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Crockpot Grape Jelly Meatballs Recipe

Dive into this irresistible slow-cooked meatball recipe that features the unique mix of grape jelly and ketchup. This nostalgic dish, often a party favorite, combines the savory taste of meatballs with the sweet and tangy flavor of grape jelly and ketchup. Once cooked in a crockpot, these meatballs turn out to be so deliciously tender and juicy that you’ll want to serve them at every gathering.

Crockpot Grape Jelly Meatballs Recipe
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Photos of Crockpot Grape Jelly Meatballs Recipe

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While the ingredients for this recipe are relatively simple, you might not have grape jelly at your disposal. It's an essential part of this recipe, giving the meatballs their signature sweet twist. When you visit the supermarket, make sure to pick up a good quality grape jelly. Likewise, if you don't have ready-made meatballs, you can also purchase them from the supermarket.

Ingredients for Crockpot Grape Jelly Meatballs

Meatballs: The star of the dish, they can be homemade or store-bought. They bring the savory taste to the dish.

Ketchup: Used to give a tangy flavor and rich texture to the sauce.

Grape jelly: This is what gives our meatballs the unique, sweet twist. Any brand of grape jelly should work.

One reader, Blondell Otoole says:

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This crockpot grape jelly meatballs recipe is a game-changer! The combination of ketchup and grape jelly creates a sweet and tangy sauce that perfectly coats the meatballs. It's so easy to make and always a hit at parties. The meatballs come out tender and flavorful every time. Highly recommend!

Blondell Otoole

Techniques Required for Making Crockpot Grape Jelly Meatballs

How to cook meatballs: If using raw meatballs, cook them according to the package directions before adding them to the slow cooker. This ensures that the meatballs are fully cooked and safe to eat.

How to combine ingredients: Place the meatballs, ketchup, and grape jelly in the slow cooker, then stir them together until well combined. This ensures that the flavors are evenly distributed throughout the dish.

How to cook in the slow cooker: Set the slow cooker to low heat and cook the meatballs, ketchup, and grape jelly mixture for 3 to 4 hours, or until the meatballs are heated through. This slow cooking process allows the flavors to meld together and the meatballs to absorb the sauce.

How To Make Crockpot Grape Jelly Meatballs

All it takes is just three simple ingredients to create this savory and saucy meatballs recipe. It may sound weird but we can’t doubt the flavor.

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 3 hours
Total: 3 hours 10 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • 2lbmeatballsfrozen fully cooked or 48 small homemade meatballs
  • cupsketchup
  • ¾cupgrape jelly

Instructions

  1. Cook meatballs according to recipe directions if using raw meatballs.

  2. Place meatballs, ketchup and grape jelly in a small slow cooker. Stir to combine.

  3. Cook on low 3 to 4 hours or until heated through.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 277.92kcal
  • Fat: 15.16g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.74g
  • Trans Fat: 0.89g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 6.70g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.41g
  • Carbohydrates: 21.99g
  • Fiber: 0.31g
  • Sugar: 16.08g
  • Protein: 13.37g
  • Cholesterol: 53.68mg
  • Sodium: 328.40mg
  • Calcium: 22.11mg
  • Potassium: 303.82mg
  • Iron: 1.67mg
  • Vitamin A: 10.82µg
  • Vitamin C: 2.99mg

Helpful Technique for Perfecting Crockpot Grape Jelly Meatballs

When making your meatballs, try to keep them all the same size. This ensures that they all cook evenly in the crockpot. If they are different sizes, some may be overcooked while others may be undercooked. Using a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon can help you get uniform meatballs. Also, don't forget to stir the meatballs occasionally while they are cooking in the grape jelly and ketchup mixture. This will help the sauce to evenly coat each meatball and infuse them with flavor.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing Grape Jelly Meatballs in a Crockpot

Prep ahead: Prepare the meatballs and sauce the night before and refrigerate. This way, you can simply place them in the slow cooker the next day for a quick and easy meal.

Use frozen meatballs: Save time by using frozen pre-cooked meatballs instead of making them from scratch. This eliminates the need for shaping and cooking the meatballs, cutting down on prep time.

Double the batch: Make a larger batch of meatballs and sauce and freeze the extra for future use. This way, you'll have a convenient meal ready to go whenever you need it.

Set a timer: Use a programmable slow cooker to ensure the meatballs are cooked to perfection without needing constant monitoring. Simply set the timer and let the slow cooker do the work.

Substitute Ingredients For Crockpot Grape Jelly Meatballs Recipe

  • meatballs - Substitute with vegan meatballs: Vegan meatballs can be used as a plant-based alternative to traditional meatballs, providing a similar texture and flavor while accommodating dietary restrictions.

  • ketchup - Substitute with tomato sauce: Tomato sauce can be used as a substitute for ketchup in this recipe, providing a slightly different flavor profile while still maintaining the desired sauciness.

  • grape jelly - Substitute with apricot preserves: Apricot preserves can be used as a substitute for grape jelly, offering a similar sweet and fruity flavor to complement the meatballs.

Presentation Ideas for Crockpot Meatballs with Grape Jelly

  1. Elevate the plating: Arrange the meatballs in a circular pattern on a sleek, white platter to create a visually appealing display.

  2. Garnish with fresh herbs: Sprinkle finely chopped parsley over the meatballs to add a pop of color and a hint of freshness to the dish.

  3. Pair with complementary sides: Serve the meatballs alongside a creamy cauliflower puree and roasted baby carrots to create a balanced and elegant presentation.

  4. Incorporate texture: Add a sprinkle of toasted breadcrumbs on top of the meatballs to provide a delightful crunch and elevate the overall dining experience.

  5. Use high-quality serving ware: Present the meatballs in a porcelain platter to showcase the dish's sophistication and to reflect the high standards of fine dining.

  6. Create a focal point: Place a single, vibrant red grape on top of each meatball to create a stunning visual centerpiece and add a burst of flavor to each bite.

  7. Consider the visual balance: Arrange the meatballs in a triangular formation and garnish with microgreens to create a visually appealing and harmonious composition on the plate.

  8. Add a touch of luxury: Drizzle a delicate balsamic reduction in a zigzag pattern over the meatballs to add a touch of elegance and depth of flavor to the dish.

Essential Tools for Making Grape Jelly Meatballs in a Crockpot

  • Slow cooker: A slow cooker is a countertop kitchen appliance used for simmering at low temperatures, making it perfect for slowly cooking dishes like meatballs in grape jelly sauce.

  • Stirring spoon: A stirring spoon is essential for combining the meatballs, ketchup, and grape jelly in the slow cooker, ensuring that the ingredients are evenly mixed.

Storage and Freezing Instructions for Crockpot Grape Jelly Meatballs

  • These meatballs can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, allowing the flavors to meld and intensify over time.
  • To freeze, let the meatballs cool completely before transferring them to a freezer-safe container or resealable bag. Be sure to label the container with the date and contents for easy identification later.
  • When ready to enjoy your frozen grape jelly meatballs, simply thaw them overnight in the refrigerator and reheat gently in the slow cooker or on the stovetop until warmed through.
  • For best results, consume your frozen meatballs within 2-3 months to ensure optimal taste and texture.
  • If you find yourself with leftovers, consider repurposing them in creative ways – slice them up and add to a hearty sandwich, toss them into a colorful salad, or even use them as a topping for a gourmet pizza night at home!

How To Reheat Leftover Crockpot Grape Jelly Meatballs

  • The best way to reheat leftover crockpot grape jelly meatballs is to place them in a microwave-safe dish and heat them in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, or until they are heated through. Stir the meatballs halfway through the reheating process to ensure even heating.
  • Another option is to reheat the meatballs in a saucepan on the stove over medium-low heat. Add a splash of water or broth to the pan to prevent the sauce from drying out or burning. Stir the meatballs occasionally until they are heated through, which should take about 5-7 minutes.
  • If you have a lot of leftover meatballs, you can also reheat them in the slow cooker. Place the meatballs and sauce in the slow cooker, cover, and cook on low for 1-2 hours, or until the meatballs are heated through. This method is great for keeping the meatballs warm for an extended period, making it perfect for parties or gatherings.
  • For a crispy exterior, you can reheat the meatballs in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C), place the meatballs on a baking sheet, and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until they are heated through and the exterior is slightly crispy. Be sure to baste the meatballs with the grape jelly sauce halfway through the reheating process to keep them moist and flavorful.
  • Regardless of the reheating method you choose, be sure to store any leftover crockpot grape jelly meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. When reheating, always ensure that the meatballs are heated to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure food safety.

Interesting Fact About Crockpot Grape Jelly Meatballs

The combination of ketchup and grape jelly may seem unusual, but it creates a sweet and tangy sauce that perfectly complements the savory meatballs. This recipe is a popular party appetizer and is often a hit at potlucks and gatherings. The sweetness of the grape jelly adds a unique flavor to the dish, making it a surprising crowd-pleaser. Additionally, this recipe is incredibly easy to prepare, making it a convenient option for busy days or when hosting events.

Is Making Grape Jelly Meatballs in a Crockpot Cost-Effective?

The cost-effectiveness of this crockpot grape jelly meatballs recipe is quite high. With just three simple ingredients, it offers a budget-friendly option for a delicious meal. The approximate cost for a household of four people is around $15-$20, making it an affordable choice. The convenience of using a slow cooker also adds value, as it requires minimal effort and time. Overall, this recipe earns a solid 8/10 for its cost-effectiveness and simplicity.

Are Grape Jelly Meatballs Healthy or Unhealthy?

This crockpot grape jelly meatballs recipe, while undeniably delicious and convenient, is not particularly healthy. The main concerns are:

  • High sugar content from the grape jelly and ketchup, which can contribute to obesity, diabetes, and other health issues when consumed in excess
  • Potentially high sodium levels, depending on the type of meatballs and ketchup used, which may lead to hypertension and cardiovascular problems
  • Lack of vegetables or other nutrient-dense ingredients, resulting in a dish that is calorie-dense but nutrient-poor

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Opt for lean ground turkey or chicken to make the meatballs, reducing the overall fat content
  • Replace the grape jelly with a low-sugar or sugar-free alternative, such as a fruit puree or sugar-free apricot preserves
  • Use a reduced-sugar or no-added-sugar ketchup to further cut down on the sweetness and empty calories
  • Incorporate vegetables into the dish, such as diced onions, minced garlic, or finely grated carrots, to boost the nutrient profile and add depth of flavor
  • Serve the meatballs alongside a fresh green salad or steamed vegetables to create a more balanced meal

By making these adjustments, you can transform this recipe into a more nutritious option while still enjoying the convenience and appeal of a slow-cooker meal. Remember, moderation is key, and even with these modifications, it's essential to be mindful of portion sizes and to incorporate a variety of whole foods into your overall diet for optimal health.

Editor's Opinion on This Crockpot Grape Jelly Meatballs Recipe

This crockpot grape jelly meatballs recipe is a classic and delicious choice for any gathering. The combination of ketchup and grape jelly creates a sweet and tangy sauce that perfectly complements the savory meatballs. The simplicity of this recipe makes it a convenient option for busy cooks, and the slow cooking process allows the flavors to meld together beautifully. Whether served as an appetizer or a main dish, these meatballs are sure to be a hit at any event.

Enhance Your Crockpot Grape Jelly Meatballs Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes with a hint of garlic, perfect for soaking up the delicious sauce from the meatballs.
Roasted Brussel Sprouts: Crispy roasted brussel sprouts seasoned with olive oil, salt, and pepper for a healthy and flavorful side dish.
Honey Glazed Carrots: Tender carrots glazed with honey and butter, adding a touch of sweetness to balance out the savory meatballs.
Balsamic Glazed Green Beans: Fresh green beans drizzled with a balsamic glaze for a tangy and slightly sweet accompaniment to the meatballs.

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Creamy Tomato Basil Soup: A comforting and creamy soup made with ripe tomatoes, fragrant basil, and a touch of cream for a satisfying meal.

Appetizer and Dessert Pairings for Crockpot Grape Jelly Meatballs

Appetizers:
Stuffed Mushrooms: Create a savory and indulgent appetizer by stuffing mushrooms with a rich and creamy filling, then baking until golden and bubbly. The combination of flavors and textures will surely impress your guests.
Bruschetta: Elevate your appetizer game by serving up crispy slices of toasted baguette topped with a flavorful mixture of fresh tomatoes, basil, and garlic. This classic Italian dish is a perfect way to start off any meal.
Desserts:
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a velvety, rich chocolate mousse topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth and creamy texture will melt in your mouth, leaving you craving for more.
Apple Crisp: Savor the warm and comforting flavors of baked apples, cinnamon, and a crispy oat topping. Pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a delightful contrast of temperatures and textures.

Why trust this Crockpot Grape Jelly Meatballs Recipe:

This recipe is a tried and true classic, perfect for any occasion. The combination of savory meatballs with a tangy-sweet sauce made with grape jelly and ketchup creates a flavor explosion that will delight your taste buds. The slow cooking process allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in tender, juicy meatballs that are bursting with deliciousness. Trust the simplicity and the crowd-pleasing nature of this recipe, and you'll be rewarded with a dish that's perfect for parties, potlucks, or even a cozy night in.

Want to share your favorite crockpot meatball recipe or get feedback on this Crockpot Grape Jelly Meatballs Recipe? Head over to the Recipe Sharing forum and join the discussion!
FAQ:
Can I use homemade meatballs for this recipe?
Yes, you can absolutely use homemade meatballs for this recipe. Just make sure they are fully cooked before adding them to the slow cooker.
Can I use a different type of jelly instead of grape jelly?
Certainly! You can experiment with different flavors of jelly to customize the taste. Some popular alternatives include apricot jelly, chili sauce, or even cranberry sauce for a tangy twist.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time and reheat it later?
Yes, you can make the meatballs ahead of time and reheat them when needed. Simply store the cooked meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheat them in the slow cooker before serving.
Can I double the recipe if I'm serving a large crowd?
Absolutely! You can easily double or triple the recipe to accommodate a larger group. Just make sure to use a larger slow cooker or adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Can I add any additional seasonings or spices to the sauce?
Of course! Feel free to add your favorite seasonings or spices to the sauce to enhance the flavor. Some popular options include garlic powder, onion powder, or a dash of hot sauce for a kick.

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