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Cranberry Barbecue Meatballs

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Cranberry Barbecue Meatballs are the perfect winter appetizer! These glazed meatballs use cranberry sauce in the barbecue glaze. Serve at your Christmas parties!

Remember those barbecue meatballs made with the grape jelly? I have always loved them! They're a classic party appetizer. Kind of like these Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts, they're the type of appetizer that you know will get gobbled up at a party. Well, I think it's time for an update to those traditional barbecue meatballs. Do you agree? These Cranberry Barbecue Meatballs are the answer!

Cranberry Barbecue Meatballs

This Cranberry Barbecue Meatballs recipe calls for homemade meatballs. Please know that this is optional! If you have frozen meatball brand that you really love, feel free to use them. The holidays are so busy, there is no shame in taking a few shortcuts!

A note, this recipe calls for chili sauce. Chili sauce can be found in the condiment section, near the ketchup. It's very similar to ketchup, just with different spices! If you have a hard time finding it in store, it's also available via Amazon here. 

Cranberry Barbecue Meatballs

Slow Cooker Instructions: 

Also, these are easily made in the slow cooker. If that's your preference, follow the recipe instructions through step 3. Then, transfer the meatballs into a slow cooker. Pour the sauce over the meatballs and cook on low for 1 hour. 

After cooking the meatballs and glaze on low for on hour, be sure to switch the crockpot to "warm." 

Cranberry Barbecue Meatballs

Leftover Ideas:

These Cranberry Barbecue Meatballs are absolutely fabulous served on small Hawaiian rolls as sandwiches. You can melt cheese on them for topping. Or, go lighter and top them with this Apple Slaw!

Other ways to use leftover barbecue meatballs:

  • Diced as a pizza topping
  • In a lettuce wrap
  • On a hoagie with melted cheese 

Cranberry Barbecue Meatballs

Need some appetizers to pair with these Cranberry Barbecue Meatballs for your party? Here are some other festive holiday appetizer ideas:

Cranberry Barbecue Meatballs

Cranberry Barbecue Meatballs

Cranberry Barbecue Meatballs

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 1 pound extra lean ground beef
  • 1 pound mild country sausage
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • ½ cup finely diced onion
  • 1 egg
  • ⅔ cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • Cranberry BBQ Sauce:
  • 14 ounce can jellied cranberry sauce
  • 12 ounce bottle chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed


1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ingredients for the
meatballs. Shape the meat mixture into 1 ½ inch balls and place on a large
baking sheet greased with non-stick cooking spray. Bake the meatballs for 15-20
minutes at 350F until browned and cooked through.

3. While the meatballs are baking, prepare the cranberry BBQ
sauce. In a medium sauce pan, combine the ingredients for the sauce, then cook
over medium heat until the sauce begins to simmer. Cover with a lid and simmer
on low for 10 minutes, stirring often.

4. When the meatballs are finished baking, remove them from
the baking sheet and arrange into a 9×13 inch glass baking dish. Spoon the BBQ
sauce over the meatballs.

5. Bake the meatballs at 350F for 10-15 minutes.

Cranberry Barbecue Meatballs

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Wednesday 4th of December 2019

I love this twist on a classic appetizer like these meatballs! So good!


Wednesday 4th of December 2019

Oh yum! These meatballs sounds so tasty!

David Bickel

Sunday 8th of December 2019

I am going to use veggie balls instead of meat balls. It’s very good for you to use veggies stead of meat balls. Doing it makes sense?

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