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Crockpot Grape Jelly BBQ Meatballs

grape jelly bbq meatballs
This post is sponsored by California Grapes

Get your crockpot ready, because you’re going to love these crockpot grape jelly bbq meatballs!

This time of year, I feel like I always need a yummy appetizer ready to go for everything from tailgates to fall festivals. Crockpot grape jelly bbq meatballs are the perfect savory appetizer to bring to your next event!

Why is grape jelly used in meatballs?

Grape jelly bbq meatballs is the perfect example of why salty sweet flavor profiles just work so well! The sweet and tangy flavors make for an incredibly satisfying appetizer. 

grape jelly bbq meatballs

Flavor profile for crockpot meatballs with grape jelly and bbq sauce

Because grapes have such a versatile flavor profile (they offer a balance of sweet and acid, and a juicy burst of flavor), they provide the perfect fruity sweet ingredient for this dish.

Fresh grapes can be used in dishes of all kinds since grapes can be roasted, pickled, grilled, baked, and more. Roasting grapes caramelizes the natural sugars and intensifies flavor. In fact, roasted grapes pair well with meats, cheeses, and grains, like in this Roasted Grapes with Goat Cheese Crostini recipe

And, adding them to your favorite crockpot dishes also helps bring out their flavor profile and juices. 

Ingredients for grape jelly meatballs

There’s three main ingredient sections in our grape jelly bbq meatballs. I’ll go through each one and offer you some options…

  • California grapes: This recipe will work with any color grapes- red, green, or black. I love the visual appeal of the red grapes, but you can certainly use green or black if that’s what you have on hand. 
  • BBQ sauce ingredients: As the recipe is written, we’re making our own lower sugar BBQ sauce. But, you can also use your favorite store bought BBQ sauce as well.
  • Meatballs: Just like the BBQ sauce, if you want to make your meatballs from scratch at home that works great. As the recipe is written though, we use frozen meatballs purchased from the grocery store. 

How much grape jelly and bbq sauce to use for meatballs

One of the great things about crockpot recipes is you don’t have to be super exact with your quantities and measurements. Now don’t get me wrong, the recipe as written below is delicious and spot on for flavor. However, if you want to use more grape jelly, less grape jelly more barbecue sauce, less barbecue sauce you can really adapt this recipe to whatever your taste buds prefer.

grape jelly bbq meatballs

How to make meatballs with grape jelly and bbq sauce

When making your grape jelly bbq sauce meatballs, I recommend making the grape jelly ahead of time. This way you can make more than is called for in the recipe (if you want to) and save it for sandwiches or anything else you want a no added sugar jelly for! Otherwise, the recipe is very straightforward. We’re essentially adding everything into our crockpot, and then letting them cook for a few hours while all the flavors blend together.

What to eat with BBQ jelly meatballs 

Grape Jelly BBQ Meatballs make a wonderful appetizer, but they also can be part of a great meal! Some of my favorite recipes to serve them with include:

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grape jelly bbq meatballs
Get your crockpot ready, because you’re going to love these crockpot grape jelly bbq meatballs!
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4 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Crockpot cook time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 25 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Diet: Diabetic, Gluten Free
Keyword: California grapes, crockpot
Servings: 10 servings
Carbohydrates: 16g


  • 3 cups red seedless California grapes
  • 1 cup reduced sugar ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp molasses
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt omit if desired
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • ~2 lbs frozen meatballs use gluten free if needed


  • To start, cut your grapes in half (lengthwise or horizontal, it doesn’t really matter for this part), and add them to a small saucepan over medium heat, and cover the pan with the lid.
  • As they warm up, the juices will release and you’ll hear them start to sizzle, let them simmer for about 15 minutes with the lid on, stirring occasionally being careful not to overheat them and burn them.
  • While the grapes are simmering, we will mix up our homemade barbecue sauce. In a medium size bowl, mix together the ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, salt, and pepper.
  • Now back to the grapes: After 15 minutes, remove the pan from the heat and mash up the grapes in the pan with the back of a spoon as much as you can. Return the pan to the heat and let them simmer for about 10 minutes more with the lid off, again stirring occasionally. This is your grape jelly.
  • Pour all of your barbecue sauce and grape jelly into the bottom of your crockpot or slow cooker. Add all of the frozen meatballs on top and gently stir to coat all of the meatballs. You can also add in a few extra grapes at this point too.
  • Cook on low for four hours.
  • Serve and enjoy!


If you have a favorite meatball recipe, you can definitely use those as well. I just recommend they already be cooked and frozen when added to the crockpot.
The nutrition facts presented here are estimates only. The type of meatballs you choose to use will greatly impact the nutrition facts for this recipe. The nutrition facts above reflect standard frozen meatballs available at the grocery store. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients you use.
You can use any color of California grapes- red, green, or black- for this recipe.


Serving: 4meatballs | Calories: 255kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 5.5g | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g
Tried this recipe?Mention @milknhoneynutrition or tag #milknhoneynutrition!

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