What is it about meatballs that we love? Go to any potluck or party and if there is a Crock Pot of meatballs sitting out, you will usually find a group of folks standing around eating them as they talk. They draw us into their meaty goodness. I won’t name any names, but I’ve known a couple of vegetarians who have snuck in a meatball when no one was looking. This recipe is a blast from the past. This particular appetizer was popularized back in the 50’s. Back when a formal room was highly coveted, soldiers were home from the war and starting families, housewives were competing to be the best hostess on the block while their men were learning how to grill the best cuts of meat money could buy. Okay, I may be overly fantasizing a bit but the 1950’s were a turning point in food and entertaining in this country. Not all party foods made the cut, Green Jell-o molds anyone?
This recipe has stood the test of time. The original recipe calls for using Heinz Chili sauce, which is tasty in it’s own right. However, a few years ago, I went to a party and the host made it with BBQ sauce and I was hooked! The BBQ sauce give these meatballs just a little more oomph. And speaking of BBQ sauce, I did a small informal poll on Facebook a couple of weeks ago. I asked everyone what their favorite bottled BBQ sauce was. The overwhelming winner? Sweet Baby Rays! And don’t be thrown off by the grape jelly if you’ve never tried these before. I promise, you don’t taste the grape at all. It just adds a nice, lightly sweet background flavor and gives a nice consistency to the sauce. Also, I’ve tried making this before using meatballs I made from scratch. Do yourself a favor, just go with the prepackaged ones. They really hold up better and don’t fall apart as easy as the homemade ones do.
1 (32 oz.) bag frozen meatballs
1 (18 oz.) jar grape jelly
1 (18 oz.) bottle of your favorite BBQ Sauce
Combine the frozen meatballs, grape jelly and BBQ sauce into your slow cooker and stir well until combined. Cook the mixture on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 2 – 2 ½ hours until completely cooked through (stirring occasionally.) When they are ready, just set your crock pot to the “keep warm” setting and let guests serve themselves. Just place small bowls and toothpicks next to the meatballs. Everyone is going to love these!
Cook’s Note: This also works really nicely with a package or two of lil’ smokies. Also, you can use many types of jelly flavors. I’ve used cranberry, apricot and pineapple before and all were very good!
Crock Pot Party Meatballs
Author: The Country Cook
- 1 (32 oz.) bag frozen meatballs
- 1 (18 oz.) jar grape jelly
- 1 (18 oz.) bottle of your favorite BBQ Sauce
- Pour the meatballs, grape jelly and BBQ sauce into a crock pot and stir until well combined.
- Cook the mixture on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 2 – 2 ½ hours until completely cooked through.
- Stir occasionally.