Mini-Meatballs in Cranberry Sauce

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hrs 50 mins
  • Yield: 60meatballs
  • About This Recipe

    “These cute little meatballs go very quickly at holiday gatherings.”

    Ingredients

  • 2lbslean ground beef
  • 1cupchallah bread crumbs
  • 2largeeggs
  • 1/4 cupfresh parsley, chopped
  • 2clovesgarlic, minced
  • 2teaspoonsonion powder
  • 1teaspoonfresh basil, minced
  • 1/4 teaspooncayenne pepper
  • SAUCE

  • 1canwhole berry cranberry sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups chili sauce or 1 1/2 cupscatsup
  • 2tablespoonsbrown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon citric acid or 1tablespoonlemon juice
  • Directions

  • In a large bowl, combine the ground meat, bread crumbs, parsley, eggs, garlic, onion powder, basil and pepper.
  • Mix well but do not overwork or meat will become tough when cooked.
  • Form into small balls the size of a walnut or smaller.
  • Place meatballs in a slow oven of 300 degrees F and bake for 25 minutes.
  • In the meantime, in a crock pot set at 325 degrees F, mix together the cranberry sauce (if you so desire, you can use jellied. I prefer the whole berry.) Add remaining sauce ingredients.
  • When meatballs are baked, transfer them to the crock pot and stir into the sauce.
  • Cook in crock pot for 1 hour.
  • Lower heat to keep warm for serving.
  • Reviews

  • “These were the most popular appetizer at Thanksgiving!We were having some vegetarians at our Thanksgiving feast, so I made an extra batch of the cranberry sauce and put in the vegetarian (soy) meatballs from Trader Joe’s, and that way everyone was happy!”

  • “We really enjoyed this recipe.the sauce has a sweeter taste different than a tomato based recipe, but that was what I was looking for.Excellent flavor and easy to make.I made the meatballs and cooked them the day before.Then, when they cooled, I put them in a baggie in the fridge until the next day.They were wonderful and the leftovers reheatedwell in the microwave.In fact, they just keep getting tastier!”

  • “YUM. These were a big hit for our Christmas gathering (so festive!).Used fresh cranberry sauce, and less catsup than was called for (because I didn’t have enough) but it worked out fine.Only thing was I didn’t realize it called for a crockpot, so I just put it in the oven on low for 20 minutes (until we couldn’t wait any longer).They would definately benefit from a slow sit in the sauce though.Thank goodness I got a crockpot for Christmas!!!!”

  • “Absolutely delicious – they all disappeared within seconds. I must say though that I was feeling lazy when I prepared them, so I just prepared the sauce in a large pot, added 2 cups of water and cooked the meatballs directly in the pot. “

  • “My family really enjoyed these meatballs.I did make a mistake because I cut the recipe in half thinking that I would have made too many.Silly me next time I won’t make the same mistake..”

  • “Although I didn’t love these, my guests and husband certainly did! Here’s my big caveat on the recipe: 1 1/2 cups of ketchup makes the sauce WAY too ketchup-y! To correct the “error” once I’d already added in the ketchup, I added some cayenne pepper (that gave an extra kick that was good) and also some cranberry relish I had in the fridge. In future, I’d definitely do chili sauce instead of ketchup. Otherwise, the meatballs themselves were delicious and I think I’ll make them on their own–or into a meatloaf–another night this week!”

  • “These were amazing!!! I like everything spicy so I added some red pepper flakes! Yum yum yum!”

  • “Very good sauce. I used frozen meatballs and everyone loved this. (I put the frozen meatballs right into the crockpot with this sauce and they were ready in 4-5 hours on low.) I had to travel with the ingredients so I omitted the brown sugar and lemon juice. It worked fine, but I’d like to try them sometime to see how it adds to the flavor.”

  • “This was a big hit for our mid-day snacks on Christmas.I baked the meatballs about a week in advance and flash-froze.I let them thaw overnight in the refrigerator.In the morning, I mixed the meatballs and sauce, and set the crock-pot on low.They were at a perfect temperature after about 3 hours.I used regular breadcrumbs and dried herbs instead of fresh, and the meatballs were still great, although I may add some salt to the meat mixture next time.We served 9 people for midday snacks, and there were only a few cups of meatballs and sauce left.Thanks for sharing!”

  • “I will be making this one all the time.Everyone was fighting over the last few!”

  • “I have been making these little gems for years.We call them “Bubby’s Meatballs” She has passed away and I am left with her recipes. The only difference is instead of 1 cup of halla, I put in a package of Matzo Ball mixture and a package of onion soup. I also add water by filling the chili sauce bottle to get out all the dregs. Holidays wouldn’t be complete without these meatballs on white rice.”

  • “I made this for an interior design firm’s grand opening.Every one loved them.Thanks for a wonderful recipe!!”

  • “Made the sauce for some store bought vegetarian meatballs (needed a quick dinner!) Loved it! Terrific for dipping tatertots in too! Next time I’ll use homemade “meatballs” with the seasonings stated but even with shortcuts this was VERY good! Froze half the sauce for next time. Thanks Mirj! UPDATE – Just wanted to say that I took the frozen leftover sauce and (in an emergency) used it for baked chicken – FABULOUS!”

  • “I made this for our X-mas appy table.We liked these very much.I used the whole berry sauce and added my homemade chili sauce.My guests liked it and kept going back for more.Thank you for sharing.”

  • “The meatball recipe is awesome, and with this sauce, you got a winner! I took these to a women’s meeting and the recipe was requested by many.Hey, thanks for making a mediocre cook look so good!”

  • “These were definitely a huge hit at holidays parties! Everyone loved them!”

  • “This was very good although I’ll have to admit I did make a few changes.I skipped the parsley in the meatballs and replaced the challah breadcrumbs with quick oats (I’ve generally found oats make the meatballs moister).For the sauce I only used 1C of cocktail sauce.But otherwise this was GREAT!Made the meatballs the night before & then threw it all in the crock that AM.Everyone enjoyed it at our party.Thanks for sharing!”

  • “Used pre-made meatballs and the sauce. No one really raved or commented on them. My husband really did not like them at all. I thought they were just “OK”. I used the chili sauce and lemon juice. I most likely will not fix these again.”

  • “I personally do not eat red meat, but I made these with frozen meatballs from Costco and got RAVE reviews at the Christmas Eve Party I took them to.First- I zapped the meatballs in the microwave for about 8 mins. rotating in between.. Then I made the sauce- if you click on the 1 1/2 cup chili sauce it will tell you how to make it from scratch if you don’t have it on hand (which is what I did), I did add a tsp. of Sriracha, and a tbsp. or so of minced garlic. Popped the meatballs along with the sauce in the crockpot for about 2 hours and man did it smell good!!! I scooped up the sauce and poured it over my rice and it was REALLY YUMMY!!! I am usually one to hate cranberry sauce, but the whole berry sauce was by far the best I have EVER had, and I will be buying it from now on.. Thanks for a KEEPER, Mirj…”

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