These Cranberry Meatballs are an easy slow cooker recipe, perfect for party appetizers or a unique main dish!
I’ve been repurposing meatballs into quite a few different recipes lately. We’re a family of 3, so a regular bag of meatballs can feed us for at least two different dinners!
The meatballs are frozen, so I can easily put the rest back in the freezer. But then I forget about them. So I’ve been coming up with two meal ideas that use meatballs; that way I can use the entire bag in one week.
These Crockpot Cranberry Meatballs can be both an easy appetizer and main dish idea! This easy recipe has only 3 ingredients and is made right in your slow cooker with just a few minutes of prep time.
I made these for an open house at the office where I work, and they disappeared SO fast. Everyone kept asking for the recipe, and they were surprised to find out how easy it was! This was a definite crowd pleaser.
Scroll to the bottom to get straight to the printable recipe card. Or keep reading for extra tips and tricks!
Want to see this recipe in video form? Check out my video on Youtube!
This recipe has only 3 simple ingredients:
Frozen meatballs (Turkey meatballs would be fine in this too)
Can of cranberry sauce- You can use your own homemade cranberry sauce, too!
I’ve seen this recipe made a few different ways, mainly with the sauce ingredients. Here are some other ingredients I’ve seen:
- Brown sugar
- Grape jelly
- Orange juice
Can I use my own homemade meatballs?
Store-bought meatballs are definitely easier. But if you want to make your own, here are some things to consider:
- Raw meatballs require more cooking time. The size of meatballs matters, too. The best way to do this is to bake your meatballs first, then add the cooked meatballs to the slow cooker.
- You’ll need extra time plus the extra meatball ingredients. Just make sure you allow for that extra time!
If you need a homemade meatball recipe, here’s my tried and true recipe that’s also freezer friendly!
How to make on the stovetop
You can easily make this on the stove top instead!
Just add the meatballs and sauce to a medium saucepan and turn to medium heat. Cook for 10-15 minutes until the meatballs are fully heated.
How to make in a slow cooker
In a small bowl, mix cranberry sauce and BBQ sauce.
Add the meatballs to the bottom of your slow cooker and pour sauce over top, then stir to combine.
Cook on low heat for 4-5 hours until the meatballs are fully heated.
Serve as an appetizer or main dish with your favorite sides. Keep on warm setting if eating these at a party.
How to store
Once these crockpot meatballs have cooled to room temperature, store leftover meatballs in an airtight container in the fridge. Use up within 3-5 days.
What to serve with this
This would be the perfect appetizer for a game day party! You can double or triple the recipe so you can feed a crowd.
If you eat this as a main dish, great side ideas would be mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, or rice.
These meatballs would be great for holiday parties, family gatherings, or just because!
More Meatball Recipes
Want some more ways to use up leftover meatballs? Check out my roundup post of meatball recipes!
Print this Cranberry Meatballs recipe now:
- 36 frozen meatballs (About half a bag)
- 1/2 cup cranberry sauce
- 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
- In a small bowl, combine the cranberry sauce and BBQ sauce.
- Add the meatballs to the bottom of a slow cooker and pour the sauce over top, then stir to combine.
- Cook on low heat for 4-5 hours until the meatballs are fully heated.
- Serve as an appetizer or main dish with your favorite sides.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 398Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 989mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 3gSugar: 19gProtein: 17g
Jaime is a Nutrition Coach and professional writer. She enjoys cooking easy meals, running, and learning more about food.
Jaime specializes in helping women with ADHD learn to meal plan and cook healthier meals without getting overwhelmed.