Looking for an Easy Holiday Appetizer? Look no further! These Easy Cranberry Meatballs are sweet and savory and come together in about 30 minutes!
This easy Holiday appetizer will be the one every body asks for over and over again. Easy on the cook and can be adjusted to make a large or small batch!
Ingredientst to make Cranberry Meatballs –
- 14 ounce can jellied cranberry sauce
- 1 pound ground pork – or any ground meat like beef, chicken or turkey
- onion – yellow or white
- bread crumbs
- brown sugar
- 1 fresh orange, juiced and zested – optional
How to make Easy Cranberry Meatballs –
Mix up the meatball ingredients. Roll each into a bite size meatball. We like to use a small cookie scoop. You still have to roll them in your hands a bit, but you get the size consistent. We love this small cookie scoop from OXO.
Because we kept these bite size, they only take about 12 minutes to bake up. Bonus!
Now get started on your sauce. This is gonna go fast!
Combine all the sauce ingredients in a sauce pan on medium heat. Bring to a simmer. Using a whisk break up all the lumps of the cranberry until you get a smooth glistening sauce. Toss the meatballs with the sauce and it’s done! Just so dang pretty!
How to make Meatball Appetizers ahead of time –
Bake the meatballs and make the sauce. Keep them in seperate containers until ready to heat and serve. Your slow cooker is a perfect vehicle for this!
How to use your Slow Cooker for these meatballs –
We find the best way to use your slow cooker for this recipe is to follow the recipe in its entirity and simply transfer to your slow cooker and use the warm setting. You can keep these warm all day without any change to the texture of the sauce for all day snacking!
How to store and freeze Cranberry Meatballs –
- Idealy freezing the sauce and meatballs seperatley would be perfect. But lets say you have a bunch left over? Simply put in a freezer container for up to 3 months and thaw at room temp. Heat as usual.
- These will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Kathi and Rachel
Easy Cranberry Meatballs
- 1 pound ground pork – or ground beef, chicken or turkey
- 1 cup onion – minced
- 3/4 cup bread crumbs – panko or unseasoned regular
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 14 ounce can jellied cranberry sauce
- 3/4 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice – optional
- 1 teaspoon orange zest – optional
- Preheat oven to 400 °F. Line of large baking sheet with parchement paper or foil for easy clean up.
- In a large bowl combine all the meatball ingredients. Stir to combine.
- Using a scoop or teaspoon roll out about 30 bite size meatballs placing them on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes until cooked through and internal temp reaches 165 °F.
- While the meatballs are cooking, prepare the sauce. In a large skillet add all the sauce ingredients. Heat on medium high until it comes to a simmer. Use a whisk to get out all of the lumps. Reduce heat to low and keep warm.
- When the meatballs are done add them to the sauce on the skillet and keep warm to serve. If using a slow cooker, add them and turn on to warm setting.
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