This is perhaps the ultimate processed foods week recipe, for it consists of three components, all processed. The best part is that the origins of this recipe—known as Super Bowl Meatballs, Easy Cocktail Meatballs, Jelly Meatballs (ew!), and a slew of other monikers—are unknown to me. It’s an apocryphal recipe!

I’ve had these meatballs before (perhaps that’s a good indication of the social circles I run in), but I’ve never made them. Tonight I will, and I shall update this post with the results. Meanwhile, read the recipe below.

*Updated 9/01/06*

My recipe was dictated to me verbally by a friend, and last evening I discovered that my friend had said "one bottle of cocktail sauce" but meant "one bottle of _chili_ sauce." Well, they are both red, manufactured by Heinz, and they come in similar bottles.

So my results were different from the traditional two-jar cocktail meatballs, but not a disaster. At first the pungent aroma of the cocktail sauce was an off-putting juxtaposition with the beefy fumes of the cooking meatballs (take a whiff of cocktail sauce and try, just try, to not think of boiled shrimp).

But after an hour or so of stewing, the sauce mellowed out, and the little meatballs were quite tasty. They had a very piquant flavor, thanks to the horseradish in the cocktail sauce and the tartness of the grape jelly. But it all worked out in the end. “It’s a whole new taste!” my sister in law said. She was right. In a fit of laziness we ate cocktail meatballs over rice for dinner, and I got a stomach ache. Cocktail meatballs are for grazing, not for totally chowing down on.


1 16-ounce jar grape jelly
1 12-ounce jar chili sauce (or, if you are daring, use cocktail sauce)
1 1-pound package of frozen meatballs


Dump the jars of jelly and cocktail sauce in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the jelly is melted.

Empty the meatballs into a crock pot and pour the sauce over them. Set the crock pot on medium and cook, covered, for two to three hours. Serve the meatballs by spearing them with wooden picks topped with plastic frills.

Cocktail Meatballs

About This Recipe


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