegar, a dash of cinnamon, and a dash of allspice.
  • Use a thick, mild barbecue sauce in place of the chili sauce and Dijon mustard. 
  • Use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef, or use a combination of beef and lean ground pork. 

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