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Buffet Meatballs

I need only five ingredients to fix these easy appetizers. My grape jelly and ketchup meatballs make an appearance at almost every potluck and party. —Janet Anderson, Carson City, Nevada
  • Total Time
    Prep: 10 min. Cook: 4 hours
  • Makes
    about 10-1/2 dozen


  • 1 cup grape juice
  • 1 cup apple jelly
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 package (64 ounces) frozen fully cooked Italian meatballs
  • Minced fresh parsley, optional


  • In a small saucepan, combine juice, jelly, ketchup and tomato sauce. Cook and stir over medium heat until jelly is melted.
  • Place meatballs in a 5-qt. slow cooker. Pour sauce over the top and gently stir to coat. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until heated through. If desired, sprinkle with parsley.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • Skip packaged and opt for homemade meatballs instead.
  • This recipe is among our favorite Christmas buffet ideas, as well as a popular Thanksgiving appetizer.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 meatball: 147 calories, 9g fat (4g saturated fat), 20mg cholesterol, 411mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 1g fiber), 7g protein.

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    Average Rating:
    • chevstriss
      Apr 28, 2017

      got asked for this recipe a lot. I tried both Italian and Home Style frozen meatballs, and the Italian was a bit tastier, like the recipe recommends.

    • pajamaangel
      Jan 30, 2017

      Because of what I had on hand at the time, I switched the apple jell and grape juice to apple juice and grape jelly. The meatballs were a big hit at our party. I will definitely make this again for dinner and serve over rice!

    • Mamacheese2004
      Nov 24, 2016

      We had a get together at our home and I served these meatballs. Everyone loved them, even my husband which really surprised me! The sauce comes out tangy and very delicious. I didn't have a single meatball left over. Perfect for any get together, and excellent to take along to a potluck.

    • bunny99
      Mar 21, 2016

      I have made these numerous times and they are always a hit!

    • lvarner
      Dec 6, 2015

      These are easy to make, and they are great to have on hand for a party or get-together. I like to add a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce to the saucepan mixture as well, for a bit of added flavor.

    • vegettossx4
      Feb 27, 2015

      This was just the recipe I was looking for. It's sweet and tangy. It makes a lot, though. If you don't have a family of 5 or more I'd suggest halving the recipe. I made it for myself to eat for lunches, and it is way too much. I've had about 5 or six meals worth, and I think I've only made it halfway through the batch.

    • 33dee33
      Feb 25, 2015

      Delicious and simple to make. Would make them again

    • willow973
      Oct 1, 2014

      Love this recipe!! Didn't have apple jelly so used grape jelly and apple juice instead of grape juice.

    • dawnrosanne
      Jun 4, 2014

      My friend who always told me that meatballs are gross absolutely LOVED this dinner! I think I made a meatball fan out of her! ;)

    • Sparty11
      Jan 26, 2014

      These are my go to for meatballs. They are always a party pleaser!