Your favorite meatballs simmered in a sweet & tangy bbq sauce! These crockpot cranberry bbq meatballs are only 3 ingredients & the perfect appetizer for holiday parties!
These cranberry bbq meatballs have been my go-to party appetizer for years! They’re sweet, tangy, so easy to make and so versatile too! Essentially just 3 ingredients that you add to a crockpot – set it on low and let it go! (They’re so simple I almost feel silly calling it an actual recipe.😂)
You can serve them as cocktail meatballs or make a full meal out of them! Either way, you’re going to love how delicious they are!
Ingredients For Your Cranberry BBQ Meatballs
- Cooked meatballs: Frozen meatballs or your favorite homemade meatballs are both great options for this recipe! (I’ll usually make 2 batches of my baked turkey meatballs for mine. They’re so good!)
- BBQ sauce: Any type of bbq sauce can be used for this! We love using a spicy bbq sauce to really kick them up a notch! (Our favorite is Stubbs Sweet Heat.)
- Cranberry sauce: Whole cranberry sauce works the best for this recipe! (The whole cranberries add a fun pop of sweetness to every bite!)
- Green onion: Completely optional. (I just love the color they add and and their subtle flavor.)
How To Make Crockpot Cranberry BBQ Meatballs
1. Make your sauce. Whisk your cranberry sauce and bbq sauce together in a bowl then set it aside.
2. Prepare your meatballs. If using frozen meatballs, thaw them according to the package’s directions. If using homemade meatballs, make your favorite meatball recipe! (I’ll usually double my baked turkey meatball recipe.) You’ll need about 25 medium-sized or 50 small homemade meatballs.
3. “Cook.” Place the meatballs in your crockpot and pour your cranberry bbq sauce over the top. Then stir until they’re fully coated. Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours or until the meatballs are warmed to your liking. (I’ll usually take the lid off for the last 30-45 minutes so the sauce can thicken to a more “glaze-like” consistency.)
4. Serve! Garnish with sliced green onion (if desired) and serve immediately.
Serving these at your holiday party? Once the meatballs are warmed to your liking, take the lid off and turn your crockpot to the “warm” setting. They’ll stay hot and ready for the rest of the party!
- Switch up your bbq sauce! Try a spicy bbq sauce for some heat or mustard based sauce! Even a honey bbq sauce would be delicious and add some extra sweetness!
- Use a different type of meatball! Ground beef, ground turkey, ground chicken or even vegetarian meatballs would be fantstic with this sauce!
Why you’ll love this crockpot meatball recipe!
- So easy! Essentially just 3 ingredients + some time in the crockpot & you’ve got yourself and delicious hearty appetizer!
- Always a party favorite! Everyone loves meatball appetizers and this one goes over so well at parties! It’s always the first dish to go!
- Doubles as a meal! Not having a holiday party? Serve these meatballs with your favortie side dishes for a healthy & satisfying dinner instead!
More appetizer recipes you might like:
- Baked Cranberry Brie Bites
- Pomegranate White Cheddar Cheese Ball
- Sun-Dried Tomato Spinch Artichoke Dip
- Baked Spinach Artichoke Bites
- Avocado & Feta Mediterranean Salsa
[Made one of my recipes? Make sure to tag my Instagram @kalefornia_kravings & leave a review in the comments. I love seeing what you create!]
Crockpot Cranberry BBQ Meatballs
- 28 oz. frozen meatballs, thawed (if using homemade about 25 medium or 50 small meatballs)*
- 17 oz. bbq sauce
- 14 oz. canned whole cranberry sauce
- Green onion, sliced thin (optional for garnish)
To make the meatballs:
- Whisk your cranberry sauce and bbq sauce together in a bowl then set it aside.
- Next add your thawed meatballs (if using frozen) or cooked meatballs (if using homemade) to your crockpot and pour your sauce over the top.
- Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours or until the meatballs are warmed to your liking. (I'll usually take the lid off for the last 30 – 45 minutes so the sauce thickens to a more "glaze-like" consistency.)
- Garnish with sliced green onions (if desired) and serve.