Who doesn’t love a dish that’s both sweet and saucy? BBQ grape jelly meatballs check all the boxes — they can be served as a side, an appetizer, or even the star of the show! As a child, I adored these meatballs without knowing just how simple and delicious they truly are. With just three ingredients — frozen meatballs, BBQ sauce, and grape jelly — you can create a mouthwatering treat that will leave your taste buds dancing with delight.
The barbecue sauce adds a perfect blend of subtle spiciness and tanginess, depending on the brand you prefer. Personally, I find that any brand works beautifully with the recipe. On the other hand, the grape jelly brings a thick, luscious sweetness to the dish. When combined and slowly thickened in a crockpot, these flavors meld together to create an aroma that is simply irresistible. And trust me, the taste is even better!
Preparing my BBQ and jelly meatballs takes just over 3 hours and can easily feed up to 12 people. Simply load the ingredients into a crockpot, let them simmer away while you attend to other tasks, give them an occasional stir, and voila! You’ll have a feast ready to impress your friends and family.
Let’s Get Cooking!
Step One: Combine the Flavors
Start by pouring the BBQ sauce into the crockpot and adding the grape jelly. Give the mixture a good stir to ensure that the flavors are evenly distributed.
Step Two: Add the Meatballs
Next, drop the frozen meatballs into the crockpot, carefully folding them into the sauce until each one is completely coated. This ensures that every bite is bursting with the delicious BBQ and jelly flavors.
Step Three: Cook to Perfection
For tender and flavorful meatballs, cook them on low heat for 4-5 hours or on high heat for 2-3 hours. Make sure to give them a periodic stir to ensure even cooking and heating.
Step Four: Serve and Enjoy
Once your BBQ and jelly meatballs are warmed through, they’re ready to be devoured! You can keep them warm in the crockpot on low until serving time.
While these meatballs can absolutely steal the show as a main course, they also make a delightful side dish. If you choose to make them the star of your meal, consider pairing them with sticky white rice or creamy mashed potatoes to round out the flavors. For a refreshing contrast, a simple salad of mixed greens and crunchy veggies like peppers, tomatoes, or cucumbers works wonders. If you decide to serve them as a side, pair them with a spicy noodle dish or a sizzling stir-fry.
Tips for a Perfect Outcome
To further enhance the sauce’s thickness and intensity of flavor, you can allow the jelly and barbecue sauce to cook down in the crockpot before adding the meatballs. This method is guaranteed to yield a rich and luscious sauce. Alternatively, you can use a mixture of cornstarch and water. Slowly pour and whisk this mixture into the sauce until it reaches your desired thickness. Start with a small amount and gradually add more, stirring constantly until perfection is achieved.
Now, you may be wondering if it’s necessary to thaw the meatballs before cooking them in the crockpot. The answer is no! While thawing is optional, keep in mind that using frozen meatballs will require a slightly longer cooking time.
If you’re pressed for time or need to whip up a larger batch, you can easily prepare these meatballs on the stovetop. Simply combine all the ingredients in a large pot, cover, and cook over medium heat, stirring regularly until the meatballs are heated through. Although the stovetop method might not provide the same sticky coating as slow-cooking in the crockpot, it won’t compromise the flavors.
You’ll be hard-pressed to have any leftovers, but if you do, it’s essential to store them properly. Keep the meatballs in an airtight container along with the sauce and refrigerate for up to 4 days. The flavors tend to become even more delightful after spending the night in the sauce, especially when reheated on the stovetop.
So, whether you’re hosting a game day gathering, planning a weekday feast, or simply craving a savory-sweet treat, these BBQ grape jelly meatballs are sure to please. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to impress your loved ones with this foolproof recipe. Give it a try and experience the delightful explosion of flavors for yourself!
Watch this mouthwatering recipe come to life:
Remember, for more delicious recipes and BBQ inspiration, visit Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ.
Happy cooking and bon appétit!