Grape Jelly Meatballs are the guaranteed culinary highlight of your next get-together. Not spongy and far from bland. I hope you have at least two slow-cookers because you’ll be doubling this recipe!

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Close-up of a single meatball with other meatballs in the background.

Guys, believe me when I say you cannot go wrong with these Grape Jelly Meatballs. When I was typing the title to this post, I accidentally wrote, “Mealballs.” That’s not entirely incorrect because they can be a meal all by themselves. I know many people who have had these and made a meal out of them (myself included).

I honestly don’t make these often enough. I have served these at Thanksgiving, Christmas, Halloween parties, and I’ve taken them to potlucks at work. They’re also great to just have sitting in the slow-cooker on a lazy Saturday. Everyone loves them!

A few things:

  • Make sure you dice the onions very small. There have been a few times where I cut the onions too big and they were sticking out of the meatballs. They would either burn or just completely fall out of the meat while cooking.
  • Be sure to use the finely-ground bread crumbs from a canister, not just regular bread torn into pieces. That is fine for meatloaf, but not when working with 1-inch meatballs.
  • Don’t make the meatballs too big. I understand wanting to get them rolled, cooked, and in your belly, but you want to have a tasty ratio of meat to sauce when you dig in!
  • If you want to make additional meatballs for later (e.g., for meatball subs or spaghetti) simply cook and freeze. Not spongy like the store-bought brands! (In this Grape Jelly Meatball recipe you do not have to cook them completely in the skillet because they continue to cook in the sauce. Cook completely if you are going to freeze them though.)

Overhead shot of meatballs sprinkled with parsley. Half a meatball is on a fork.

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Ingredients Needed for Grape Jelly Meatballs:

  • Ground beef
  • Bread crumbs
  • Onion
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Chili sauce
  • Grape jelly

Kitchen Tools Needed for Grape Jelly Meatballs:

A stack of meatballs with sauce spread around it.

An overhead shot of grape jelly meatballs and sauce spread around and sprinkled with chopped parsley.
5 from 1 vote
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Grape Jelly Meatballs

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 2 meatballs
Calories 150 kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 cup bread crumbs canister type
  • 2/3 cup onions diced very small
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 12 oz chili sauce
  • 16 oz grape jelly

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients except the oil, chili sauce, and grape jelly to a large mixing bowl.

  2. Mix well with your hands, then form 1-inch meatballs.

  3. Warm the oil in a cast iron skillet or large fry pan on medium heat.

  4. Cook the meatballs in batches, moving them around frequently to avoid burning.

  5. Cook the meatballs until they don't show any pink on the outside. (You do not have to cook them completely in the skillet because they will continue to cook in the sauce.

  6. Set meatballs aside as you cook them.

  7. Warm the chili sauce and grape jelly in a dutch oven or slow-cooker on medium low heat.

  8. Add the meatballs to the sauce and continue to cook for at least an hour before serving.

Recipe Notes

  1. Make sure you dice the onions very small. There have been a few times where I cut the onions too big and they were sticking out of the meatballs. They would either burn or just completely fall out of the meat while cooking.
  2. Be sure to use the finely-ground bread crumbs from a canister, not just regular bread torn into pieces. That is fine for meatloaf, but not when working with 1-inch meatballs.
  3. Don't make the meatballs too big. I understand wanting to get them rolled, cooked, and in your belly, but you want to have a tasty ratio of meat to sauce when you dig in!
  4. If you want to make additional meatballs for later (e.g., meatball subs) simply cook and freeze. Not spongy like the store-bought brands! (In this recipe you do not have to cook them completely in the skillet because they continue to cook in the sauce. Cook completely before freezing though.)

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