Slow Cooker Cranberry Meatballs are the perfect party meatball for Christmas Eve or New Years Eve or any Eve that everyone will love AND so easy, tender and seeping with flavor from the crock pot and INCREDIBLE sauce!
Everyone needs a fabulous Cranberry Meatball recipe – and this is it with TONS of rave reviews! The sauce is made with cranberry sauce, hoisin, ketchup and spiked with hot wings sauce for a tantalizing, lick the crock pot appetizer. You can make the meatballs early in the day and cook right before or keep warm in the crock pot for stress free entertaining!
About Cranberry Meatballs
I can’t believe its taken me this long to post a meatball recipe. I mean, I love meatballs. They were my requested dinner for my mom to make for every single one of my birthday growing up so I’m glad I finally got my act together with Sweet and Spicy Cranberry Meatballs just in time for Christmas Eve and New Years Eve because these meatballs are the perfect make ahead appetizer that everyone will be begging you for – just like I used to beg my mom to make her famous meatballs growing up.
How do you Make Cranberry Meatballs?
These Cranberry Meatballs are super easy! First, combine:
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 22 saltine crackers, crushed
- 1/3 cup dry minced onion
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
I used my mom’s perfect moist meatball recipe that uses crushed saltines instead of breadcrumbs as well as dried minced onion for maximum flavor.
Next, roll the meat mixture into balls and place on foil lined baking sheet for easy cleanup. Bake for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Baking the meatballs ensures they don’t fall apart in the slow cooker and baking is also much easier in a mass batch to cook instead of frying (and healthier too!).
How do you Make Cranberry Meatball Sauce?
A meatball recipe is only as good as the sauce. And this Cranberry Sauce is crazy delicious. The sweet and spicy Cranberry Sauce is nspired by my blackberry hoisin ginger pork tenderloin sauce. Its sweet from the cranberry sauce and brown sugar, tangy from the ketchup, complex from the hoisin, grounded by the soy, and spicy from the Buffalo Hot Wings Sauce. Basically, you’ll want to put it on everything!
The sweet and spicy deliciousness gets layered between rows of our lightly browned meatballs in the slow cooker so every meatball can be enveloped by their glory.
How long do you Cook Cranberry Meatballs?
Cook Cranberry Meatballs on LOW for 2 hours. gently stirring one hour into cooking. The meatballs will cook and seep in the zesty, sweet, tangy, savory, spicy sauce.
You can keep the crock pot on the WARM setting until you’re ready to serve.
Can I Prep Cranberry Meatballs in Advance?
Yes! You can assemble and bake/brown your meatballs for 5 minutes, let cool, then gently layer in an airtight container with layers of parchment paper in between the meatballs so they don’t stick together. Store in the refrigerator until ready to add to your crock pot.
Whisk your Cranberry Sauce ingredients together and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to add to the meatballs.
If you use this make ahead method, plan on cooking your Cranberry Meatballs for an extra 30 minutes in the crock pot OR until meatballs are completely cooked through and sauce is hot.
Not only are the meatballs and sauce lip smacking good, they can be prepared before your company and stay warm in the slow cooker until its go time, perfect for a stress free company/holiday appetizer. Just be sure to sneak in a few meatballs before the company arrive because when its go time, there is no stopping until they are going, going….gone.
Leaving behind nothing but satisfied bellies, smiling faces and thankful hearts for your Sweet and Spicy Cranberry Meatballs.
Looking for more Meatball Recipes?
- Honey Buffalo Meatballs
- Cheesy Italian Meatball Sliders
- Italian Meatballs
- Cranberry Meatballs
- Korean Meatballs
- Parmesan Meatballs
- Swedish Meatballs
Want to try this Cranberry Meatball Recipe?
Pin it to your Slow Cooker, Meat,, Holiday or Appetizer board to SAVE for later!
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