I feel like every true blue American family has a relative with a version of this meatball recipe. In my family, it’s Auntie Julie. Auntie Julie is a major reason behind all of my creative endeavors. She is the most incredible cook, an absolutely amazing interior designer, and all around beautiful soul. Her meatballs are always the first thing to disappear from any hors d’oeuvre spread, no matter the guest list or celebration.
The amazing thing about these meatballs is how stupidly easy they are. Really. Just 3 ingredients! And all you do with them is toss them in a slow cooker! It seems almost too simple to be worthy of a full blog post, but the deliciousness of these meatballs eclipses any of my pride over posting something so simple.
The one twist I have on these meatballs is that I use a slightly spicier chili sauce than the more traditional recipes call for. I like a little kick in the sauce, especially when it’s served over plain white rice. It really brings a nice punch of flavor to the table, and makes the meatballs taste like far more effort went into making them than actually did.
Another wonderful thing about this recipe is, like a lot of my recipes, its versatility. This is a fabulous appetizer, served simply on a pretty platter with a skewer. Perfect for any gathering, from a fancy cocktail party, to a laid back Super Bowl get-together with buddies. Whatever the occasion, these are always amazingly popular.
When I make them for dinner, as my family often requests, I like to serve them over white rice with roasted vegetables, which I’ll also go over in this recipe. Any way you serve them, you can be sure to have satisfied smiles when the meal is over.
24 oz. bag frozen fully cooked meatballs
24 oz. (I use two 12 oz. bottles) sweet chili sauce
10 oz. Concord grape jelly
dash of salt and pepper
1 c. white rice
2 c. water
Any veggies you have in your fridge will work. I used broccoli and red bell pepper, but you could add or substitute anything at all! Asparagus, onion, zucchini, snow peas, carrots, etc. Let your imagination run wild!
But I used…
1 crown broccoli, cut into florets
1 red bell pepper, julienned
Zest of one lemon
3 T. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
In a medium sized bowl, mix together jelly, chili sauce, salt and pepper until combined
Place frozen meatballs in crockpot, and pour in the jelly mixture, stir to combine
Cook in slow cooker on HIGH for 2.5 – 3 hours
That’s it on the meatballs. Didn’t I tell you they were easy?
*Note: You can find this chili sauce in the Asian Foods aisle of your grocery store. It’s delicious!
About 30 minutes before you’re ready to serve, make your rice. I use a rice cooker because it is so convenient, but you can, of course, make the rice according to your brand’s instructions on the stovetop.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Chop and prepare your veggies by spreading them on a sheet pan. Toss them in olive oil, salt, and pepper
Bake for 8-10 minutes, until you notice a few edges starting to brown and your kitchen smells incredible
While still warm, toss the roasted vegetables with the lemon zest and set aside
Serve meatballs over rice, with a generous portion of delicious roasted vegetables.