It's the holiday season, and that means one thing: parties and slow cooker cranberry sauce meatballs! So whether you're hosting a small holiday party with family or friends or throwing a larger soiree for all your loved ones, there's always room for festive appetizers.
And what could be more Christmasy than cranberry sauce meatballs? This recipe is easy to follow and yields a delicious batch of tangy meatballs every time.
These cranberry sauce meatballs are sure to be the highlight of any party or event. They're easy to prepare, have delicious savory-sweet flavors, and can easily be made ahead of time for last-minute preparations on party day.
With just 15 minutes of prep time and 5 ingredients, you can create this crowd-pleaser in no time at all! Serve it up with your favorite appetizers like spinach artichoke dip, and baked brie.
Keep reading for the recipe and tips on making these little gems the star of your Christmas spread!
Why this recipe is awesome
You will love this recipe for yummy Christmas party meatballs because:
This is a very easy recipe with simple ingredients.
The meatballs are premade, so you can purchase store-bought meatballs to make it easier.
You can customize the recipe by using your favorite store-bought or homemade cranberry sauce.
These meatballs are great for a variety of occasions—from family gatherings to game day tailgates.
They offer a delicious savory-sweet flavor that everyone will love!
Ingredients for cranberry meatballs recipe
- Premade meatballs - use your favorite brand of pre-cooked meatballs, or you can make your own homemade meatballs ahead of time.
- Jellied cranberry sauce - a can of cranberry sauce works best, but you can also make your own.
- Chili sauce - use your favorite brand or make your own. Heinz chili sauce is a great option.
- Brown sugar - light or dark is fine.
See the recipe card for quantities.
How to make crock pot cranberry meatballs
Step 1 - To your crock pot, add frozen meatballs.
Step 2 - Add the brown sugar.
Step 3 - Add the cranberry sauce and hot sauce.
Bake in your slow cooker or crock pot for 3 hours on high or 4-5 hours on low
Stir the meatballs about every 30 minutes until everything has combined together and the meatballs are heated through.
Tips for best results
- Use pre-cooked frozen meatballs to save time and ensure they are cooked through.
- Add some Sambal Oelek or Thai Sweet Chili Sauce to the mix if you want a spicy sauce.
- Add some Worcestershire sauce or Dijon mustard for an extra burst of sweet and savory flavor.
- Add a little water if you find the mixture is too thick.
- Use low heat for the crockpot setting to keep your meatballs from burning and for the best flavor.
- To get the most out of your holiday twist, serve with extra cranberry sauce on the side for dipping!
- Serving suggestions: Cranberry Sauce Meatballs make great appetizers but are also hearty enough to be served as a main course. Serve them with a side of mashed potatoes, a green salad, or roasted vegetables for a complete meal! The leftovers make great sandwiches the next day too!
- Be sure to check the internal temperature of your meatballs to make sure they are at least 165 degrees F before serving.
- I used beef meatballs for this recipe, but you could also use chicken meatballs or turkey meatballs.
- Leftover cranberry sauce crockpot meatballs can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
More easy hot appetizer recipes
Be sure to try my, BBQ and jelly Meatballs , Sticky Meatballs and grape jelly meatball recipes - they are all delicious!
Cranberry Sauce Meatballs
- 1 slow cooker
- 1 wooden spoon or serving spoon
- 1 32 oz. bag premade frozen meatballs
- 1 14 oz. can jellied cranberry sauce
- 1 12 oz. jar chili sauce
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- To your crockpot, add frozen meatballs.
- Add brown sugar, cranberry sauce, and chili sauce.
- Stir the best you can to combine.
- Stir the meatballs about every 30 minutes, until everything has combined together and meatballs are heated through.
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This is one of our favorite recipes - we usually use Trader Joe's frozen meatballs. YUM.
I made these meatballs as one of my appetizers for New Year's Eve celebration. I have to say, this was the best appetizer of the night. The freshness the cranberry sauce offers is the star of the dish. I did make my own meatballs as I'm not fond of pre-made, frozen meatballs. I'm sure this added to the positive outcome and my 5 star rating.
Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed them!
Looking forward to trying this recipe, Raquel! Love cranberry sauce AND meatballs! Thanks for sharing at Tuesday Turn About. I'll be featuring your post at tomorrow's party! Pinned!