Almost Homemade – Party Meatballs

Almost Homemade - Party Meatballs

This party meatball recipe has been in our ‘ Bluebook’ of family favorite recipes for years. We used to use it exclusively as a Christmas side dish.  However, recently it has become a party favorite. This combination of meat and sweet works amazingly well. It’s like having meat with sweet barbecue sauce without the grilling. As I remember, my wife initially collected this recipe, because she thought the combination of using chili sauce and grape jelly was refreshing.

Most recently, we served it on the 4th of July, and it was a hit.  I am putting it out here now because friends at the party were asking for the recipe. 


  • 3 -5 lbs frozen pre-cooked small (plain or Italian) meatballs
  • 32 ounces grape jelly
  • 24 ounces chili sauce


  • In a large pot combine the grape jelly and chili sauce
  • Bring the sauce to a study simmer
  • Add in the meatballs and
  • Simmer for about 45 minutes (uncovered or with a vented lid), occasionally stirring,  until the sauce has thickened and the meatballs are well coated


  • We prefer plain meatballs, but we have used Italian meatballs, and they work fine, as well.
  • We use Heinz Chili Sauce
  • I use a 6-quart pot with a vented lid (to control the platter) to heat the sauce and meatballs
  • We transfer the meatballs and sauce to a preheated slow cooker, for transportation to the party and use the slow cooker to keep them warm and ready to eat during the party.


  • 3 -5 lbs Little Smokies sausages or cut smoked sausage be used, if you don’t want meatballs