I’m about to share a secret with you that may just make you the most popular gal at the potluck. I’m taking a risk letting you in on this, because right now that title belongs to me. But it’s amazed me that every time I’ve prepared a crockpot full of this deliciousness, people rave about it. And I think good things should be shared, so here goes.

Deliciously Simple Slowcooker Meatballs

1 bag of frozen meatballs (I usually use Armour Turkey Meatballs)

1 jar of grape jelly (jelly, not jam–you want it to be smooth and to have added sugar)

1 bottle of chili sauce (it lives next to the ketchup)

Whisk together the jelly and the chili sauce to get some of the clumps out. It will look gross and you will wonder what you’ve gotten yourself into. Power through. Add the meatballs and stir to coat. Dump the entire concoction into your slowcooker and cook on low for some number of hours greater than or equal to 4. Serve straight from the crockpot. They’re delicious with King’s Hawaiian Rolls, but you can also eat straight off a toothpick.

For a variation, you can try it with li’l smokies (aka tiny hot dogs aka cocktail weenies).


People seriously think these are the best things ever. Someone asked me last time if I had made the meatballs. Oh, honey. No. If I’m going to bother to make meatballs, they’re certainly not going to sit in a crockpot for hours and hours…they’re going to right on top of a pile o’ spaghetti and straight into my belly. (I do love homemade meatballs.) But I’m glad you thought these were up to snuff! I always feel sheepish admitting how simple this recipe is. Someone asked me to write it down for them, and I was all, really, you don’t even need that. The hardest part is figuring out where to find the chili sauce, and I’ve demystified that for you.

I don’t know where I found this recipe the first time, or whose idea it originally was. I do know that one time as a kid, when my mom dragged me to an art gallery opening, I installed myself near the refreshment table and proudly counted how many cocktail weenies I ate. (It was a gross number.) They were probably in this very same sauce. I feel like this recipe is in every Southern woman’s arsenal, and now you can add it to yours, even if you’re a Southern man or a Northern girl. Go make these meatballs. You can thank me later.

Laura Lindeman

Laura Lindeman