Hello holidays: Spicy cranberry meatballs

Yes, it’s that time of year again. Yet another work potluck, Ugly Christmas Sweater Party or shin-dig that you need to make something for. If you’re anything like me you either prepare something fancy because of proper planning or…. you forget all about the party until the day before. These meatballs are perfect for the last scenario. Only seven ingredients, all of which you could buy, and thirty minutes until you’re the owner of everyone’s favorite appetizer at the party. Read on to see how these meatballs come together.

To start, combine the chili sauce, brown sugar, cranberry sauce, chili powder, cumin and cayenne together in a pot. Bring to a low boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved and most of the jellied cranberry is reconstituted.


Next, and this is the most important part, add the meatballs. Let them cook and get covered with the chili cranberry sauce for about 20 minutes and YOU’RE DONE. Yes you read right, these babies are now ready to be enjoyed.


You can make these ahead of time and transfer to the party in a microwavable bowl. Just warm them up when you arrive. Or you can make the sauce then throw it in a crockpot the day of. Simmer them there until everyone’s ready to eat.


If you are just a bit more prepared than I usually am you can even make homemade jellied cranberry sauce (worth the effort, just make in a bowl instead of a mold) and/or make homemade meatballs. Combine ground beef, bread crumbs, eggs, milk, ginger, salt, garlic, onion and pepper then form little balls. Bake in a 400 degree oven then add to your sauce.

14 ounces jellied cranberry sauce
12 ounces chili sauce
3/4 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 32 ounce package frozen meatballs


2 pounds ground beef
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup dry minced onion
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup of milk
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder

  • Step 1
    If making the meatballs from scratch. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all the meatball ingredients and roll into small balls and place on lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or cooked through. Set aside.
  • Step 2
    Combine first six ingredients in large pot and bring to a low boil. Stir occasionally until sugar is melted and cranberry sauce reconstitutes.
  • Step 3
    Place meatballs into pot and stir sparingly. Letting cook through for about 15-20 minutes.
  • Step 4
    Transfer to serving dish; if making ahead place into microwave-safe bowl or crockpot. Enjoy.

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