This time of year, with all of the shopping to do and running around to parties, I just don’t have time to spend hours in the kitchen. However, my family still needs to eat and lots of the parties I am going to require that I bring a dish for a potluck. Whatever is a girl to do when there is not enough time in the day to get everything done? Enter my trusty crockpot to this picture, for it will save the day, and yours, too. I just learned how to make the most amazing three-ingredient dish in the crockpot that tastest amazing and requires so little effort, I am still a bit shocked.
These tangy, spicy-sweet meatballs just require three ingredients to make, and yes, one of those is grape jelly. The other is a jar of spicy chili sauce. The meatballs can come from the grocery store like the kind they sell in a bag at Trader Joes, Costco and in Texas, HEB.
How to make the Crockpot Meatballs with Grape Jelly Recipe:
Ingredients for Easy Crockpot Meatballs
32 ounce bag frozen fully-cooked meatballs or homemade meatballs (see recipe below)
1 10 ounce jar of grape jelly
1 12 ounce jar of chili sauce
Once you have your meatballs, whether frozen or homemade meatballs ones ready and browned, add them to the crockpot with a jar of grape jelly and a bottle of chili sauce. If you are using frozen, there is no need to defrost them. Stir.
Cover crockpot and set it on low, cooking this mixture for 4 to 6 hours, Alternately, you may cook on HIGH for 2 to 3 hours.
How to Make Homemade Meatballs
Ingredients for Meatballs
• 1 pound ground pork
• 1 pound ground beef
• 1 cup bread crumbs
• 2/3 cup finely minced onion
• 2 eggs
• 1/2 cup milk
• 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1/2 cup vegetable shortening (for frying the meatballs)
To make the meatballs:
• Add the ground beef, ground pork, bread crumbs, onion, milk, Worcestershire, and egg and mix these together in a large bowl, Next, add salt and pepper to this mixture. Use a large spoon or hands to mix thoroughly.
• Form this mixture into one inch balls, rolling these into your hands until rounded. We like to make ours bite-sized, but you can use any size you like. Just remember that these will shrink a bit in size when cooked, so make them slightly larger than what you want.
• Before the meatballs can be added to the crockpot mixture, they need to be cooked first. You can bake them in the oven or saute them in a pan to get them brown and cooked through.
To fry the meatballs:
Over medium-high heat, add some vegetable or canola oil to a frying pan. Cook the meatballs in batches, as you don’t want to overcrowd them in the pan. Each batch will cook for about 5 minutes, but they need to cook until they are browned on all sides. You should check the internal temp with a meat thermometer and they should be 155 on the inside to be done. Continue cooking batches until all meatballs are browned.
To bake the meatballs:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Line a rimmed cookie sheet with foil.
Put a baking rack over the sheet and arrange meatballs on it.
Bake your meatballs for about 20 minutes until browned. Check the internal temperature of the inside of a meatball and make sure it is 155 degrees before removing these from the oven. You can take them out to check, of course, but out them back in if they are not done yet.
You can freeze these meatballs ahead once browned to use with the recipe above.
The food blogger who made the video below has additional tips for variations on this recipe. Check out her site at Culinary Hill for more ideas for this meatball recipe as well as some other stellar recipes she has created.