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From the Archives: Sweet & Tangy Balls

With only 3 ingredients these sweet & tangy balls make a quick and easy party appetizer. Your guests will love them!

With only 3 ingredients these sweet & tangy balls make a quick and easy party appetizer. Your guests will love them!

I asked everyone on Twitter & Facebook last night what I should post today. I was torn between posting a savory or a sweet and needed some votes. Of course they ended up with the same amount of sweet votes and savory votes so luckily I have both in one dish for y’all today :)

I’m bringing a post back from the past today. These sweet & tangy balls were first on the blog last year and they definitely needed to be in the spotlight again cause first, I doubt you guys even went back that far in my archives to find them, and secondly, I doubt my pictures back then could’ve whet your appetite ;)

Whenever I throw a party, this is my NUMBER ONE go to dish, and for extremely good reason. These meatballs are like crack. They fly out of the crockpot. Everyone’s plate is always full of these and I don’t blame them. Honestly, if you make a double batch of these and have chip, guac, salsa (and some booze, duh) and nothing else; your guests would be more than satisfied. I could’ve sworn, at the rate the meatballs were being consumed at our housewarming a couple weekends ago, there could’ve been a rock-paper-scissor championship for the last couple meatballs.

One of the BEST parts of this appetizer is: it’s three ingredients, you don’t do anything except throw everything in the crockpot, stir every few hours, and serve. So easy. Who needs a complicated dish when they’re hosting?

I guarantee you that if you make these for your next party, everyone will go ape-sh!t over them. No exaggeration. These are 200% guaranteed to be a hit. My mom made these for us when were younger and we ate them over white rice for dinner. Yeah, we were healthy kids.

Man, now I’m craving some (meat)balls.

Oh, bee-tee-dubs, officially 8 months today ’til the big day…who’s counting? Certainly not me ;)

Sweet & Tangy Balls
Recipe type: Appetizer, Slow Cooker
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 64 meatballs
  • Large pack of frozen meatballs (mine had about 64 in them)
  • 1 16 oz. jar grape jelly
  • 1 12 oz. jar of chili sauce (I used a Wegman's brand but Heinz sells them too, it's usually located near the ketchup & hot sauce)
  1. In a small pot on medium high heat, combine jelly and chili sauce until they're combined and jelly is not chunky.
  2. Put the entire bag of meatballs in the slow cooker insert and pour the jelly chili sauce on top, stir the meatballs around until they're all coated.
  3. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours. Toss every couple hours or so to re-coat the meatballs in the sauce.
  4. Serve hot.



  1. Arlene Kennedy
    02/13/2013 at 1:18 pm

    I’m making the meatballs now for our condo get-together. Can’t wait to taste them!

  2. 06/24/2013 at 7:22 pm

    These look absolutely amazing. I’m not sure if we have frozen meatballs here in Australia so I’m off to find them. Just wondering if there is a different kind of thing I could use instead of a jar of grape jelly. We don’t have grape flavour here. Is there another flavour you think would work just as well?

    Thank you so much.

    • 06/24/2013 at 8:47 pm

      Apricot preserves or jam would work wonderfully!

  3. kathryn
    07/13/2013 at 4:22 am

    If I make these the day beforehand what’s the best way to reheat? Thanks

    • 07/13/2013 at 8:54 am

      I would put it in a pot over medium heat and reheat, stirring occasionally for 25-30 mins until it’s all warmed through.

      • Jesica H
        10/12/2013 at 11:07 am

        Can you just put them in the crockpot and reheat? Also, have you ever had them a second day…just wondering if the taste changes.
        I would like to make these the day before and then reheat so they are ready for a brunch party. :-)

      • 10/13/2013 at 10:08 am

        Yup, you certainly can! I’ve had them the second day before and they taste just like the first! Enjoy :)

  4. Christina K.
    08/06/2014 at 7:05 pm

    I usually use bbq and grape jelly on my homemade meatballs. I have never found a frozen meatball that taste good to me, what brand(s) have you and others used? Also, what does the chili sauce taste like, spicy, hot? I don’t like “hot” things.

    • Julie
      08/06/2014 at 8:26 pm

      I don’t remember which one I used. I got it from Wegmans and it had a grandma photo on the logo, haha. The chili sauce is more sweet than hot. I didn’t really feel much heat with it but everyone has a different heat preference.

    • April
      01/02/2015 at 2:42 pm

      Try Turkey meatballs (frozen). Tastier and not greasy.

  5. skylar
    01/30/2015 at 4:49 pm

    Would it make that big of a diff. If I got a 14oz thing of jelly?

    • Julie
      01/30/2015 at 9:13 pm

      Nope, it wouldn’t!

  6. ashleigh
    04/15/2015 at 6:36 pm

    what is the green garnish you used ?

    • Julie
      04/16/2015 at 7:33 am


  7. Ashley
    07/14/2015 at 7:46 pm

    Hi, do you recommend any other cooking method other than slow cooker? I’m a poor college student :(.

    • Julie
      07/15/2015 at 6:10 am

      I’ve never done it without the slow cooker but I imagine in a large pot on the stove would work just fine!

  8. Karen
    07/24/2015 at 6:39 pm

    think I could substitute apply jelly for grape?

    • Julie
      07/25/2015 at 9:20 am

      The taste might not be the same so I can’t guarantee how it’ll turn out or if it’ll taste good, but you can try it!

  9. Ashlyn
    09/03/2015 at 12:08 pm

    Can i double the recipe?

    • Julie
      09/04/2015 at 7:40 am

      You can, but you have to make sure you have a large slow cooker for this. This recipe barely fit my 4 quart slow cooker!

  10. 09/15/2015 at 6:23 pm

    i was wondering if this would taste okay if I make it as meatball subs. And had cheese to put on top. Thanks in advance!

    • Julie
      09/15/2015 at 9:21 pm

      I don’t think that’d taste very good with the cheese. If you make these as subs, I’d leave the cheese off.

  11. Jen
    10/12/2015 at 10:11 pm

    Do you actually taste the grape??

    • Julie
      10/13/2015 at 9:38 pm

      Not really. I couldn’t.

  12. Priscilla
    11/04/2015 at 12:10 pm

    Hi Julie! Just wondering if you’ve tried this recipe again recently, and if so what brand of frozen meatballs did you use? I haven’t had any luck finding a good frozen meatball. Thanks!

    • Julie
      11/05/2015 at 9:40 am

      I just buy Wegmans frozen meatballs brand :)

  13. Jazz
    11/17/2015 at 2:25 pm

    Hello. To keep the holiday theme could you use a cranberry preserve, jam, or jelly for the meatballs?

    • Julie
      11/18/2015 at 7:23 am

      You could but I’m not sure how it would turn out due to the tartness of the cranberry…if it’s too tart, you may want to add a bit of sugar.

      • Bekah
        05/14/2016 at 7:05 pm

        The cranberry sauce option is delicious. It’s not as sweet as the grape jelly, but it’s not tart either. I think it’s perfect!

  14. lynn
    11/27/2015 at 10:21 am

    I don’t have a slow cooker….can I just cook on low heat on the stove top for an hour?

    • Julie
      11/27/2015 at 8:29 pm

      Yup, you can!

  15. desiree
    01/06/2016 at 11:34 am

    i made these for party i was hosting but i used sweet ans sour some sweet some sour they left t eh crock pot like it was nothing

  16. Babbs
    03/05/2016 at 10:20 am

    You show them with a miniature appetizer fork for serving. I’m assuming they are still good if room temperature?

    • Julie
      03/05/2016 at 7:42 pm

      Yup, they’re delicious! :)

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