If you’re looking for the perfect appetizer or party snack, these Cranberry Meatballs are a must-try! These delicious, beefy cocktail meatballs are smothered in a tangy sauce, making the perfect bite! Make this easy recipe and serve them at your New Year’s Eve party, for game day, or at your next potluck! These crockpot meatballs are a real crowd-pleaser!
Many people may think this recipe is simply an easy appetizer, BUT you can also serve it as a main dish topped over some rice and garnished with some green onions or fresh parsley.
I’m always looking for easy weeknight dinner recipes, and this is a good one!
SAVE THIS CRANBERRY MEATBALL RECIPE TO YOUR FAVORITE PINTEREST BOARD!
I also love fix-it-and-forget-it, easy appetizers since I don’t often have the time or energy to make a big fuss for parties. These lovely cranberry sauce meatballs are perfectly festive appetizers while still being super easy to put together. The prep time is just a few minutes, and you only need a handful of things to make this easy appetizer. Anything that simplifies life during busy party prep is a win in my book!
Ingredients for Crockpot Cranberry Meatballs
This easy meatball recipe is my favorite appetizer to serve at holiday parties because you only need a few simple ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need for these tangy meatballs:
- 26 ounces frozen store-bought meatballs
- 14 ounces whole cranberry sauce
- 12 ounces Heinz chili sauce
- 1 ½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 ½ tablespoon dark brown sugar
If you want to change things up a little, you could try some of these substitutions for these crockpot meatballs:
Use turkey meatballs instead of beef. You won’t be able to taste the difference!
- Use a homemade cranberry sauce instead of one from the grocery store. It’s a great way to use up leftover cranberry sauce from your holiday meal!
- Or, if cranberries aren’t your thing, substitute grape jelly!
- Feel free to use your own homemade meatballs. If you don’t have pre-cooked meatballs ready to go, you’ll want to cook them in a large skillet before adding them to the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients. You also will need a much smaller amount of time to cook them since they won’t be frozen.
How to make Cranberry Crockpot Meatballs
These crockpot cranberry meatballs only take a few minutes of prep time!
First, place the frozen meatballs into a slow cooker set on low heat. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients (cranberry sauce, chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar). Pour the sauce over the meatballs.
Cover and cook on low for 4 hours, stirring occasionally. To serve, set the slow cooker to the warm setting. Serve these party meatballs garnished with chopped green onions.
I have also made the sauce for the meatballs on the stovetop by combining the sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan and stirring over medium heat until the ingredients are heated through and combined. Then pour the sauce over the meatballs in the slow cooker and continue as directed. It’s an extra step and an added dish to clean, so this step is definitely not necessary!
How to store leftover Slow Cooker Cranberry Meatballs
The holiday season will pass, but there are more game days and family gatherings in your future! Save any leftover meatballs for the next party by letting them cool to room temperature before storing them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
More Meatball Recipes
There are so many great ways to use pre-cooked meatballs! I almost always keep a bag of frozen meatballs in my freezer. One of my favorite things to make is a classic lunch using this recipe for Easy Meatball Sub Sandwiches.
Or you should try this new twist on an old classic: Spaghetti and Meatball Braid. For this recipe, you take your classic pasta and meatballs and wrap them up inside a pizza dough braid! It’s a fun way to feed your family! I also love cheesy Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatballs as a party appetizer and also just as a topping for my usual spaghetti dinner.
I fell in love with Swedish Meatballs visiting my local IKEA, and this recipe is the perfect knock-off of their meatballs! Finally, these Buffalo Chicken Meatballs are a spicy twist on a classic appetizer. They have just the right amount of spice and flavor.
Appetizers for your next gathering
We have a whole section of appetizer recipes for your next gathering. You can find anything from finger foods to dips. Here are some of my favorites:
- Bacon Ranch Crackers
- Tater Tot Nachos
- Chicken Taco Dip
- Cream Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
- Sausage Cranberry Brie Bites
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What holiday appetizer will you be making for the next big event?
- 26 ounces frozen bite size meatballs
- 14 ounces whole cranberry sauce can substitute grape jelly
- 12 ounces Heinz Chili Sauce
- 1 ½ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 ½ tablespoons dark brown sugar
- Place the frozen meatballs into a slow cooker set on low heat.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the cranberry sauce, chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar. Pour over meatballs.
- Cover and cook on low for 4 hours, stirring occasionally. To serve, set slow cooker to warm. Serve garnished with chopped green onions.