Slow Cooker Sweet and Tangy Meatballs

 sweet and tangy meatballs

I usually end up eating them throughout the day because they smell so good!
These are so good! My mom would make these growing up and I could never get enough. We love having them as a meal over rice, but they would be perfect for a party if you just served the meatballs with toothpicks!  I’ve also heard that you can use the same sauce with Little Smokies!  This is the perfect recipe to throw in the crock pot on a busy day.
Only 3 ingredients!  I used turkey meatballs rather than regular but they both are great!

This recipe can easily be made into a freezer meal that literally takes only a couple of minutes to prepare – just read the instructions of the recipe for directions on how to make this a quick and easy freezer meal!

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Slow Cooker Sweet and Tangy Meatballs
Recipe type: Main Dish or Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
One of my favorite recipes to make when I need a quick dinner or appetizer!
  • 1 (12 oz) jar chili sauce
  • 1 (16-18 oz) jar grape jelly
  • 1 (2 lb) package frozen meatballs
  1. Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Combine jelly and chili sauce in a crock pot and stir until smooth. Heat the mixture if needed to combine.
  3. Add meatballs or cocktail sausages and set temperature to low. Cook for 2-5 hours on low.
  4. Serve over rice or with toothpicks.
To make this a quick and easy freezer meal: In a bowl, combine chili sauce and grape jelly until smooth. Place meatballs in a resealable gallon-sized freezer bag. Pour in the chili sauce mixture and mix together in the bag until thoroughly combined. Zip bag closed.
When ready to eat, remove from freezer and thaw in fridge for 24 hours. Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray and place contents of bag inside slow cooker. Cook on HIGH for 1-2 hours or LOW for 3-4 hours. Serve over rice or with toothpicks (makes a great appetizer too!).

Looking for more of our favorite slow cooker recipes? Check out these ones:
Black Bean and Corn Salsa Chicken
Kung Pao Chicken
8 Can Taco Soup
Salsa Verde Chicken
Chicken Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches


Camille Sig

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  1. Anonymous says

    Since I am diabetic, we used 1/2 the sugar grape jelly instead, and it worked well. Everyone loved it – I may try it with sugar free jelly to see how it goes. Great recipes, can’t wait to try some of these!!

  2. says

    I had to throw the jelly/sauce in the blender for it to mix properly. I tried the little smokies version. The pork smokies need to be cooked first otherwise they have the “boiled” consistency after sitting in the crock pot. Definitely a hit, though!

  3. says

    I have a little different version I use. It is one to two cans of Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce and one to two bottles of Sweet Baby Rae’s Honey Barbaque Sauce. One to two of each depending on how many meatballs you use. I use two of each for the large bag of meatballs from Costco. We like to serve it over rice. It’s delish!

  4. says

    This is a great recipe however, there is another one I use that is even better! You make (or use frozen) meatballs and then cook them with a stick of butter, 3/4 cup brown sugar, and a (small) bottle of Heinz 57 sauce. They are beyond amazing!!! This recipe is especially good for those that can’t use the chili sauce, as I saw one person post about.

  5. says

    We’ve made these before and everyone has loved them! Recently I tried Sweet Baby Ray’s Chipolte BBQ sauce, 1-2 Tbsp dry chipolte seasoning and Apricot (or mango) preserves. It was absolutely delish, and depending on how much dry seasoning you add, can be made a little spicier for adults =)

  6. says

    We’ve made these before and everyone has loved them! Recently I tried Sweet Baby Ray’s Chipolte BBQ sauce, 1-2 Tbsp dry chipolte seasoning and Apricot (or mango) preserves. It was absolutely delish, and depending on how much dry seasoning you add, can be made a little spicier for adults =)

  7. says

    I make these too! They are delicious and a crowd pleaser especially for kids, men and teenagers!

    I use frozen sirloin meatballs, 1 jar chilli sauce, 1 jar grape jelly, 1 tbsp of garlic and 1 cup of Asian style sweet and sour chili sauce.

    And I get requests to bring this to potlucks all the time.

    Yes sometimes – depending on the crowd – I make a double batch!

  8. says

    My mom made these as well, the same way too! I have changed it a bit though….now I use red pepper jelly instead of the grape because our family adores a little spice! I have also used the jalapeno jelly as well (its green) and it was amazing too! Honestly, neither are too spicy. It really just gives it a little bit of a kick. Plus the sweet/spicy mix works really well with these!

    • Josh says

      Just made these with a 13oz jar of Pepper Jelly and a 14oz can of Cranberry sauce, turned out really well. My wife usually makes it with the chili sauce from the original post and a jar of sweet and sour. I used the pepper jelly since the guys at work like spicier stuff. They evaporated, lol, going to have to make a double batch next time.

    • Cyd says

      Chili sauce is so yummy on the meatballs. I’ll think you’ll like the chili sauce. But if you are a huge bbq sauce person, you may want to try that. We prefer the chili sauce for this recipe! :)

    • Josh says

      We usually use Chili Sauce and Sweet and sour, and we have served it at childrens parties on multiple occaisions, Chili sauce is actually quite mild. (We usually use heinz, the recipe is on the bottle ;))

  9. Saralee says

    These sound delish! I also make one that is similar . . .
    1 can of whole cranberry sauce
    1 bottle of Sweet Baby Rae’s Honey Barbeque sauce
    Mix the two together well
    20 oz of meatballs (frozen)
    Put in crock pot and cook on low for about 5 hours
    (I layer sauce and meatballs)
    This is always a hit wherever I bring it!
    Excellent over rice or all alone!

    • Cyd says

      Here is a recipe for homemade chili sauce. There is more to it than ketchup and chili powder. Hope this helps!
      8 ounce can of tomato sauce
      2 tablespoons of tomato paste
      Juice of 1/2 of a fresh lemon
      2 tablespoons of light brown sugar
      1/4 teaspoon of dry mustard
      1/4 teaspoon of onion powder
      1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
      1/4 teaspoon of chili powder
      Couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce

      Whisk ingredients together until thoroughly mixed.

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