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.

Cranberry-Sauced Meatballs
Photo: Marty Baldwin
Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
2 hrs
Bake Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 45 mins
60 meatballs


  • 1 egg

  • ½ cup seasoned fine dry bread crumbs

  • ½ cup dried cranberries, snipped, or golden raisins, snipped

  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves or allspice

  • 2 pound uncooked ground chicken or turkey

  • Nonstick cooking spray

  • 1 16 ounce can jellied cranberry sauce

  • 1 cup bottled barbecue sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 350°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°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.


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 (per serving)

45 Calories
1g Fat
5g Carbs
3g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Calories 45
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g 1%
Cholesterol 4mg 1%
Sodium 107mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Protein 3g

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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