These Vegan Grape Jelly Meatballs are the ultimate party appetizer! The Best Vegan Meatballs are simmered in a mix of BBQ sauce and grape jelly, resulting in a sweet, savory, sticky, and crowd-pleasing snack.
Crockpots full of meatballs with BBQ sauce and grape jelly have been making appearances at potlucks, game days, and holiday parties for years and years. It makes sense – they’re sweet, sour, easy to make, and always a crowd-pleaser!
Now, vegans can get in on the saucy meatball goodness with these Vegan Grape Jelly Meatballs! It’s a quick 20-minute recipe that transforms my Best Vegan Meatballs into the classic and fun party snack you know and love. The Impossible meatball mixture is so meaty and savory and the grape jelly sauce is sweet and savory. Your guests won’t even notice they’re vegan!
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Only 3 simple ingredients: All of which you’re more than welcome to make from scratch or grab from the store.
- Easy to make ahead: You can make the meatballs in advance, freeze them, and then heat them from frozen in the grape jelly and BBQ sauce when you’re ready.
- Opt for the hands-off option: When you need this appetizer in a hurry, just dump the 3 ingredients in your slow cooker and let it do all of the work!
Ingredients needed (with substitutions)
- Homemade vegan meatballs – I prefer this vegan appetizer recipe with my vegan Impossible meatballs because they freeze well and are deliciously meaty. My nourishing Chickpea Meatballs would also work or you can keep the recipe as hands-off as possible with store-bought vegan meatballs from Gardein, Beyond, or Impossible.
- Grape jelly – It might sound strange if this is a new concept to you, but trust me. It adds sweetness and flavor when mixed with BBQ sauce. You’ll love it!
- BBQ sauce – Use your favorite store-bought barbecue sauce or make my 3-minute vegan BBQ sauce instead.
How to make grape jelly meatballs
Find the complete recipe with measurements below in the recipe card.
If you haven’t already, make my baked Impossible vegan meatballs (or use the vegan meatballs of your choice).
Add the grape jelly and BBQ sauce to a large saucepan and warm it over medium heat until the jelly melts.
Nestle the meatballs in with the sauce next. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook until the meatballs are thawed and/or heated through.
Transfer the grape jelly meatballs to a serving platter and skew each one with a toothpick. Put them out at the party and let your guests dig in!
Slow cooker instructions
To make crockpot grape jelly meatballs, add the meatballs (fresh or frozen), grape jelly, and BBQ sauce to your slow cooker and cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours.
Instant Pot instructions
To make grape jelly meatballs in your Instant Pot, add everything to the pot and cook on HIGH for 5 minutes. When the timer stops, quick release the remaining pressure, then serve.
I highly recommend putting a batch of grape jelly meatballs out at parties and events, either on a platter or in the crockpot. Serve them next to any vegan party snacks to make the spread complete! My favorites are Vegan Sausage Rolls, Buffalo Dip, and Vegan Pretzel Bites with Beer Cheese.
You can customize the flavor of this vegan appetizer by pairing the jelly or BBQ sauce with flavorful alternatives:
- Pair the BBQ sauce with apricot jam instead of grape jelly.
- Use ketchup and grape jelly for sweet and sour vegan meatballs.
- Omit both sauces and use canned cranberry sauce and chili sauce instead.
Frequently asked questions
Absolutely. If the meatballs are frozen, defrosting them isn’t necessary. You can add them directly into the sauce from the freezer. Just know that they may need a few extra minutes to thaw and get hot in the sauce.
If the BBQ grape jelly sauce isn’t as thick as you’d like it to be, you can thicken it with a cornstarch slurry. To do so, whisk 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water. Stir the slurry in with the sauce and meatballs during the last few minutes of cooking and gently simmer until the sauce has thickened to your liking.
Yes. In fact, you can mix the BBQ sauce with any flavor of vegan jelly, jam, or preserves you like.
Want more vegan party snacks?
- Bang Bang Cauliflower
- Vegan Mozzarella Sticks
- BBQ Cauliflower Wings
- Vegan Cheese Ball
- Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip
Vegan Grape Jelly Meatballs
- 1 Recipe Best Vegan Meatballs or store bought, see Notes
- 18 ounce jar grape jelly
- 18 ounce jar BBQ sauce
- In a large saucepan, add the grape jelly and BBQ sauce. Turn the heat to medium and stir until the jelly melts.
- Add the meatballs and let them simmer in the sauce for 20 minutes on low-medium heat. If the meatballs are added from the freezer, they might take a few extra minutes to get hot.
- Serve as a fun party food with toothpicks stuck in each one. They are also good with cooked rice and sliced green onions. Enjoy!
- Crock Pot – Cook on low for 3-4 hours.
- Instant Pot – Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
- Sauce options – Try apricot jam and bbq sauce, grape jelly and ketchup for sweet and sour meatballs or canned cranberry sauce and chili sauce.