Easy Crockpot Cranberry Meatballs

Appetizers & Snacks  |  Published Dec 17, 2021  |  Updated Nov 18, 2019  |  By Tawnie

meatballs covered in cranberry sauce and garnished with fresh chives in a cast iron skillet with toothpicks

Easy cranberry meatballs recipe

Whether you are in a pinch for an appetizer or are just looking for something yummy to bring to a party or potluck, these easy crockpot meatballs are perfect for you! 

After Thanksgiving, there are of course a lot of leftovers. And one of my favorite ways to use up leftover cranberry sauce is in these meatballs! Plus, every party needs a Crockpot full of cranberry sauce meatballs, amiright?

Some of my other favorite appetizers and finger foods include these Italian Pinwheels, Buffalo Chicken Dip and Texas Caviar.

meatballs in a black slow cooker covered in sauce and garnished with chives

Growing up, my mom always had meatballs at cocktail parties. In her meatballs, she used chili sauce and grape jelly, which is another killer combo for meatballs.

These cranberry meatballs aren’t just for holiday parties though! They are great for football parties/games, bbq season, or really just because.

Cranberry meatballs ingredients

Want to know why I love these easy Crockpot meatballs? Because you need just four ingredients to make them! Here’s what you’ll need to make this cranberry sauce meatballs recipe:

  • Frozen turkey meatballs: You’ll need the pre-cooked meatballs found in the frozen section at the grocery store. You can buy your favorite beef, pork or turkey meatballs. A 24 oz. bag is plenty.
  • Chili sauce: We love the Heinz Chili sauce. It doesn’t make the meatballs spicy, it just adds the perfect touch for sweet and tangy meatballs!
  • Cranberry sauce: I love making this recipe with my homemade cranberry sauce. I blend the cranberry sauce in a blender until smooth and it’s perfect for this recipe. However, a 14 oz. can of jellied cranberry sauce also works well. You will need to microwave or heat in a saucepan on the stove until melted before adding it into the crockpot.
  • Green onions: Optional for garnish. You can also garnish with chopped chives or fresh parsley.
cranberry sauce in a glass bowl, a bottle of chili sauce and frozen meatballs in a white bowl

How to make cranberry meatballs

  1. In the insert of your Crockpot, whisk together the chili sauce and cranberry sauce. Add the meatballs and stir to combine.
  2. Pop the lid on, then cook on high for up to 2 hours, or until the meatballs reach an internal temperature of 165°F.
  3. Serve meatballs with toothpicks so they’re easier to enjoy at parties, and garnish with a few chopped green onions.
an up close image of meatballs covered in cranberry sauce and garnished with chives in a cast iron skillet

Tips for the best Crockpot meatballs

  • I used homemade cranberry sauce in this recipe, but you can make these Crockpot meatballs with a can of the jellied cranberry sauce if needed. I would just add some orange juice and orange zest to give it the sweet and tangy combination we’re looking for. You could also add in a few red pepper chili flakes since my homemade cranberry sauce recipe is a little spicy!
  • After you add the chili sauce to the slow cooker, swish a little water around in the bottle to make sure you’ve gotten out every last drop.
  • You can serve these cranberry meatballs straight from the Crockpot (set the temperature to “Warm”) or spear them with toothpicks and set them on a tray for people to pick from.

FAQ

Can I use homemade meatballs instead of frozen?

Of course! Using frozen meatballs saves you time in the kitchen and are tasty. But, if you are looking to make your own meatballs I have a delicious ground beef meatball recipe you could try.

Can I made this recipe on the stove?

Yes. I like it better in the crockpot so the meatballs can absorb all the flavors. If you make it on the stove be sure to add water and stir on the meatballs frequently. 

How long do leftovers last?

Properly stored, cranberry meatballs will last 3-4 days in the fridge.

What do I serve these with?

We usually serve them alone as part of our appetizer spread, but you can make it into a meal by serving with rice or mashed potatoes and your favorite veggie.

meatballs covered in cranberry sauce and garnished with chives in a cast iron skillet

HUNGRY FOR MORE? If you try this recipe, why not leave a star rating in the recipe card right below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page? I always appreciate your feedback! You can also follow me on Pinterest or InstagramSign up for my email list, too!

meatballs covered in cranberry sauce and garnished with fresh chives in a cast iron skillet with toothpicks
kroll\'s korner logo

Easy Crockpot Cranberry Meatballs

These easy to make Crockpot Cranberry Meatballs are the perfect balance of sweet and tangy! Made with cranberry sauce, chili sauce and store bought frozen meatballs. They are a delicious appetizer for holiday parties and pot lucks!
5 from 2 reviews
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 226kcal

Ingredients

  • 24 oz. turkey meatballs (frozen)
  • 12 oz. chili sauce
  • 1 recipe cranberry sauce or 1, 14 oz. can jellied cranberry sauce.
  • 2 green onions, chopped (for garnish)

Instructions

  • In a crock pot or slow cooker, whisk together the cranberry sauce and chili sauce. Pour in the meatballs and stir to combine with the sauce.
  • Place lid on, and cook on high for up to 2 hours, or on low for 3-4 hours or until the sauce is hot and bubbly and the meatballs are heated through. Serve with toothpicks and garnish with green onions. 

Video

Notes

  • If making with my homemade cranberry sauce recipe, I recommend blending the sauce in a blender so it’s smooth. 
  • You can use a 14 oz. can of jellied cranberry sauce too!. I would just add some orange juice and orange zest to give it the sweet and tangy combination we’re looking for. You could also add in a few red pepper chili flakes since my homemade cranberry sauce recipe is a little spicy!
  • After you add the chili sauce to the slow cooker, swish a little water around in the bottle to make sure you’ve gotten out every last drop.
  • You can serve these cranberry meatballs straight from the Crockpot (set the temperature to “Warm”) or spear them with toothpicks and set them on a tray for people to pick from.
  • Leftovers will last 3-4 days properly stored in the fridge. 
  • Reheat in the microwave.
Find Kroll’s Korner on Instagram!Mention @krolls_korner or tag #krollskorner

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 226kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 974mg | Potassium: 157mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 289IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 2mg

Last Post

Cheesy Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups

Next Post

Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole

I’d love to see what you made!!

Share it with me on Instagram or Facebook and tag me @krolls_korner or use the hashtag #KrollsKorner!

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

20 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Vicki
6 months ago

Do you use jellied or whole cranberry sauce? Can’t wait to try this!

3 years ago

Because I am obsessed with your cranberry sauce I went ahead and made these too, so glad I did! New favorite appetizer!

3 years ago

This is such a great way to use up leftover cranberry sauce! We enjoyed this while watching football the Saturday after Thanksgiving 🙂

3 years ago

Literally doesn’t get any easier than this!!!

3 years ago

Wow these are crazy easy and I bet crazy tasty at a holiday party!

3 years ago

These are such an easy, tasty appetizer!

3 years ago

This was such a great way to use up leftover cranberry sauce after Thanksgiving!

3 years ago

Yum- we’ve always used grape jelly but I need to try these cranberry ones asap! Love the addition of the red pepper flakes to make your homemade cranberry sauce a little spicy!!

These sound delicious and the color is beautiful

Susie
3 years ago

4 ingredients!!!! I am totally making these. I love easy recipes like this. Perfect for the Holidays

« »
20
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x