World's Easiest Slow Cooker Party Meatballs


World's Easiest Slow Cooker Party Meatballs

Slow cooker frozen meatballs make for a super simple and incredibly delicious party appetizer!

Slow Cooker Party Meatballs
Slow Cooker Party Meatballs

Our readers love cocktail meatballs slow cooker recipes and in response, we created our version of Slow Cooker Party Meatballs in the AllFreeSlowCookerRecipes Test Kitchen. This easy slow cooker meatballs recipe is tested and approved.

With only 5 ingredients, you can't go wrong with this ultimate party meatballs recipe! It's so easy to prepare, and these meatballs are versatile for any number of occasions, whether you're throwing a holiday party, a regular get-together, a game-day gathering, or need a bring-along dish for a potluck. These tangy and savory meatballs will disappear the minute they hit your refreshment table. Serve them straight out of your slow cooker, or arrange them on a plate with toothpicks. Your guests will love them!

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You can leave the meatballs to cook all day on LOW, or cook up them a couple of hours before your party on HIGH. This easy slow cooker meatballs recipe will save you time and again. If you're looking for one of the best and easiest ground beef slow cooker recipes, you've found it in Slow Cooker Party Meatballs!


Preparation Time10 min

Slow Cooker Time HIGH2 hr

Slow Cooker Time LOW6 hr



  • 1 (28-ounce) bag frozen meatballs
  • 1 (18-ounce) jar grape jelly
  • 1 (12-ounce) jar chili sauce (use about 6 ounces)
  • 1 (18-ounce) bottle of BBQ sauce
  • 1 large Vidalia onion, chopped


  1. Assemble the ingredients.

  2. Chop or mince onion to desired-sized pieces.

  3. Place chopped onion on the bottom of your slow cooker insert.

  4. Stir together grape jelly, BBQ sauce, and chili sauce in separate bowl until thoroughly blended.

  5. Add sauce to slow cooker insert and combine with onions until blended.

  6. Add meatballs to slow cooker and stir until meatballs are coated.

  7. Cook the meatballs in sauce for 6 to 8 hours on LOW or 2 to 2 1/2 hours on HIGH until meatballs are cooked through. Stir occasionally.


Onions are optional. If you include them, it's suggested to serve the meatballs, cocktail-style, without the onions. They can be used simply to add flavor to the sauce.

Party Tips for Serving Appetizers

If you’re planning on throwing a party whether for a holiday or special occasion, it’s always important to know some party food tips so that your guests are impressed by your hosting skills.

Decide how much food to make.

  1. To begin with, you want to consider how many people will be attending your gathering. If you have fewer than eight people, two types of appetizers will be enough. More than eight eight people will need about four types of appetizers.
  2. You must consider the length of the party as well as how many are attending so that you don’t run out of food within the first hour. A good standard to follow is six to eight pieces per person for each hour.
Stick with bite-sized finger foods.
  1. Bite-sized and finger foods are your best bet for appetizers, especially since you’ll be the one cleaning up after the end of the night. There will be fewer plates and utensils to wash if you make bite-sized appetizers.
  2. Finger foods will also make conversations more convenient, since guests won't have to juggle a drink and an appetizer plate while talking.
These meatballs are perfect appetizers for a party, and your guests will love them!

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Not only would these be ideal for serving at a party, these would be great to have as a regular meal. These could easily be served over noodles or rice and ta-daa, you have a meal. After all it is just little orbs of ground beef simmered in a sauce. The same as with spaghetti and meatballs. At any rate, I love this recipe. Only 5 ingredients and in a pinch the store bought meatballs can be used.

This was absolutely delicious! I love how such a simple sauce created such a big flavor. I'm definitely making this again!

I never would have thought to put grape jelly in this. It's delicious though. Mmmm. Mmmm. Mmmmmmm.

I've been looking for a meatball recipe, and I'm glad I found this one! These meatballs were delicious. :)

These were so tasty... and I couldn't believe how easy they are to whip together! Lots of flavor and less stress on the cook is the perfect recipe for game day!

These are simply divine. They are going to be my new go-to party recipe for sure!

LOVED this. I can't believe it was as simple as it was too. I feel like I could easily make this for a party when I have no idea what to make.

These slow cooker party meatballs look so-o-o yummy. However, I have never been a fan of those frozen meatballs. They just don't have the texture of "real" meat. Maybe in a crunch, these would work. Perhaps I could make my own from fresh meat and use the sauce.

A family friend use to make a similar grape jelly meatball recipe - I'd forgotten about them until just now! I'll have to try this recipe soon.

Wow, what a great idea! This really elevates the frozen meatballs. I like how another user suggested using her own frozen meatballs.

I can't wait to try this recipe! I love that it doesn't use a ton of ingredients and can be stirred together in almost no time. What a perfect recipe to keep in mind the next time you have a last-minute get-together!

My grandmother used to add grape jelly to some of her recipes and as a kid I thought it was strange...but after eating whatever she made I never gave it another thought, because it was so good. I've never actually tried it myself, but this recipe looks so easy and's worth a try. The meatballs that I pre-make and freeze would go great with this recipe and would no doubt be just as yummy!

These party meatballs look so easy to make. Using frozen meatballs makes it really easy. I will most likely make these for our Super Bowl Party. I love meatballs made like this and they are always a big thing for parties. I would use my Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce since it is so good...

Oh my gosh, yes, these are the meatballs that my grandmother used to make for special occasions. When I was girl I thought it was some secret recipe! I decided to make these last year for a family Christmas where we put together a buffet of sorts. I made a double batch. They were gone. YUMMMM

This i s a delightful appetizer recipe. My entire family loves these meatballs. They are easy and very, very good! You can also substitute cranberry sauce for the grape jelly and it is awesome too. This recipe is an all around recipe...great as an appetizer, great as a main dish, great for church functions....the possibilities are endless. Try will love them. One thing I recommend is not using the Italian seasoned frozen meatballs. Use the traditional. They just work better.

This easy recipe looks ideal for a party #BestIdeaEver

This is one of my favorite party recipes! Although I wonder whether the BBQ sauce is necessary or whether the meatballs taste just as good with the jelly and chili sauce?

Member 1566315: They likely won't get mushy, but they might shrink and get a little tough if you cook them too long. It depends on the meatballs you're working with, too. Thanks! Editor, AllFreeSlowCookerRecipes

Question: Can I cook slow cooker party meatballs a day ahead then just put slow cooker on low to reheat and serve the following day? Will they get mushy if left on low most of day?

As a single male, I have used frozen meatballs for years and my guests have enjoyed them at my parties. I have used a couple of jars of Alfredo sauce when on sale and it is a change of pace from the BBQ sauce.

Did not mean to post twice.

I love using the frozen meatballs, typically I can purchase them for about 10 cents per meatball plus the sauces. I have used a couple of jars of Alfredo Sauces on Sales instead of the BBQ sauce for a change of pace. Just make sure you allow plenty of time if they are frozen. This is so simple even a single male can do this dish.

I have made these almost every Xmas. I made them once and from then on , I am asked to make them. Yes, they are from the frozen meatballs, but I am sure if you desire to make the meatballs ffrom stratch, they will be just as good. I like quick, so I use the frozen kind. Never have made them with BBQ sauce, but since I am doing them this Xmas, will try that. I am sure they will be good also. So simple to fix. Try them, you will like them.

make your own there are only real ingredients you put in not the junk they put in the frozen. Do you really want to eat more of that junk? Added sugar, salt and things you cannot pronounce or even know what the junk is. Fast food frozen is not real meat, IT IS MEAT BY PRODUCTS with added ????? who knows.

Thanks for the editorial rant, but do you really think you're going change what someone here eats with that? Hope you got it out of your system, though.

Packaged meatballs were a "no no" for me. I kept experimenting until I found a brand that was extraordinary. My life has become simplified. It was well worth the effort for this Italian gal. In my area where I live, the Shop-Rite brand is excellent. (North Jersey).

So disappointed! I was expecting an actual meatball recipe - not a recipe using frozen commercial meatballs. Finding really good meatballs is not an easy task, and I was hoping for a better solution. Booo!

@beski1997 8421442: We're glad you liked them! Thanks for letting everyone know how great they are. -- Editors of AllFreeSlowCookerRecipes

These were amazing. So easy and everyone loved them!!


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