Retro Meatballs

This recipe is an adaptation of an appetizer recipe popular in the 1960s. You can ladle the meatballs directly from the slow cooker and then provide toothpicks to make them easier for your guests to eat.


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds frozen precooked meatballs
  • 1 (12-ounce) jar chili sauce
  • 1 cup grape jelly
  1. Add the oil to the bag of frozen meatballs; close and toss to coat the meatballs in the oil. Add to the slow cooker.

  2. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. (To prevent the meatballs on the bottom of the cooker from burning, carefully stir the meatballs every hour to rearrange them in the cooker.)

  3. In a measuring cup or bowl, mix the chili sauce together with the grape jelly. Pour over the meatballs in the slow cooker.

  4. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours or until the sauce is heated through and thickened.

  5. To serve, reduce the heat setting of the slow cooker to warm.

In a Hurry Retro Meatballs

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Arrange the oil-coated frozen meatballs on a baking sheet; bake for 30 minutes, use tongs to turn the meatballs, and continue to bake for 15–30 minutes or until warmed through. Add the meatballs to the slow cooker and continue with Step 2 of the Retro Meatballs recipe.

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