Cranberry-Sauced Meatballs

The meatballs for this appetizer recipe can be made ahead and then baked and added to the slow cooker with the sauce before guests arrive.

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  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup seasoned fine dry bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, snipped, or golden raisins, snipped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
  • 2 pounds uncooked ground chicken or turkey
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 16 ounce can jellied cranberry sauce
  • 1 cup bottled barbecue sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. For meatballs, in a very large bowl, beat egg with a fork. Stir in bread crumbs, dried cranberries or raisins, onion, salt, and cloves or allspice. Add ground chicken or turkey; mix well. Shape into 60 meatballs.
Lightly coat a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place meatballs in pan.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until done (165 degrees F).*
Meanwhile, in a 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker, stir together cranberry sauce and barbecue sauce. Add cooked meatballs, stirring gently to coat. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 2 to 3 hours or on high-heat setting for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. (Meatballs may be kept warm on low-heat setting for up to 1 hour more.) Serve with toothpicks.


  • *Note:

    The internal color of a meatball is not a reliable doneness indicator. A poultry meatball cooked to 165 degrees F is safe, regardless of color. To measure the doneness of a meatball, insert an instant-read thermometer into the center of meatball.

Make Ahead Tip

  • Make-Ahead Directions:

    Prepare meatballs as directed through step 2. Cover and chill for up to 24 hours. Continue as directed in steps 3 and 4, using the maximum timings to bake and to heat in slow cooker.

nutrition information

Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 45, Fat, total (g) 1, chol. (mg) 4, carb. (g) 5, pro. (g) 3, sodium (mg) 107, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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