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Sweet and Spicy Cranberry Meatballs

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Spice up your next cocktail party or Italian dinner with these zesty, mouth-watering sweet and spicy cranberry meatballs. They're easy to make and can be prepared in advance. Just set your slow cooker to the warm setting to keep them at just the right temperature until your meal is ready to be served. Set toothpicks out on the table if serving them as appetizers or enjoy them as a twist on the classic Italian meal served over angel hair pasta. If you're planning on bringing these tasty bites as hors d'oeuvres to a friend's party, simply use the Crock-Pot® 5-Quart Countdown Digital Slow Cooker with Travel Strap to make transporting them a breeze!

Sweet and Spicy Cranberry Meatballs
The balance of sweet and spicy make these delicious on their own, however, you can also get creative and enjoy them on a hero or as a pizza topping. Think Asian fare with Italian flair. And if you like a spicy meatball, turn up the heat with a bit more of the hot stuff!

Meatball Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 22 saltine crackers, crushed
  • 1/3 cup dry minced onion
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder.

Sweet and Spicy Cranberry Sauce Ingredients:

  • 14 ounce can whole cranberry sauce
  • 1/4 cup quality quality hoisin sauce 
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons - 2 tablespoons hot sauce, as hot as desired
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar.
These gourmet sweet and spicy cranberry meatballs will be a huge hit at your next party.These gourmet sweet and spicy cranberry meatballs will be a huge hit at your next party.


  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the meatballs. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Roll meat mixture into desired ball size and line them on baking sheet, spaced evenly apart.
  5. Bake meatballs for 5 minutes, until lightly browned.
  6. In another large bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the sweet and spicy cranberry sauce but only start with 2 teaspoons of hot sauce. You can add more to taste at the end of cooking.
  7. Line the bottom of your slow cooker with meatballs, then pour a layer of the sauce to cover.
  8. Add another layer of meatballs and cover with the remaining sweet and spicy cranberry sauce.
  9. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours, gently stirring meatballs after 1 hour.
  10. Taste and stir in additional hot sauce if desired.
  11. Keep meatballs warm in your slow cooker until ready to serve.
Due to the slow ramp up, and even heating of a slow cooker, recipes featured on this site can be cooked in a range of slow cooker sizes. Recipes can be increased or decreased by one quart size per the cooking instructions. For smaller sauces and dips that calls for 3 quarts or less, it is not recommended to alter the unit size. Crock-Pot® is a registered trademark and should not be used generically when referring to a 'slow cooker' within the recipes.
Sunbeam Products, Inc. d/b/a Jarden Consumer Solutions has not tested these recipes and is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe. You may not achieve the results desired due to variations in ingredients, cooking temperatures, cooking times, typos, errors, omissions, or individual cooking abilities. Please always use your best judgment when cooking with raw ingredients such as eggs, chicken or fish.


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