These sweet and tangy Vegan Grape Jelly Cocktail Meatballs always fit in at parties! The homemade vegan Beyond Meat meatballs are coated in a grape jelly sauce before they’re finished in the oven or slow cooker.
Easy vegan grape jelly meatballs for parties
These bite-sized Vegan Grape Jelly Cocktail Meatballs come together in no time and are perfect for holidays, cocktail parties, and all kinds of celebrations. This classic party snack is savory, tangy, and sweet. A real crowd-pleaser!
Making vegan cocktail meatballs with Beyond Meat or Impossible Meat keeps the process easy. This store-bought vegan ground beef is already flavorful, which means you don’t need a ton of herbs and spices to season the meatball mixture. It’s what I use to make my Best Vegan Meatballs, which are known for their juicy and tender texture.
Once rolled into balls, the meatballs are quickly baked before being doused in homemade grape jelly sauce, then baked again. The finished appetizer glistens and has irresistible flavors and aromas that all of your party guests are sure to be drawn to.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Vegan ground beef - I use Impossible or Beyond Meat, but any kind of vegan ground beef will work well.
- Panko breadcrumbs - To help bind the meatballs together. I don’t recommend using regular breadcrumbs because they don’t hold the meatball mixture together as well.
- Dairy free milk - Any kind of vegan milk will work, or use water instead.
- Worcestershire sauce - Make sure to check the label first, as classic Worcestershire sauce is made with fish sauce. HP sauce, soy sauce or tamari can be used as a substitute.
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Salt and pepper
- Grape jelly - I used Welch’s grape jelly (yes it’s vegan)
- Barbecue sauce - My favorite is Bulls Eye BBQ Sauce Bold Original. It’s smoky and tangy, helping it pair well with the sweet jelly.
- Pickling brine - I used the brine from a jar of hot and spicy pickled banana peppers. Pickled jalapeno brine is another great option! It adds a tangy heat to every bite.
- Cornstarch - To thicken the grape jelly sauce.
How to make vegan grape jelly meatballs
First, mix the breadcrumbs and milk together in a small bowl. Set it aside until the breadcrumbs absorb most of the liquid.
Add the meatball ingredients and panko/milk mixture to a mixing bowl. Stir well to combine (use a wooden spoon or clean hands).
Form small scoops of the mixture into 1-inch round meatballs and place them in a casserole dish. It’s ok if they’re touching each other in the dish! You should end up with about 40 meatballs.
Place them in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
While you wait, whisk the grape jelly sauce ingredients together in a bowl. Pour it over the baked meatballs, then place the dish back in the oven to finish baking.
Serve the cocktail meatballs right away with toothpicks for easy grabbing or make them a part of dinner. Enjoy! For full ingredients and instructions see printable recipe card below.
Crockpot grape jelly meatballs
Bake the cocktail meatballs for 15 minutes, then add them and the grape jelly sauce to a slow cooker. Cook on High for 1 to 2 hours or on Low for 3 to 4 hours.
If you’re serving these as a party appetizer, you can transfer the fully cooked meatballs and sauce to a crockpot and keep it on Warm throughout the evening. Keep a few toothpicks, plates, and napkins on the side so your guests can serve themselves.
Tips for success
- Not all grape jelly is vegan because the sugar in it may have been refined with bone char. For a fail-safe option, use organic grape jelly.
- For spicier cocktail meatballs, add up to 1 teaspoon of your favorite hot sauce to the grape jelly sauce.
- Not a fan of grape jelly? Use cranberry sauce, plum jam, raspberry jam, apricot preserves, or apple jelly instead.
- The sauce has a mild heat because of the pickled pepper brine. Feel free to omit it if you’re sensitive to spice or use mild or another type of brine, like olive or caper brine.
Meatballs with grape jelly are a fantastic snack to pass around at Christmas parties and special events. Pierce each one with a toothpick and let your guests dig in! To make them even more appealing, sprinkle chopped green onions on top after plating.
Can you use frozen vegan meatballs instead?
If you don’t want to make homemade vegan meatballs, use frozen ones instead. Cook them according to the package instructions before coating them in sauce and finishing them in the oven or crockpot.
Want more vegan party appetizers?
Enjoy everyone! Happy Day! Please feel free to comment below and give this recipe a rating. Your feedback is greatly appreciated!Print