Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this favorite #meatballs recipe includes grape jelly & #SweetBabyRays #BBQ sauce! It's fabulous for #tailgating, #NewYearsEve or #SuperBowl parties. So easy, too! #appetizer

Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs

January 26, 2015Teresa

Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs are delightful. I have to admit to loving meatballs. Not the yucky kind that are pre-made and taste like dirt! No, good, homemade meatballs with tasty ingredients. Of course, it helps if they are smothered in a delicious sauce too, or served with spaghetti. Give me more meatballs! Turkey, chicken or beef (even venison)–just give me meatballs! 🙂

We had a houseful of people over to our house last Sunday after church. We had a special speaker that day so we invited his family and several other families from our church over for a casual finger food luncheon afterwards. I served some of my favorite things, 🙂 Easy Turkey and Cheese Tortilla Roll Ups, Veggie Tortilla Roll Ups, Chunky Blond Brownies, Blarney Stones and several other appetizers I’ve yet to post up including this one.

I first tried this recipe at a class Sunday school party about six or seven years ago. The gal who made it told me all she used was grape jelly, ketchup and frozen meatballs. It was so delicious I had her email me the recipe. I decided to make up my own meatballs so they would be fresh and not frozen or filled with junk. I went ahead and made up the meatballs and sauce a day before I needed it. I though, ok, I’m good this is great, I’ll have everything done in advance.

Hmmmmmm….I tasted the sauce and it was not like what I remembered. Perhaps because Dorthea used a cheap ketchup it wasn’t as overpowering. Or maybe because she cooked her meatballs in the sauce all day long and some of those flavors permeated the sauce better. Whatever, this one was way too ketchupy for my taste. I didn’t like it. I pondered over what I was going to do for several hours.

Finally, after checking on Pinterest to see similar recipes I found it was made only two ways and never with ketchup. It was grape jelly with Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce or grape jelly with chili sauce. So I asked my husband to run to the store for me and get Sweet Baby Rays and another jar of grape jelly and decided to start over. I poured out the old sauce and started fresh with the new ingredients on the day of the party. Thankfully, when I got home from church and tasted the sauce, it was wonderful.

I hope this will encourage those of you who try new recipes and they don’t always turned out like you hoped they would. Sometimes a little tinkering is all they need to be perfect for your family and friends.

So if you’re looking for a tasty cocktail meatball recipe this is a good one. If you do use frozen meatballs, you’d better be careful to get a lean meat, otherwise a lot of grease will be added to the sauce. I used a 93 or 96% lean beef, and because I baked them there wasn’t much grease when I added them to the crockpot. You can also add these to the crockpot if you start first thing in the morning and not bother pre-baking the meatballs. Just make sure you use lean beef unless you want a greasy sauce!

Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this favorite #meatballs recipe includes grape jelly & #SweetBabyRays #BBQ sauce! It's fabulous for #tailgating, #NewYearsEve or #SuperBowl parties. So easy, too! #appetizer

Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs made with Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce are amazing.

Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this favorite #meatballs recipe includes grape jelly & #SweetBabyRays #BBQ sauce! It's fabulous for #tailgating, #NewYearsEve or #SuperBowl parties. So easy, too! #appetizer

Everyone, even the kids, loved these meatballs.

Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this favorite #meatballs recipe includes grape jelly & #SweetBabyRays #BBQ sauce! It's fabulous for #tailgating, #NewYearsEve or #SuperBowl parties. So easy, too! #appetizer

Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs are incredibly easy. You can make these even easier if you use frozen meatballs. Put everything in the crockpot before you go to work and when you come home they’re ready to eat!

Here’s what I did.

Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this favorite #meatballs recipe includes grape jelly & #SweetBabyRays #BBQ sauce! It's fabulous for #tailgating, #NewYearsEve or #SuperBowl parties. So easy, too! #appetizer

I used these ingredients. I swapped out the Ketchup for Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce.

Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this favorite #meatballs recipe includes grape jelly & #SweetBabyRays #BBQ sauce! It's fabulous for #tailgating, #NewYearsEve or #SuperBowl parties. So easy, too! #appetizer

To make meatballs: Place lean 93% or 96% ground beef or sirloin in a mixing bowl. Add seasoned bread crumbs, an egg, salt, pepper, basil and oregano.

Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this favorite #meatballs recipe includes grape jelly & #SweetBabyRays #BBQ sauce! It's fabulous for #tailgating, #NewYearsEve or #SuperBowl parties. So easy, too! #appetizer

Mix ingredients with your hands and fingers until thoroughly mixed.

Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this favorite #meatballs recipe includes grape jelly & #SweetBabyRays #BBQ sauce! It's fabulous for #tailgating, #NewYearsEve or #SuperBowl parties. So easy, too! #appetizer

Roll meatball mixture into balls and place on cookie sheets that have been sprayed with cooking spray.

Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this favorite #meatballs recipe includes grape jelly & #SweetBabyRays #BBQ sauce! It's fabulous for #tailgating, #NewYearsEve or #SuperBowl parties. So easy, too! #appetizer

Bake at 350 for about 20-30 minutes or until meatballs are browned. (Or you can add the meatballs to the sauce if you plan to cook it all day in the crockpot).

Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this favorite #meatballs recipe includes grape jelly & #SweetBabyRays #BBQ sauce! It's fabulous for #tailgating, #NewYearsEve or #SuperBowl parties. So easy, too! #appetizer

The sauce has only these two ingredients.

Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this favorite #meatballs recipe includes grape jelly & #SweetBabyRays #BBQ sauce! It's fabulous for #tailgating, #NewYearsEve or #SuperBowl parties. So easy, too! #appetizer

Place BBQ sauce and grape jelly in crockpot. Stir well to combine.

Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this favorite #meatballs recipe includes grape jelly & #SweetBabyRays #BBQ sauce! It's fabulous for #tailgating, #NewYearsEve or #SuperBowl parties. So easy, too! #appetizer

Add cooked meatballs and cook a few hours on high until ingredients are hot. Or you can add raw meatballs and cook the whole thing in the crockpot about 8-10 hours on low until hot. Stir well before serving.

Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this favorite #meatballs recipe includes grape jelly & #SweetBabyRays #BBQ sauce! It's fabulous for #tailgating, #NewYearsEve or #SuperBowl parties. So easy, too! #appetizer

Once sauce is heated thoroughly and meatballs are cooked, you can serve straight from the crockpot. I used tongs to hold a meatball in one hand, and placed a toothpick in the other, so everyone could pick them up more easily.

Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this favorite #meatballs recipe includes grape jelly & #SweetBabyRays #BBQ sauce! It's fabulous for #tailgating, #NewYearsEve or #SuperBowl parties. So easy, too! #appetizer

This is also a great main dish meal if you want to serve the meatballs over cooked rice.

Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this favorite #meatballs recipe includes grape jelly & #SweetBabyRays #BBQ sauce! It's fabulous for #tailgating, #NewYearsEve or #SuperBowl parties. So easy, too! #appetizer

These meatballs are loaded with flavor.

Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this favorite #meatballs recipe includes grape jelly & #SweetBabyRays #BBQ sauce! It's fabulous for #tailgating, #NewYearsEve or #SuperBowl parties. So easy, too! #appetizer

If you’re looking for a terrific appetizer for tailgating, New Year’s Eve or Super Bowl parties, this is it! 🙂

Here’s the recipe.

SLOW COOKER COCKTAIL MEATBALLS

(Recipe adapted from Dorthea Herndon, when we attended Hillcrest Baptist Church, Cedar Hill, TX)

Print Recipe
Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list Yum
This amazing appetizer is a wonderful hot dish for tailgating or Super Bowl parties, but it's also great as a main dish served over rice! This one uses Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce and grape jelly for the sauce!
Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this favorite #meatballs recipe includes grape jelly & #SweetBabyRays #BBQ sauce! It's fabulous for #tailgating, #NewYearsEve or #SuperBowl parties. So easy, too! #appetizer
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Servings
Ingredients
COCKTAIL MEATBALLS:
HOMEMADE MEATBALLS:
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Servings
Ingredients
COCKTAIL MEATBALLS:
HOMEMADE MEATBALLS:
Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this favorite #meatballs recipe includes grape jelly & #SweetBabyRays #BBQ sauce! It's fabulous for #tailgating, #NewYearsEve or #SuperBowl parties. So easy, too! #appetizer
Instructions
COCKTAIL MEATBALLS:
  1. Mix together meatballs and place on sprayed cookie sheets.
  2. Bake at 350° for about 20-30 minutes.
  3. Spray crock pot with cooking spray.
  4. While meatballs are baking, pour barbecue sauce and grape jelly into crock pot and stir well.
  5. Add meatballs and heat through for a few hours on low.
  6. Continue stirring occasionally to get lumps out of jelly and make a smooth sauce.
  7. These are delicious served as appetizers or as a main dish with noodles or rice.
HOMEMADE MEATBALLS:
  1. Combine ingredients really well with your hands.
  2. Shape into meatballs.
  3. Spray cookie sheets with cooking spray.
  4. Bake meatballs at 350° for about 20-30 minutes.
  5. Add to crockpot with jelly/ketchup mixture.
  6. Continue cooking on low until meatballs absorb the flavors from the sauce—about 3-4 hours.
Recipe Notes

NOTE: You can also add raw meatballs to the sauce and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

NOTE: Be sure you use a high quality lean ground beef 93% or 96% lean or you will have a greasy sauce!

© Can’t Stay Out of the Kitchen

 

[b]Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs[/b]
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Author: Teresa Ambra adapted from Dorthea Herdon, when we attended Hillcrest Baptist Church, Cedar Hill, TX
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
This amazing appetizer is a wonderful hot dish for tailgating or Super Bowl parties, but it’s also great as a main dish served over rice! This one uses Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce and grape jelly for the sauce!
Ingredients
  • Large bag of frozen meatballs (or make up about 2 lbs. of meatballs from recipe below)
  • 15-oz. jar [url href=”http://www.sweetbabyrays.com/” target=”_blank” title=”sweet baby rays”]Sweet Baby Ray’s[/url] BBQ Sauce
  • 15-oz. jar Bama grape jelly
Instructions
  1. Mix together meatballs and place on sprayed cookie sheets.
  2. Bake at 350° for about 20-30 minutes.
  3. Spray crock pot with cooking spray.
  4. While meatballs are baking, pour barbecue sauce and grape jelly into crock pot and stir well.
  5. Add meatballs and heat through for a few hours on low.
  6. Continue stirring occasionally to get lumps out of jelly and make a smooth sauce.
  7. These are delicious served as appetizers or as a main dish with noodles or rice.
Notes
You can also put these in the crockpot on low all day (around ten hours) and allow them to cook without precooking.[br][br]If you elect to make the entire dish in the crockpot, make sure you use [u]very lean beef[/u] or sirloin so you don’t end up with a lot of grease.

 

[b]Homemade Meatballs[/b]
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Author: Teresa Ambra – my own creation
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 36
This amazing appetizer is a wonderful hot dish for tailgating or Super Bowl parties, but it’s also great as a main dish served over rice! This one uses Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce and grape jelly for the sauce!
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs. lean ground sirloin
  • 1 cup 4C seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. parsley
Instructions
  1. Combine ingredients really well with your hands.
  2. Shape into meatballs.
  3. Spray cookie sheets with cooking spray.
  4. Bake meatballs at 350° for about 20-30 minutes.
  5. Add to crockpot with jelly/ketchup mixture.
  6. Continue cooking on low until meatballs absorb the flavors from the sauce—about 3-4 hours.
Notes
You can also add raw meatballs to the sauce and cook on low for 8-10 hours. [br][br]Be sure you use a high quality lean ground beef 93% or 96% lean or you will have a [u]greasy[/u] sauce!
Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this favorite #meatballs recipe includes grape jelly & #SweetBabyRays #BBQ sauce! It's fabulous for #tailgating, #NewYearsEve or #SuperBowl parties. So easy, too! #appetizer

Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs are great for #SuperBowl fare or #tailgating parties!

Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this favorite #meatballs recipe includes grape jelly & #SweetBabyRays #BBQ sauce! It's fabulous for #tailgating, #NewYearsEve or #SuperBowl parties. So easy, too! #appetizer

This easy recipe is fantastic to make for parties when you don’t want to spend all day working on an appetizer!

Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this favorite #meatballs recipe includes grape jelly & #SweetBabyRays #BBQ sauce! It's fabulous for #tailgating, #NewYearsEve or #SuperBowl parties. So easy, too! #appetizer

Don’t Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs look terrific?

You may also enjoy these delicious recipes!

Spicy Honey Hot Wings

Spicy Honey Hot Wings | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | these #chicken #wings are awesome! They're a terrific #appetizer for #tailgating #NewYearsDay or #SuperBowl parties. #gluenfree

Bacon Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

Bacon Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this 5-ingredient #appetizer is one of our favorites. Guests always rave over #tomatoes stuffed with #bacon! They're perfect for #tailgating parties, potlucks or the #SuperBowl. #pork #HolidayAppetizer #SuperBowlAppetizer #StuffedTomatoes #GlutenFree #GlutenFreeAppetizer #CherryTomatoes

Jalapeno Cheddar Roll Ups

Jalapeno Cheddar Roll Ups | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | these fantastic #TexMex #appetizers are terrific for #tailgating, #NewYearsEve or #SuperBowl parties. Filled with #refriedbeans, #chilies, #olives, & lots of #cheese.

Print Recipe
Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list Yum
This amazing appetizer is a wonderful hot dish for tailgating or Super Bowl parties, but it's also great as a main dish served over rice! This one uses Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce and grape jelly for the sauce!
Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this favorite #meatballs recipe includes grape jelly & #SweetBabyRays #BBQ sauce! It's fabulous for #tailgating, #NewYearsEve or #SuperBowl parties. So easy, too! #appetizer
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Servings
Ingredients
COCKTAIL MEATBALLS:
HOMEMADE MEATBALLS:
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Servings
Ingredients
COCKTAIL MEATBALLS:
HOMEMADE MEATBALLS:
Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this favorite #meatballs recipe includes grape jelly & #SweetBabyRays #BBQ sauce! It's fabulous for #tailgating, #NewYearsEve or #SuperBowl parties. So easy, too! #appetizer
Instructions
COCKTAIL MEATBALLS:
  1. Mix together meatballs and place on sprayed cookie sheets.
  2. Bake at 350° for about 20-30 minutes.
  3. Spray crock pot with cooking spray.
  4. While meatballs are baking, pour barbecue sauce and grape jelly into crock pot and stir well.
  5. Add meatballs and heat through for a few hours on low.
  6. Continue stirring occasionally to get lumps out of jelly and make a smooth sauce.
  7. These are delicious served as appetizers or as a main dish with noodles or rice.
HOMEMADE MEATBALLS:
  1. Combine ingredients really well with your hands.
  2. Shape into meatballs.
  3. Spray cookie sheets with cooking spray.
  4. Bake meatballs at 350° for about 20-30 minutes.
  5. Add to crockpot with jelly/ketchup mixture.
  6. Continue cooking on low until meatballs absorb the flavors from the sauce—about 3-4 hours.
Recipe Notes

NOTE: You can also add raw meatballs to the sauce and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

NOTE: Be sure you use a high quality lean ground beef 93% or 96% lean or you will have a greasy sauce!

© Can’t Stay Out of the Kitchen

7 Comments

  • Belinda

    March 11, 2017 at 9:00 am

    Hi Teresa,
    I have visited many food blog sites and yours is the best, so far. I love reviewing other recipes to try on my own, or to modify, and your site is quick and very interactive. It is easy to find your other recipes with all the categories, and I love how you link recipes within your comments…perfect. Your disclaimer at the bottom is excellent because I often read reviews where people trash recipes that they try. The idea of sharing recipes is to give people a place to start with the basics so that they can create their own taste for foods and ingredients, and to inspire a passion for cooking…thank you!

    1. Teresa

      March 12, 2017 at 5:21 pm

      Wow, Belinda, thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. I’m so glad you enjoy my blog. I’ve worked really hard trying to get better pictures and show step-by-step directions so even beginning cooks can have successful outcomes. I’m glad you like the links and things I’ve done to make my blog more helpful. I really appreciate your feedback. Have a great weekend.

  • Skeeter

    January 28, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    These look so yummy, but I confused by the second line of the ingredients for the meatball recipe. It says “1 cup 4C seasoned bread crumbs”. What does that mean? Was an ingredient inadvertently left out or which is the correct amount?

    1. Teresa

      January 28, 2016 at 8:30 pm

      Hi Skeeter, 4C is the brand name of the seasoned crumbs I used. I used one cup of the brand “4C seasoned bread crumbs”. Hope that clarifies it for you.

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    January 30, 2015 at 2:53 am

    […] Тортилья Ролл-Апов, Пряный Мед-Матовый Куриные Бедра, Медленный Плита Коктейль Фрикадельки с сладкий малыш лучей соусом «барбекю» (!), вместе […]

  • Amanda

    January 27, 2015 at 10:14 am

    These look yummy!

    1. Teresa

      January 27, 2015 at 4:24 pm

      Hi, Amanda! How can you go wrong with Sweet Baby Ray’s??? 🙂

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