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Chili and Jelly Meatballs

The secret ingredient in this sassy sauce is the grape jelly. It's a sweet contrast with the chili sauce. —Irma Schnuelle, Manitowoc, Wisconsin
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
  • Makes
    about 3 dozen


  • 2 packages (22 ounces each) frozen fully cooked angus beef meatballs
  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) chili sauce
  • 1 jar (10 ounces) grape jelly


  • Prepare meatballs according to package instructions.
  • In a large skillet, combine chili sauce and jelly; cook and stir over medium heat until jelly has melted. Add meatballs to pan; heat through.

Chili and Jelly Meatballs Tips

What can I use instead of grape jelly?

The chili sauce and grape jelly in this meatball recipe create a tangy barbecue-style sauce while they cook. If you prefer to skip the jelly, try these Barbecue and Beer Meatballs instead. Or for a fun twist, make Cranberry Meatballs.

What are the best frozen meatballs?

When making grape jelly meatballs from scratch, consider doubling the recipe and freezing half for later. In a hurry? Our test kitchen found the best frozen meatballs you can buy at the store.

Should I thaw the meatballs before cooking?

There is no need to thaw the meatballs first before making this grape jelly meatball recipe. Warming the meatballs in the sauce over low heat will help them heat through without overcooking. Pair them with these Ham & Pickle Wraps and Creamy Caramel Fruit Dip with seasonal fresh fruit for a great appetizer spread.
Nutrition Facts
1 meatball: 106 calories, 6g fat (3g saturated fat), 17mg cholesterol, 313mg sodium, 8g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 0 fiber), 4g protein.


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  • Lesa
    Nov 19, 2020

    I've used this recipe for years but I always used Little Smokies, the package with 50 something smokies. It has always been a hit at work and I keep them in the crockpot so they stay warm. I have used the meatballs a couple of times with the same results. My only difference in my recipe is that it says use equal amounts of chili sauce and grape jelly so 12 oz. and 12 oz. I keep the crockpot on low so the meat doesn't dry out. I put the sauce and jelly together in a glass mixing bowl heating it up in the microwave getting them melted together then add the meat let them heat up also. Right before I leave for work I put it all in the crockpot and then heat again before serving at work or wherever I'm taking them.

  • Arlene
    Sep 8, 2020

    Can you make this recipe but just substitute with frozen popcorn chicken?

  • Terri
    Jul 16, 2020

    I've also been making these meatballs for the past 30 years, but the recipe was given to me called Swedish Meatballs and the sauce called for 1 bottle Chili Sauce, 1 16oz jar Grape Jelly AND... ¼ cup of lemon juice which really takes it over the top. You all must really try it! Regardless, this is a wonderful recipe. You should experiment with diff jellys too. Orange Marmalade and a can of crushed pineapple w/juice is awesome for a Hawaiian flavor. ??

    Jul 16, 2020

    This is a work potluck favorite. I also add a couple of teaspoons of Dijon mustard to this recipe always. I like Emeril’s Pineapple Chicken Teriyaki meatballs for the recipe and I make the sauce on stove top, add the meatballs to crockpot and pour sauce over the meatballs & cook for reasonable length of time/temp needed for the occasion. When I want to fancy it up, I add a can of pineapple chunks, including juice, and some chopped green bell pepper.

  • cohalls
    Jul 15, 2020

    We have made this for year, came from the living helper for my husbands Grandfather, only we us cocktail weinies.

  • shereeder
    Jul 15, 2020

    I found this recipe in a local newspaper years ago. It also contained the recipe for making meatballs instead of using the store bought kind. It's a never fail recipe. I've made it with both grape jelly and cranberry sauce. Excellent for potlucks.

  • SandraAnneA
    Feb 28, 2020

    A sure winner every time. And, so easy. great to make at last minute.

  • jderck
    Feb 17, 2020

    I have been using this chili sauce/grape jelly sauce for over 35 years, but I always make my own meatballs. I make the meatballs in advance and store in freezer. Sometimes I add just a splash of liquid smoke to the sauce/jelly mix for a wonderful added flavor!

  • gayleputt
    Feb 7, 2020

    I've made a very similar recipe for these party meatballs. Instead of jelly, try using cranberry sauce. I have to make double batches and even then it doesn't last long.

  • Linda
    Dec 24, 2019

    No comment left