Cranberry-Sauced Meatballs Appetizer

Tender chicken or turkey meatballs studded with cranberries take on a glorious flavor when they're simmered in a snappy cranberry-flavored barbecue sauce.

38 users rated this recipe an average rating of 4.0
  • Yields: 60 meatballs
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Bake: 15 mins to 18 mins 350°F
  • Cook: 2 hrs to 3 hrs (low) or 1 to 1 1/2 hours (high)
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Cranberry-Sauced Meatballs Appetizer
cup seasoned fine dry bread crumbs
cup dried cranberries, snipped, or golden raisins, snipped
cup finely chopped onion
teaspoon salt
teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
pounds uncooked ground chicken or turkey
Nonstick cooking spray
16 ounce can jellied cranberry sauce
cup bottled barbecue sauce
  1. 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.
  2. Lightly coat a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place meatballs in pan.
  3. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until done (165 degrees F).*
  4. 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. Makes 60 meatballs.
From the Test Kitchen

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.


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.

Nutrition Facts (Cranberry-Sauced Meatballs Appetizer)
    Per serving:
  • 45 kcal cal.,
  • 1 g fat
  • (0 g sat. fat,
  • 4 mg chol.,
  • 107 mg sodium,
  • 5 g carb.,
  • 0 g fiber,
  • 3 g pro.
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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