Crockpot Cranberry Meatballs are one of my favorite dishes that exists! They are so simple and so delicious. These Crockpot Cranberry Chili Meatballs are filled with flavor and only take a few minutes to make!
You can find so many different ways to make crockpot meatballs. The first version I made was sweet chili and grape jelly meatballs. But I was told by tons of people that they switched out the grape jelly with cranberry sauce so I am always up to try new recipes! These did not disappoint! They have a little more depth since there are a few more ingredients than the 3 ingredient chili and grape jelly ones. I think the extra 5 minutes of prep is well worth it.
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Everyone has some version of these meatballs at their party. That’s because everyone loves them! They are the perfect party appetizer because they are filling and bite sized. I love them because they require minimal prep and I can bring them right to the party in my crockpot! Next time you have a potluck, BBQ, game day or even Thanksgiving make sure to put these on your menu. Your guests will thank you!
Crockpot Cranberry Meatball Meals
Most people think of crockpot meatballs as a party appetizer which I totally agree with! I always make these for any party and they are the first to go.
But then I realized these are a perfect quick dinner idea too! I always keep a bag of frozen gluten free meatballs in the freezer for when I need to make a quick dinner and that doesn’t have very many ingredients.
Most of these ingredients are in my pantry so when I’m meal planning I throw these in the mix. I usually have leftover sweet chili sauce for making my sweet chili chicken and brown sugar so all I need is a can of cranberry sauce!
Not only are they easy to make but you can make them in different ways too. I always love a recipe that I can make different ways so I don’t get tired of eating it over and over again. You can make them with mashed potatoes, rice or cauliflower rice.
What is Sweet Chili Sauce?
Sweet Chili Sauce is an Asian sweet sauce. It does have a little heat to it because there are red chilis in the sauce. It is typically made of rice wine vinegar, red pepper flakes, garlic, sometimes fish sauce, and a sweetening ingredient such as fruit, sugar or honey. However, my kids eat this with no problem and they do not eat spicy food.
I usually use the Mae Ploy chili sauce since I’m not sure if the Panda Express one is gluten free. If you don’t have any food allergies feel free to use whatever sweet chili sauce is in the Asian aisle at your local grocery store.
If you are looking for one without spice at all you can use the Heniz Chili Sauce.
Frozen or Fresh Meatballs?
You can use either type of meatballs in this recipe. I love the convenience of frozen meatballs so I usually use frozen. If you love to make your own meatballs then go ahead and prepare them as you normally would and place them in the crockpot or brown them and fully cook them on the stove or oven. You can even use turkey meatballs if you want to make them more healthy!
How to Make Crockpot Meatballs
You only need 4 ingredients to make these tasty meataballs!
Place meatballs in crockpot.
Combine sweet chili sauce, cranberry sauce, cumin and brown sugar in sauce pan on medium heat until brown sugar dissolves.
Pour sauce over meatballs.
Cook meatballs on low for 4-5 hours if frozen or 2-3 hours if fresh.
Frozen meatballs are fully cooked so you don’t need to worry about the temperature but fresh meatballs should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. I recommend using a meat thermometer to always check the temperature. Here’s the one I love.
Gluten Free- All of my recipes are gluten free! My husband has celiac disease, which means he is allergic to gluten. To make these gluten free you need to use gluten free frozen meatballs. I use the Simply Balanced Meatballs from Target.
Looking for More Appetizers?
Crockpot Sweet Chili Meatballs
Slow Cooker Mexican Street Corn
Need A New Crock Pot?
My favorite is this Crock Pot 7 quart Programmable Slow Cooker. First and foremost, I love being able to set the timer in case I’m not home when the food is finished cooking and it just switches to warm. Plus you can lock the lid and just carry it to a party. Not only is it easy to carry but also you will never lose another Tupperware or serving dish again at a potluck party!
Kitchen Tools I Used for this Recipe
Crockpot Cranberry Meatballs
- 2 bags frozen meatballs or 24 meatballs
- 15.5 oz jellied cranberries
- 1 cup sweet chili sauce
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- Place meatballs in crockpot.
- Combine sweet chili sauce, cranberry sauce, cumin, and brown sugar in saucepan on medium heat until brown sugar dissolves.
- Pour sauce over meatballs. Toss to combine sauce over meatballs.
- Cook meatballs on low for 4-5 hours if frozen or 2-3 hours if fresh.