Sweet and Sour Meatballs are a favorite from way back when I was young! We have served these easy cocktail meatballs at every party and gathering for as long as I can remember!
Tender juicy meatballs simmered in a quick two ingredient sweet and sour sauce made with grape jelly. These will be the first thing gone and nobody will ever believe what is in them!
Grape Jelly Meatballs
While we make my favorite easy Meatball Recipe with pasta for dinner often, these are a party go-to for us!
Every single time I bring these cocktail meatballs to a party, they are gone immediately and I always get requests for the recipe.
How to Make Cocktail Meatballs
The easy sauce for these Sweet and Sour Meatballs needs just two ingredients: ketchup and grape jelly (of course there are other variations below for more great 2 ingredient sauces). Combining these two ingredients, as strange as it may sound, makes an easy sweet and sour sauce and is perfect for simmering meatballs or even cocktail smokies.
You can use homemade meatballs (which is my preference) or use frozen if you’re in a hurry!
These work perfectly in the Crockpot too! Bake the meatballs as directed (or just add them frozen if you’re not making homemade) 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 (a bit longer if using frozen). Once heated through meatballs can be left on low for serving.
More Meatball Sauces You’ll Love
While I most often use grape jelly and ketchup for the meatball glaze, you can swap the ingredients based on your favorites or what you have on hand you just need one sweet item and one zesty! Swap out the grape jelly for apricot preserves, cranberry sauce, apple jelly etc. and you can swap out the ketchup for chili sauce or barbecue sauce!
- Meatball Sauce #1 (my favorite) – 3/4 cup grape jelly & 1 1/2 cups ketchup
- Meatball Sauce #2 – 10 oz apricot preserves & 2/3 cup barbecue sauce
- Meatball Sauce #3 – 14 oz jellied cranberry sauce & 12 oz chili sauce
These are amazing as an appetizer or even served over rice for a weeknight meal that your kids will love!
More Easy Appetizers You’ll Love
- Sausage Balls – Family favorite!
- Bang Bang Shrimp
- Easy Stuffed Mushrooms – 3 Ingredients!
- Bacon Jalapeño Cheese Ball Recipe
- Jalapeno Popper Crescent Cups – Party favorite!
- Oven Baked Buffalo Cauliflower
Sweet and Sour Meatballs (Cocktail Meatballs)
- 2 pounds frozen meatballs
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- ½ small onion very finely diced
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 ½ cups ketchup
- ¾ cup grape jelly
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- 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).
- 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.
- 10 ounces apricot preserves & ⅔ cup barbecue sauce
- 14 ounces jellied cranberry sauce & 12 ounces chili sauce
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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