Whether you call them cocktail meatballs or grape jelly meatballs, there’s one word for this recipe: delicious! They’re perfect for a party, with a sweet-and-spicy sauce that’s totally irresistible.

cocktail meatballs on a wooden spoon

Yes, this is that recipe! You’ve probably had cocktail meatballs before, and I bet you couldn’t eat just one. Even though these meatballs are packed with flavor, they couldn’t be easier to make. You only need three ingredients and the whole thing is made in the slow cooker, so it’s completely hands-off! If you’re looking for an easy party appetizer, this is the one to make!

cocktail meatballs on a plate

Easy Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs

Cocktail meatballs are sweet, savory, and spicy—but not too spicy, so don’t worry about that. When I make them for a party, I keep them right in the crockpot and set out a little jar of toothpicks next to them. Like I said, it doesn’t get much easier than cocktail meatballs! 

This recipe is also known as grape jelly meatballs because they’re made with—wait for it!—grape jelly. If you’ve had this recipe before, you know how good it tastes, but if you haven’t, you’ll just have to trust me that somehow the combination of ingredients works. It’s a little bit like a sweet and sour sauce!

ingredients to make cocktail meatballs


  • Grape jelly – You don’t need anything fancy! Just a basic grape jelly is good.
  • Heinz chili sauce – Don’t try to substitute a hot sauce or something similar. You really need Heinz chili sauce!
  • Frozen meatballs – Any kind of meatballs you like will work. You can even make this recipe vegetarian with meatless meatballs. (Aldi has great ones!)
cocktail meatballs with sauce

How to Make Cocktail Meatballs

1. Assemble

Combine the grape jelly and chili sauce in a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Fold in the meatballs and stir to coat.

2. Cook

Pour the meatball mixture into the slow cooker. Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours.

How to Store Leftovers

Transfer any leftovers to an airtight storage container and refrigerate for 2 to 3 days. You can make a meal out of the leftovers by serving them over rice!

cocktail meatball on a fork


What goes with cocktail meatballs?

I usually serve cocktail meatballs alongside other classic party appetizers like Veggie Pizza and Spinach Artichoke Dip.

How do you reheat cocktail meatballs?

You can reheat cocktail meatballs in a skillet on the stove or warm them up in the microwave.

Can you make cocktail meatballs ahead?

Since this recipe is so simple, you won’t really save much time by making it ahead. Just assemble and start it 3 hours before your party and you’ll be good to go!

More Classic Party Recipes

Cocktail Meatballs

Whether you call them cocktail meatballs or grape jelly meatballs, there’s one word for this recipe: delicious!
3.63 from 16 votes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours


  • 16 ounces grape jelly
  • 16 ounces chili sauce I like Heinz
  • 32 ounces meatballs frozen


  • Mix grape jelly and chili sauce in mixing bowl until well combined, then stir in frozen meatballs until well coated.
  • Add to slow cooker and cook on low for 3-4 hours.


Calories: 515kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 840mg | Potassium: 579mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 393IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?Mention @kasey_allthingsmamma or tag #allthingsmamma!

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About Kasey Schwartz

For over 15 years, Kasey Schwartz, the mastermind behind All Things Mamma, has been the ultimate go-to for mouthwatering family recipes. Her work has been featured on Today.com, Buzz Feed, Better Homes and Gardens, and more, making her your go-to mom next door for all things delicious and family-friendly.


  1. I only have Italian breadcrumbs. Will this work? I see posts about not using Italian meatballs

  2. Rhonda Graham says:

    5 stars
    Was looking for easy appetizers and came across this. Made it for the first time for a Christmas party and it was a hit just like the add said. Super easy and the hit of the party no one believed me when I said grape jelly and ketchup. I definitely will make this again.

  3. Marti Moser says:

    5 stars
    Been making these for years. Always a huge hit. You can also slice link sausage or cocktail weiners and use that instead.

3.63 from 16 votes (14 ratings without comment)

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