Easy Cocktail Meatballs (Sweet and Sour Meatballs)

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

This is one of my favorite meatball recipes! Perfect as an appetizer and delicious as a meal over rice!

We have served these Cocktail Meatballs at every party and gathering since I was a kid! Tender juicy meatballs simmered in a quick two ingredient sweet and sour sauce will be the first thing gone.. and nobody will ever believe what is in them!
Easy 3 Ingredient Cocktail Meatballs! These delicious appetizer meatballs can be made 3 different ways and cooked on the stove top or in the slow cooker. Ketchup and Grape Jelly makes the best ever sauce!

I literally cannot make enough of these Cocktail Meatballs!  Every single time I bring them to a party, they are gone immediately and I always get requests for the recipe.

There are three options for sauce, and they all have a sweet and sour type flavor with just two ingredients.  (The first option, Ketchup and Grape Jelly Meatballs, is my personal favorite).

You can use homemade meatballs or frozen depending on preference or how much time you have.

Easy 3 Ingredient Cocktail Meatballs! These delicious appetizer meatballs can be made 3 different ways and cooked on the stove top or in the slow cooker. Ketchup and Grape Jelly makes the best ever sauce!

REPIN THIS RECIPE HERE

These work perfectly in the Crockpot too!  Bake the meatballs as directed and place the sauce ingredients in the slow cooker.  Add meatballs to the sauce and let heat through on high for at least 1-2 hours before serving. Once heated through meatballs can be left on low for serving.

These are amazing as an appetizer or even served over rice for a weeknight meal that your kids will love!

Cocktail Meatballs

We have served these Cocktail Meatballs at every party and gathering since I was a kid! Tender juicy meatballs simmered in a quick two ingredient sweet and sour sauce will be the first thing gone.. and nobody will ever believe what is in them!

Did you make this recipe?

Ingredients:

Meatballs

  • 2 lbs frozen meatballs

OR

  • 2 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 small onion , very finely diced
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Choose one of the following sauces:

Sauce #1

  • 3/4 cup grape jelly
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup

Sauce #2

  • 10 oz apricot preserves
  • 2/3 cup barbecue sauce

Sauce #3

  • 14 oz jellied cranberry sauce
  • 12 oz chili sauce

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together all meatball ingredients just until combined. Form into 1″ meatballs. Bake for 18-20 minutes (or bake frozen meatballs according to package directions).
  3. Combine sauce ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until preserves/jelly melts. Allow to come to a boil for 1 minute. Toss with meatballs and allow to simmer on low 10-15 minutes.

©. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited. Please view my photo use policy here.

Here are a few more recipes you’ll love

Cranberry Feta Pinwheels

Jalapeno Popper Dip

Jalapeno Popper Dip is my go to party appetizer. Rich cream cheese, spicy diced jalapenos and sharp cheddar are topped with crispy Panko bread crumbs and baked until warm and gooey. The result is the most incredible dip, reminiscent of the appetizer we all love so much!

Beef Enchilada Dip

Beef Enchilada Dip - All the fixings of Enchiladas, in a hot bubbly dip!

 

Easy 3 Ingredient Cocktail Meatballs! These delicious appetizer meatballs can be made 3 different ways and cooked on the stove top or in the slow cooker. Ketchup and Grape Jelly makes the best ever sauce!
Easy 3 Ingredient Cocktail Meatballs! These delicious appetizer meatballs can be made 3 different ways and cooked on the stove top or in the slow cooker. Ketchup and Grape Jelly makes the best ever sauce!

How to Make Easy Cocktail Meatballs (Sweet and Sour Meatballs)

Pin It
Pin now to save it for later!

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Holly Nilsson

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

49 comments on “Easy Cocktail Meatballs (Sweet and Sour Meatballs)”

  1. Looks so good and easy,

  2. A recipe that is my favorite is frozen meatballs, finely chopped onion, dousing of Worcestershire Sauce, for each bag of meatballs, 1 jar jalapeno jelly, 1 jar of cocktail sauce. Brown onions in pan and add meatballs and Worcestershire Sauce, brown meatballs on all sides. Transfer to crock pot and add jelly and cocktail sauce, put on low for 3 to 4 hours, or until jelly and sauce are combined and make a rich sauce. Make plenty, people LOVE them!

  3. Can u cook this in a slow cooker

  4. I use a cup of grape jelly with 3 bottles of chilli sauce, it is great too!

  5. I use the chili sauce with grape jelly but thanks for the other sauces. Now I have new ones for New Years Eve.

  6. I use grape jelly and chili sauce…but also cranberry sauce and chilli sauce

  7. These look SO SO GOOD!!!! Oh my goodness, what a great appetizer! I don’t know which sauce sounds better!!! They look super yummy!

  8. I love these!! Perfect for any party! Would love for you to come share and my linky party http://mommyondemand.com/create-bake-8/

  9. Hi Holly,
    I just love your Cocktail meatballs, they are just awesome! Hope you are staying warm and cozy in this cold weather and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  10. I use salsa and grape jelly in the crockpot :)

  11. I have made these several different ways, along with different ingredients, as filler to extent, without taking away from ease of cooking, or flavor. I like to spice things up a bit. I have used chili sauce along with pepper jelly, they were wonderful, and have used grape jelly along with Sriracha, if you like a little more heat. I would caution on the amount of Sriacha that you would use, maybe half chili sauce and half Sriracha, to tone down the heat. Just some suggestions, enjoy

    • Oh my gosh! I never thought of adding Sriacha (which I could literally eat by the bucket!!) That would be such a great addition! Can’t wait to try it!

  12. I used blackberry jelly and ketchup with a little bbq sauce it was so yummy I had non left over from my party.

  13. I have been making both versions of this recipe for many years. These meatballs practically vanish when they are part of a pot-luck meal. We often buy frozen plain meatballs, and they work well with this recipe, and couldn’t possibly be easier to make. I can have these on the table in a few minutes, and minute rice is a great side dish.

  14. I have this recipe and use red currant jelly and heinz chili sauce(find in the ketchup aisle). So yummy, I use equal parts jelly to chili sauce.

  15. What is grape jelly please , from uk

  16. Instead of ground beef I use ground sausage. It is delicious.

  17. Hi Can you tell me how many people does this recipe serve?
    Thanks!

  18. mine are different….chili sauce, cranberry jelly sauce, sauerkraut and I don’t bake first, they go into sauce to cook. They are wonderful

  19. These meatballs would be a great appetizer for this Super Bowl Sunday. I pinned and shared them. Thanks for linking up to Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop.

    Many Blessings,
    Diane Roark
    recipesforourdailybread

  20. I have a huge Christmas gathering and I’ll be making a lot of these! I’ll try both sauces. Thank you so much for the recipe :)

  21. I am doing this for the first time. I need to make enough for 60 people for a baby shower.
    Need suggestions.

  22. Question: Can you use GRAPE JUICE instead? I have a couple of bottles

  23. I make mine with salsa and honey bbq sauce in the crockpot. Big hit with all my coworkers and family.

  24. i HAVE DONE THE CRANBERRY MEAT BALLS AND THERE GREAT BUT DO YOU HAVE THE RECIPE FOR THE LITTLE COCKTAIL WIENERS AND MUSTARD AND JELLY. It was with current jelly but I can not find any of that anymore and do not know how much for the mustard do you or any one have the recipe.
    Thank you and enjoy this club so much I love the weekly recipes we have a variety to pick from and you always have something I will try..
    Yvonne

    • The recipe that I have tried is

      1 cup currant jelly
      1 cup prepared Dijon mustard
      1/4 cup ketchup
      1/2 cup brown sugar
      1 lb mini smokies

      Simmer on low 1 hour.

  25. Honestly, a bottle of Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce is the best ever!!!

  26. I tried the crock-pot corn chowder. It was absolutely fabulous. My family loved it.

  27. any idea what the calories or the carbs for these are?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *