A bowl of cooked meatballs
Grape Jelly And Meatballs Have Been A Favorite Longer Than You Might Think
Fruit spread may have a reputation as a sweet treat, but it can also play an important role in savory dishes. Grape jelly is actually a classic component of cocktail meatballs.
Grape jelly is part of an enticing barbecue-like glaze that's brushed on the small meatballs, which are skewered on toothpicks and served at any get-together you can imagine.
The marriage of jelly and meatballs has held an honored place at parties and backyard tailgates across the US. The recipe first became popular decades ago in the 1960s.
One of the first recipes for grape jelly meatballs appeared in a food column called Dorothy Dean’s Summer Recipes Contest, and the dish later gained several different monikers.
The dish consistently featured slow-cooked meatballs coated in a flavor-packed sauce of half grape jelly and half chili sauce. Its popularity rose throughout the 1970s.
The dish even appeared in the 1978 edition of the “Betty Crocker Cookbook.” In the 2000s, slow-cooker dishes became trendy again, leading to a comeback for cocktail meatballs.
To make this appetizer yourself, cook frozen meatballs in a slow cooker for three hours, generously coated in a sauce of one cup grape jelly and one cup tomato-heavy chili sauce.
You can also make your own well-spiced meatballs from scratch, sear them well in a pan so they're browned properly, and throw them in the slow cooker with the sauce.