With just 5 minutes of prep, these crockpot meatballs simmer in a mouthwatering cranberry bbq sauce that’s perfect for a party or holiday!
When cooking for a party, who wants to deal with a bunch of complicated recipes? Not me! This crockpot meatballs recipe takes just 5 minutes of prep time, and 3 ingredients!
Has the weather officially cooled down in your part of the world? Ours is supposed to towards the end of this week, and I can’t WAIT!! I’m so over the 90 degree weather, and ready to slide right into slow cooker season… full of soups, chilis, and appetizers. Like these cranberry bbq crockpot meatballs!
Everyone has had some version of these meatballs at a party, and they’re always one of the most popular dishes aren’t they? Some people go for straight up bbq sauce, some do the grape jelly/chili sauce combo, but either way, they’re delicious! My version uses a mouthwatering combination of your favorite bottled bbq sauce, and cranberry sauce.
That combination may seem odd to you… but I beg you, just try it once, and I’m sure you’ll love it!! Plus, using the cranberry sauce means you have a perfect use for any leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving. I don’t know about your family, but in my family, no one ever wants to take the cranberry sauce… but you can bet I will be this year!
I typically use sweet baby rays or head country bbq sauce, but go for whatever kind you like the best. Here are some great flavor mix-ups:
- Use a spicy bbq sauce
- Use a honey bbq sauce
- Add canned chipotles in adobo sauce in addition to the bbq sauce
- Caramelize some diced onion and add it alongside the meatballs
These crockpot meatballs would be perfect for so many things… a football party, New Years Eve party, appetizer dinner (love fixing those!), or a standard dinner, alongside some great mashed potatoes! How do you think you’ll serve them?
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For this recipe, I’ve kept it pretty simple and easy, since most of us are in a rush pretty much from now until… hmmm…. January? I used frozen meatballs from the grocery store, but feel free to substitute your own homemade meatballs if you’d like! Just brown and cook them before adding them to the slow cooker.
Who’s ready for about 8000 of those meatballs?? Okay, maaaaybe not 8000, but I guarantee you can’t have just one! 😉
HELPFUL TOOLS FOR THIS RECIPE:
- Slow Cooker – I’ve had this one for years and it works like a champ, yet is inexpensive!
- BBQ Sauce – this is the sauce we use the most.
- Cranberry Sauce – I prefer this jellied version, but the whole berry version works too!
WANT TO TRY THESE CROCKPOT MEATBALLS?
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- 32 oz frozen appetizer size meatballs, thawed (approximately 60-65 meatballs)
- 17 oz bottle of your favorite bbq sauce
- 14 oz can jellied cranberry sauce (or equivalent amount of homemade cranberry sauce)
- fresh parsley, minced optional garnish
- black pepper, optional garnish
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together bbq and cranberry sauce. Set aside.
- Add thawed meatballs to bottom of slow cooker, pour sauce over top and stir to combine.
- Cover, and cook on LOW for 3-4 hours. For a more glaze-like consistency, take the lid off during the last 30 minutes to an hour.
- If desired, garnish with a sprinkle of parsley and pepper.
Want to save this recipe for later? Click the heart in the bottom right corner to save to your own recipe box!