Cranberry Meatballs are made by slow-cooking frozen meatballs in a sweet and tangy homemade cranberry bbq sauce. So easy to make, these delicious little meatballs are the perfect holiday or party appetizer!
I love all kinds of meatballs, but these are some of my favorite. Festive, yet flexible, these tasty little cranberry meatballs are perfect for the holidays, tailgating, or as an easy weeknight dinner. Prepared and cooked entirely in your Crockpot, all you need is 5-minutes to throw it all together. They’re sweet, tangy, a little spicy, and always a crowd favorite!
How to Make Cranberry Meatballs
Combine the cranberry sauce, hoisin sauce, ketchup, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, hot sauce (optional) minced garlic, ground ginger, and cayenne pepper (optional) in the bowl of a large (6-8 quart) Crock-Pot. Use a rubber spatula to mix until fully combined.
Add the fresh cranberries and frozen meatballs and mix well to coat the meatballs in the cranberry sauce.
Cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 3-4 hours, or until the sauce is bubbly and the meatballs are heated through. Set the slow cooker warm until ready to serve.
- Look for mini or “party size” meatballs as they are the easiest to eat at parties or gatherings.
- Omit the hot sauce and cayenne powder if you are sensitive to spicy foods.
Can I use homemade meatballs?
Yes, absolutely. For best results, bake or pan-fry the meatballs bedore adding them to your slow cooker and covering in sauce. This prevents the meatballs from getting stuck togetherl.
Keep leftovers stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, place the meatballs on a microwave safe plate or dish and cover with a paper towel. Microwave for 30-second intervals. You can also reheat in the Crockpot. Cook on high for 1 hour or on low for 1-2 hours, or until heated through.
How to Serve Cranberry Meatballs
These delicious little cranberry meatballs can be served in so many ways for football parties, birthday parties, potlucks, New Year’s Eve parties, or for dinner with a side of white rice, mashed potatoes, and roasted veggies like butternut squash or Brussels sprouts.
Have you tried making this Cranberry Meatballs Recipe?
Tell me about it in the comments below! I always love to hear your thoughts. And tag me #theforkedspoon on Instagram if you’ve made any of my recipes, I always love to see what you’re cooking in the kitchen.
Cranberry Meatballs (Crock-Pot)
- 2 cups fresh cranberry sauce - homemade or store bought
- ¼ cup hoisin sauce
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 3½ tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 3 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2½ tablespoon hot sauce - I used Frank's RedHot (optional)
- 5 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cayenne - optional
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 40 oz frozen party meatballs
- Fresh chopped parsley - to garnish
- Make the sauce: In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the cranberry sauce, hoisin sauce, ketchup, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, hot sauce (optional), minced garlic, ground ginger, and cayenne (if using). Mix until fully combined and add fresh cranberries (you may also mix everything together directly in your slow cooker).
- Add everything to the slow cooker: Add the frozen meatballs to the bowl of a 6-8 quart slow cooker. Pour in the cranberry sauce and stir well to combine.
- Cook: Turn on the slow cooker and cook on high for 2 hours or on low for 3-4 hours, or until the sauce is bubbly and the meatballs are heated through.
- Keep warm and serve:. Once fully cooked, place your slow cooker on the warm setting until ready to serve. Serve garnished with fresh chopped parsley, if desired.
- If you’re super sensitive to spicy foods, or you’re making these for a big group of people, maybe start with 1 tablespoon of hot sauce, or hold off and add it at the end.
- Pro tip- make your own cranberry sauce! It’s super easy and tastes like a million bucks.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)