Instant Pot BBQ Meatballs with grape jelly tastes amazing & made with frozen meatballs. This easy bbq meatballs instant pot recipe is a dump & start pressure cooker recipe, absolutely beginner friendly and a super quick party appetizer or dinner that get’s done in 15 mins.
Instant Pot meatballs grape jelly bbq sauce
You’ll love every bite of these juicy tender meatballs coated in a sweet, sticky, smoky & flavor packed BBQ sauce. Serve it on a bed of rice for a quick dinner or enjoy it as party appetizer with chilled beer.
We amped up the bbq sauce with few extra seasonings and that made a huge difference, it added lots of oomph to the bottled sauce and took the Instant pot bbq meatballs to the top!
Tips & Tricks
- Prevent BURN: The best way to prevent burn is to add the ingredients in order as mentioned in todays recipe and not to stir or mix them before the pressure cooking cycle. Add them in order, pressure cook and than mix. If you mix them well before pressure cooking than the grape jelly will stick to the bottom and trigger the BURN!
- Best results: Use frozen meatballs and check out the brands that we prefer (**NOTES section at the bottom of the post). You can also use homemade meatballs but do freeze them before making this recipe. This recipe is tried and tested using frozen meatballs only!
- Best BBQ sauce: You can certainly pick your favorite brand. However, we prefer Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory flavor BBQ sauce, it’s the bomb. The smoky flavor goes every well with the frozen meatballs and the grape jelly. We also amped up the bottled sauce with a few seasonings! You’ll have a sticky, sweet & spicy sauce and whole lot of Umami. Don’t miss the seasonings.
- Non spicy sauce: Skip the cayenne from the recipe if you are heat intolerant. Or add less (just a pinch or two) to balance the sweetness.
- Best sticky, thick sauce secret: Cook down the sauce to your most preferred consistency. We love a thicker sauce that beautifully coats each and every piece of frozen meatballs. A sauce that’s not soupy should be your dream bbq sauce for this Instant Pot bbq sauce and grape jelly meatballs recipe.
Instant Pot bbq meatballs frozen – Ingredients
Find the Ingredients with actual measurements at the bottom of the post. The list below is just a reference.
- Frozen Meatballs: Use frozen meatballs either store bought or homemade. DO NOT use fresh homemade meatballs. Check out our favorite brands at the bottom of the post (**NOTES).
- BBQ Sauce: Use your favorite brand. We love Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory flavor for today’s recipe. The smoky flavor adds a ton of intense depth and makes the BBQ meatballs instant pot recipe an instant hit. You can also use the original bbq sauce.
- Ketchup: Adds a bit of tang to the recipe. Totally worth it!
- Sweet Chili Sauce: Adds a spicy, sweet, tangy flavor to the bbq meatballs with grape jelly.
- Grape Jelly: Grape jelly goes very well with BBQ sauce and makes a fantastic batch of Instant Pot bbq meatballs.
- Seasonings: Paprika, ground black pepper and cayenne. We used a lot of cayenne because we prefer a sweet and spicy sauce. However, if you do not prefer spicy food or making the dish for kids just skip the cayenne or add a pinch or two to balance the sauce.
Find the detailed step by step recipe along with measurements + Video at the bottom of the post.
- Dump Ingredients: Dump all the ingredients in this order: water, frozen meatballs, BBQ sauce, ketchup, sweet chili sauce, grape jelly, seasonings. DO NOT mix or stir.
- Pressure Cook: Secure the lid, seal the valve and PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for 5 mins followed by a quick pressure release.
- Thicken Sauce: Hit the SAUTE and set it on LOW heat. Simmer the sauce to thicken it to the desired consistency that you prefer. If you are planning to serve the bbq meatballs as a complete meal and with rice or mashed potatoes you don’t need to simmer the sauce a lot. However, a thicker sauce tastes best when serving it as a finger food or appetizer.
Can you freeze bbq meatballs?
Yes. you can freeze bbq meatballs for upto 3 months. Use heavy duty freezer safe bags or containers. Thaw the frozen bbq meatballs over night in the fridge and follow the reheating directions shared below.
More storing option
You can store grape jelly bbq sauce meatballs in the fridge for upto 5 days in air tight containers. Follow the reheating directions shared below.
Fridge: Sprinkle water on top of the fridge cold grape jelly bbq meatballs and than reheat in the microwave oven until warm or hot. Brush a little bbq sauce of top and serve them immediately.
Freezer: Thaw the bbq meatballs in the fridge overnight and follow the above mentioned reheating tips.
What goes well with BBQ meatballs?
You can serve Instant pot BBQ meatballs as an appetizer just as such accompanied by chilled beer or make a complete dinner out of it when served with:
- Mashed potatoes.
- Baked potatoes.
- Sweet baked potatoes.
- Buttered noodles.
- Steamed white rice or brown rice.
- Cauliflower rice (low carb option).
- A simple and light salad.
How to make bbq meatballs in crockpot?
- Dump everything in the crockpot.
- Cook on high covered for 2-3 hours.
How to make bbq meatballs on the stovetop?
- Dump everything in a heavy bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven.
- Cover and cook on medium low for 20-25 mins. Check in between and stir if needed.
Instant Pot BBQ MeatballsPrint Recipe Pin Rate
Watch Recipe Video
- 1/2 cup Water
- Dump ingredients in order: Add water, frozen meatballs, bbq sauce, ketchup, sweet chili sauce, grape jelly and seasonings (paprika, cayenne, ground black pepper). DO NOT stir or mix.
- Pressure Cook: Secure the lid, seal the valve and PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for 5 mins. Once the pressure cooking cycle is over the instant pot will begin to beep, immediately perform a quick pressure release by manually moving the valve from the sealing to the venting position. Open the lid carefully when the metal pin on top of the lid drops.
- Thicken Sauce: Hit the SAUTE function & keep it on LOW heat. Give everything in the pot a quick stir. Simmer the sauce stirring often to thicken it to your preferred consistency. We prefer more sauce when we plan to serve the bbq meatballs as dinner and we love a thicker sauce when we plan to dish them out as appetizers. Serve the grape jelly bbq sauce meatballs hot and enjoy!
- Are the bbq meatballs spicy? Yes, today’s recipe is slightly on the spicy side. If you prefer non spicy food either skip adding the cayenne or slash down the quantity.
- Prevent BURN: Add the ingredients in order as mentioned in todays recipe. And DO NOT ever mix or stir them before the pressure cooking cycle. The grape jelly would stick at the bottom and trigger BURN if you mix or stir.
- BBQ meatballs as an appetizer: Thicken the sauce if you prefer to serve these grape jelly bbq sauce meatballs as appetizer. You have to simply simmer the sauce stirring frequently to thicken it to your desired consistency.
- BBQ meatballs as a complete meal: You can keep them saucy and serve them over steamed white rice, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, cauliflower rice or buttered noodles.