Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

grandpa ray’s sweet & spicy meatballs

★★★★★ 3
a recipe by
Pattie Berriman
Springfield, IL

This recipe was handed down to me from my Grandpa Ray. He was the true cook of the family and most everything I learned came from him. When I started my first home, he was who I called every time I wanted to know how to cook something. This recipe is one that is always served at my Christmas Eve gathering.

Blue Ribbon Recipe

These meatballs are easy and delicious! Sweet and tangy, we loved the bit of spice pepper jelly brings to this recipe. Making homemade meatballs makes the difference and are delicious. Frying them in the pan gives the outer layer a nice crispness. Simmering in the sauce lets the meatballs absorb all the yummy flavors. These would be great as an appetizer or in a bowl of pasta.

— The Test Kitchen @kitchencrew
★★★★★ 3
serves 24 meatballs
prep time 15 Min
cook time 40 Min
method Slow Cooker Crock Pot

Ingredients For grandpa ray’s sweet & spicy meatballs

  • 1 lb
    ground beef
  • 1/2 c
    bread crumbs
  • 1/3 c
    onion, finely minced
  • 1/4 c
  • 1
    large egg
  • 1 Tbsp
    fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp
    kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp
    black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp
    Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 c
    olive, vegetable or canola oil
  • 12 oz
    jar chili sauce (prefer Heinz chili sauce)
  • 10 oz
    jar of grape jelly
  • 1-2 Tbsp
    hot pepper jelly, optional or a pinch or so of red pepper flakes

How To Make grandpa ray’s sweet & spicy meatballs

  • Ground beef, bread crumbs, an egg and onions in a bowl.
    Mix the ground beef, bread crumbs, onion, milk, egg, parsley, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire. Gently shape into 1-inch balls.
  • Meatballs frying in a pan.
    Heat the oil in a large skillet and brown the meatballs. Remove the meatballs, set aside and pour off the fat from the skillet.
  • Chili sauce and grape jelly melting in a pan.
    Pour the chili sauce and the grape jelly into pan and heat, stirring constantly until all of the jelly has melted. To kick it up a bit, stir in some hot pepper jelly.
  • Meatballs simmering in a pot.
    Return the meatballs to the skillet and simmer, uncovered for about 30 minutes.
  • Meatballs in a pan in the stove.
    To keep warm place into a chafing or warming dish, or deposit the whole skillet into a Crock Pot and keep covered on low, checking occasionally to make sure that meatballs are not crumbling. Have toothpicks handy to spear meatballs with!
  • 6
    *Can use frozen meatballs, although I have tried them and did not like the results. Also, you can use Lil’ Smokies.