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.
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.
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:
Basic Balsamic Green BeansView Recipe
3-Ingredient Air Fryer Okra
Crockpot Grape Jelly BBQ Meatballs
- 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!
Want more delicious recipes with California grapes?
Check out these other great grape recipes!
The best roasted grapes with goat cheese crostini
Between football watching parties, dinner parties, and other fun fall gatherings, we all look for easy blood sugar friendly appetizer options this time of year. Roasted grapes make the perfect addition to any menu and these goat cheese crostini are sure to be a hit!
The Best Roasted Grapes with Goat Cheese Crostini
Dark Chocolate Covered Grapes with Nuts
This may be one of the simplest nutritious recipes I’ve ever done. With only 3 ingredients and no cooking required, chocolate covered grapes will be your new go-to favorite!
Dark Chocolate covered Grapes with Nuts
Easy chicken salad with grapes and walnuts
This recipe takes boring and plain chicken salad to a whole other level. Chicken salad with grapes and walnuts is perfect for lunch at the office or an easy weeknight meal, and will leave your tummy full and satisfied.
Easy Chicken Salad with Grapes & Walnuts
Fall harvest salad
Fall is the perfect time to enjoy a good harvest salad. They’re so perfect for lunch or dinner, and once you see how easy it is to throw together, you’ll want to make it all the time!