Mini-Meatballs in Cranberry Sauce

"These cute little meatballs go very quickly at holiday gatherings."
photo by Ann S photo by Ann S
photo by Ann S
Ready In:
1hr 50mins
60 meatballs




  • 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.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Keira B.
    Do you think i could use frozen meatballs? if so which brand and kind?


  1. Fredda
    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!
  2. Evelyn
    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 reheated well in the microwave. In fact, they just keep getting tastier!
  3. Gay Gilmore
    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!!!!
  4. Get Smart
    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.
  5. Janet W
    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..


  1. LillyZackMom
    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!
  2. Boos Chef
    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!
  3. Lori in NC
    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!
  4. jmelyn
    These were FABULOUS! Made mostly as directed--except I used cilantro instead of parsley (we always do with meatballs), Italian bread crumbs from a semi-stale loaf I had in the fridge, and I used the chili sauce instead of ketchup. Very, very tasty, and easy! Loved 'em! Thanks for sharing the recipe! I have none left after our Christmas eve get together!
  5. Ann S
    These are delicious! If I had to re-name them I would call them Sweet & Sour Meatballs. I used the chili sauce instead of ketchup. They were very easy to make. Thanks for a great recipe.


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