Holiday Meat Balls

For a very tasty appetizer during the holidays, try this recipe for meatballs with cranberries in the sauce. I used seasoned bread crumbs, which added some nice flavor to the meatballs, and then baked them on a broiler tray, which allowed the fat to run off while they were baking. One recipe is enough to fill one of the small 1 to 2 quart crock pots.

Using lean ground beef, I made the meatballs 2 days ahead, and refrigerated them. The day before my party, I made the sauce so the flavors could intensify overnight. About 2 hours before the party, place the meatballs in the crock pot, add the sauce, and and plug it in. Voila! Easy and tasty. You can make an extra batch of the meatballs, and freeze them. Next month you can use them for another party or a big game get-together.

Carol's Christmas Kitchen

I like the flavor so much I’ve also used the meatballs as my entree with rice. So good and easy too.

Holiday Meatballs

Use organic when available. 12 servings


Holiday Meatballs

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword crock pot meatballs, meatballs, slow cooker meat balls
Servings 12


  • 1 lb lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 packet onion soup mix or 3 tablespoons minced onion
  • 8 oz whole cranberry sauce
  • 3/4 cup chili sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice 


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)
  • In a large bowl, mix ground beef, egg, water, bread crumbs, & onion mix
  • Roll into small meatballs
  • Bake in oven for 20 to 25 minutes
  • Turn meatballs once
  • Cool and refrigerate
  •  Blend cranberry sauce
  • Mix cranberry sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice in crock pot or sauce pan on low heat
  •  If using crock pot, simmer for an hour
  • If using sauce pan, simmer 15 minutes
  • Refrigerate sauce overnight
  • Add meatballs to crock pot, cover with sauce, and simmer for at least 2 hours before serving


 Merry Christmas my friends!

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I was raised in Tennessee but have lived in Florida for many years. Love my small home in the Tampa Bay area and its developing garden. My decorating style is eclectic - some vintage, some cottage, all with a modern flair. Pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Spent many years in social services but am happily retired.

11 thoughts to “Holiday Meat Balls”

  1. Sounds amazing. My niece made a recipe like this for Christmas, but yours sounds so much richer! Thanks for sharing at the What’s for Dinner party. Have a wonderful New Year!

  2. Hubby would like this recipe! Thanks so much for linking up with me at #AThemedLinkup 12 for Crock Pot and Instant Pot Recipes, open February 28 to March 10. All entries shared on social media if share buttons installed.

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