Sweet and Sour Jelly Meatballs AKA Jelly Meatballs

Total Time
4hrs 5mins
Prep 5 mins
Cook 4 hrs

...or Grapeballs or Those Meatball Things You Make! There are a lot of copies of this old favorite out there, and here's my version. It has a few more ingredients than the usual, but they make these tasty tidbits even more incredibly delicious!

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 (14 ounce) jar chili sauce (like Heinz)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (32 ounce) jar grape jelly
  • 1 (7 ounce) canchopped mild green chilies ((4 ounce can can be used too, but I like 7))
  • 3 tablespoons dried onion flakes
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of your favorite curry powder, to taste
  • 12 teaspoon dried ancho chile powder
  • 14 teaspoon dried chipotle powder, to taste (optional)
  • 2 lbs pre-cooked frozen meatballs (I prefer the ones from Ikea)


  1. Put all the ingredients but meatballs into the crockpot and mix well.
  2. Add the meatballs and stir to coat well.
  3. Put the crockpot on low and let cook for 4 hours on low (if you use thawed meatballs, it'll only take a couple of hours in the crockpot, instead).
  4. Serve, standing back so you don't get trampled by the rush of the crowd.
  5. Note: We've tried other preserves and jam than grape jelly, but the sauce simply didn't taste as good; we're sticking with plain, old grape jelly from now on and will be happy with it. Also, you can use Lil Smokies or sliced smoked sausage instead of the meatballs - a lot of folks use the same sauce for either and both ways are tasty! :)
  6. Note 2: the above makes a lot of sauce, a good deal of which will be left over when the meatballs have been eaten. I've found that having a *lot* of sauce is of real benefit when making meatballs in the crockpot - the meat remains nice and moist.


Most Helpful

I make these every St. Patrick's Day. They're not very Irish BUT, everyone loves them and they only last a few minutes once they're ready. Everyone always asks me for the recipe. I always send them to this site! Thanks for sharing such an easy and delicious recipe.

RFJ December 28, 2010

These were really good. Love the added pep of the peppers & chiles, but I left out the can of tomato sauce, it was really SO much sauce that I felt it was silly to add anything else to it. Maybe next time I will try a few tablespoons of tomato paste if I have it on hand.

Meghan December 27, 2010

What a delicious and easy recipe! This dish will be served again this year for our Christmas brunch for the family. It's a hit with everyone, young and not so young.

LeahinWA December 14, 2010

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