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Cranberry Chili Meatballs Recipe

Cranberry Chili Meatballs Recipe

Using packaged meatballs helps save time in the kitchen and they are just as tasty as homemade. My friends look forward to enjoying these meatballs at our holiday gatherings and there are never any leftovers! The sauce is tangy yet sweet, and the festive color is perfect for any holiday party. —Amy Scamerhorn, Indianapolis, Indiana
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min. YIELD:76 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 can (14 ounces) jellied cranberry sauce
  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) chili sauce
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 package (32 ounces) frozen fully cooked homestyle meatballs, thawed

Directions

  • 1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the first six ingredients; stir until sugar is dissolved. Add meatballs; cook for 20-25 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally.
  • 2. Editor's Note: To prepare in a slow cooker, heat sauce ingredients as directed. Add sauce and meatballs to a 4 qt. slow cooker. Cook, covered, on low 2-3 hours or until heated through. Yield: about 6 dozen.

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 51 calories, 2g fat (1g saturated fat), 12mg cholesterol, 80mg sodium, 6g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 0g fiber), 2g protein Diabetic Exchanges: 0 starch, 0 lean meat.

Reviews for Cranberry Chili Meatballs

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MY REVIEW
TerriObie
Reviewed Aug. 28, 2016

"Anyone have specifics on what type / brand of chili sauce works best?"

MY REVIEW
tlp31397
Reviewed Aug. 25, 2016

"Huge hit! Super easy! Now my go-to for everything. Thank you for sharing."

MY REVIEW
katehugs
Reviewed Dec. 30, 2015

"These disappeared in no time."

MY REVIEW
mjlouk
Reviewed Dec. 24, 2015

"E everyone enjoyed these! I only used the cranberries and chili sauce."

MY REVIEW
c_breeze
Reviewed Dec. 16, 2015

"I made this for our annual Christmas party and EVERYONE asked for the recipe! Our old standby meatball recipe (the one with grape jelly), just got replaced!!! And In Canada, I was able to buy gluten free Angus beef meatballs (President's Choice Blue Menu), so everyone could enjoy them!!!! Great recipe and SO easy!"

MY REVIEW
fhquilting
Reviewed Nov. 25, 2015

"I add an 8 oz can of undrained crushed pineapple and only 1/4 c brown sugar."

MY REVIEW
keely27
Reviewed Nov. 23, 2015

"Made the recipe as is. The sauce tasted like it was made with applesauce instead of cranberry somehow, and the consistency looked like it too. It was OK, but will probably try a new recipe next time"

MY REVIEW
lberry222
Reviewed Nov. 19, 2015

"Huge hit with my family!"

MY REVIEW
engprof
Reviewed Nov. 4, 2015

"I make these for every party, and all you need is the chili sauce and the jellied cranberry sauce. I don't see the need for the extra spices."

MY REVIEW
PageRD
Reviewed Nov. 1, 2015

"These sweet and tangy meatballs are a big hit at my annual Christmas party. Even people who aren't big fans of the ubiquitous meatball appetizer rave about them. The cranberry definitely makes the difference."

MY REVIEW
marilynlouise1
Reviewed Nov. 1, 2015

"Don't remember where I've seen this similar recipe before but all it called for was a bag of frozen meat balls, a bottle of chili sauce and a can of cranberries all mixed together in a crock pot."

MY REVIEW
Beckatha
Reviewed Jun. 10, 2015

"I get rave reviews on these at every gathering I have brought them to. Super easy to make. The only thing I did different was to make them in a crock-pot so they would stay warm during service."

MY REVIEW
Worshipguy
Reviewed Jan. 19, 2015

"For packaged meatballs, these were very good and super easy. I took these to a family Christmas and after the meatballs were gone, my grandma wanted the leftover sauce and said I better not throw it away!"

MY REVIEW
No_Time_To_Cook
Reviewed Dec. 26, 2014

"very easy and good"

MY REVIEW
bernerlover
Reviewed Dec. 23, 2014

"these are very good and so easy. I made them for a Christmas party at work last year and they all really liked them so I'm making them again this year."

MY REVIEW
deerock
Reviewed Dec. 10, 2014

"love this recipe thanks"

MY REVIEW
diggerandcrafty
Reviewed Dec. 5, 2014

"Made this for Christmas Eve last year and making it again!!! Everyone loved them."

MY REVIEW
njmarsh
Reviewed Nov. 5, 2014

"@lidalu - It's not a 32 BALL package - it's a 32 OUNCE package and there about 72 balls in a 32 oz package."

MY REVIEW
lidablu
Reviewed Nov. 4, 2014

"Something is wrong with the math here,,,,,,,,,,,,,,one 32 ball pkg turns into servings for 72? How?"

MY REVIEW
Bonito
Reviewed Nov. 1, 2014

"What a great new twist on an great appetizer snack and so easy to do"

MY REVIEW
SE58
Reviewed Oct. 31, 2014

"These are delicious and the easiest thing to make ever! I put them in my crockpot. I really like the chili sauce and cranberry flavors better than barbecue sauce. Will be making these again for the holidays this year."

MY REVIEW
dabaker55126@yahoo.com
Reviewed Oct. 31, 2014

"I love this recipe. It is a "go to" recipe for a party appetizer or to use in a meatball hero topped with motzerella cheese. I never have leftovers and have been asked for this recipe time and time again!"

MY REVIEW
KristineChayes
Reviewed Oct. 16, 2014

"Excellent recipe! I've made these twice already, for parties, using my slow cooker; I added a 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder to them. Turned out great and everyone loved them! A definite keeper!"

MY REVIEW
michelle2984
Reviewed Oct. 5, 2014

"These were so good and so easy to whip up. I doubled the recipe for a party, and there were just 4 meatballs left at the end. I used a little less cayenne pepper in fear that it might be too spicy for my son, but will use the full amount next time as I didnt find them spicy at all. My son, 12 months, ate 3 meatballs in one sitting! I will definitely make these again."

MY REVIEW
spiker1
Reviewed May. 13, 2014

"These were fabulous. Everyone loved them."

MY REVIEW
Sprucetree18
Reviewed May. 10, 2014

"Made this for a work potluck and it was a big hit. I cut the sugar in half, it could stand to be cut down even further I would say. Super easy. Cooked in the crockpot, meatballs right from frozen. Used the Italian -style meatballs from Giant Tiger, 9 bucks a bag."

MY REVIEW
Jaxssy
Reviewed Feb. 2, 2014

"Made these meatballs for a get together with friends and everyone loved them."

MY REVIEW
Racheldee
Reviewed Jan. 28, 2014

"When I made the meatballs for a gathering everyone loved them. There were no leftovers."

MY REVIEW
memryskr10
Reviewed Jan. 23, 2014

"I made these meatballs for a party,and they were gone within 30 minutes. i myself did not like them because of the cumin in it, and I will not make them ever again, unless someone that loved them so much, requests them ."

MY REVIEW
harperleesmom
Reviewed Dec. 28, 2013

"Originally I made the recipe as directed. With the left overs I cooked down a half a bag of cranberries and added them to the sauce. MUCH better and somehow even more spicy! So I'd definitely suggest adding a bag to the saucepan and cooking them down until they pop before adding the meatballs. Otherwise, great recipe!"

MY REVIEW
PTuttle
Reviewed Dec. 21, 2013

"I had printed this recipe to make it for a potluck last week when I found a simpler recipe on the back of the Heinz Chili Sauce bottle. It just calls for a bottle of their chili sauce, a can of cranberry sauce, and a two pound bag of frozen meatballs. You can use whole berry or not. I used whole berry because that's what I had in the cupboard. I doubled the recipe because it was a large gathering at work. I used turkey meatballs and just dumped them into the crock pot, frozen. I mixed the cranberry sauce and chili sauce in a saucepan on the stove and heated it just until the cranberry sauce melted down. Then I poured it over the meatballs and cooked it on high for 4 hours. I lifted the lid and made sure that the sauce coated all the meat balls a couple of times the last 2 hours of cooking. They went over very well. I'm sure the above recipe is good, but I wanted to let readers know that you can make something similar with less sugar and fewer ingredients."

MY REVIEW
carolynspen
Reviewed Dec. 21, 2013

"Use 2 pkgs. ( or about 44 oz.) of froz. Meatballs for this recipe! I just made it for a potluck today. Not necessary to add brown sugar."

MY REVIEW
bsmorgan71
Reviewed Dec. 10, 2013

"I made these for Thanksgiving and they was hit. Not one meatball left in my crockpot. I did not buy the store meatballs I made my own. So much better."

MY REVIEW
vbag
Reviewed Dec. 4, 2013

"I absolutely love the bittersweet taste of the cranberry sauce. This is a keeper!"

MY REVIEW
kissfea
Reviewed Dec. 2, 2013

"Loved it!"

MY REVIEW
CherrieLayton
Reviewed Dec. 1, 2013

"The recipe is a great addition to bring to any gathering. The sauce was a great compliment to our homemade Swedish meatballs."

MY REVIEW
lorettasylvia
Reviewed Nov. 10, 2013

"We will enjoy this one for sure!"

MY REVIEW
NDachshund2
Reviewed Oct. 30, 2013

"I have made these many times, they can also be done with just the cranberry sauce and chili sauce. So simple and always highly requested!!"

MY REVIEW
Queenlalisa
Reviewed Oct. 20, 2013

"These were very tasty. I will make again."

MY REVIEW
MrsOwens
Reviewed Sep. 11, 2013

"I make these and the grape jelly meatballs at family get togethers. There are never any leftovers. My family loves them. I kick up the heat on half a batch by doubling the cayenne. I also make my own meatballs using half lean ground beef and half ground turkey."

MY REVIEW
zamchik
Reviewed Jul. 15, 2013

"Great for parties. Everyone loved them! Super easy to make too."

MY REVIEW
Wilke421
Reviewed Mar. 31, 2013

"My guests have raved over this"

MY REVIEW
cheryl956
Reviewed Mar. 23, 2013

"My husband who is picky keeps asking me to make these over and over again. BTW, they are delicious !"

MY REVIEW
acxicat
Reviewed Feb. 10, 2013

"I've never been a big meatball fan until now. These are SO amazing! I will be making these often!"

MY REVIEW
judygraf1
Reviewed Jan. 30, 2013

"made these for the holidays for the family , wouldn't change a thing , just doubled the recipe for the crockpot now for the superbowl, Yummy gonna make this my family pass down"

MY REVIEW
momx3girls
Reviewed Dec. 25, 2012

"Made these for Christmas snacks. Everyone loved them! I stuck to the recipe only change was putting all ingred in the crock pot on high for 4 hours! Delish! And easy!"

MY REVIEW
brendasauls
Reviewed Dec. 16, 2012

"Made these for a Christmas party and I was thrilled to have them taste so good. The sauce was thick instead of runny and greasy like so made other recipes. I used an Italian Seasoned meatball."

MY REVIEW
daisyk2010
Reviewed Nov. 23, 2012

"These were delicious and the easiest thing in the world to make. I literally had 35 minutes to get out the door, and even though these took 20-25 min I was able to quickly get all the ingredients in the pot and then transfer them to a foil party pan after they were done, stick a lid on and go....So they are quick, easy and delicous. I wanted these to be served as an apetizer for Thanksgiving, however we ate them with dinner instead, still declious and people commented on how good they were."

MY REVIEW
grghns
Reviewed Nov. 15, 2012

"omg!!! Making this recipe right now for a pot luck at work. One word...WOW!!! Was extremely nervous abouto making this based off the ingredients but I stuck to the recipe and BAM! I only doubled everything and cooked in the slow cooker on low for 4-5 hours....gauranteed hit at any party."

MY REVIEW
Sammye
Reviewed Oct. 31, 2012

"Love these meatballs...made them for a party and they were the first thing to go. The blend of flavors is just right. I will definitely make these over and over again. Thanks for the delicious, yet simple, recipe!!!!"

MY REVIEW
mrstoni32
Reviewed Feb. 24, 2012

"Thank you for this recipe TOH! Everyone loves em and now requests them at every family event."

MY REVIEW
wcarole7
Reviewed Jan. 4, 2012

"Made these for New Years Eve. Everyone loved them. They were not spicy hot, so more heat could be added if desired."

MY REVIEW
s_pants
Reviewed Dec. 21, 2011

"These were so good and easy to prepare. Some of my favorite appetizers! I cooked them on the stove and then kept them in a slow cooker on low for a couple of hours. some fell apart, but everyone loved how they just melted in your mouth :)"

MY REVIEW
angieherzberger
Reviewed Dec. 17, 2011

"delicious"

MY REVIEW
hbaseley
Reviewed Dec. 12, 2011

"My mother first served this to us, and now it's become a holiday tradition. Great flavor with little effort."

MY REVIEW
griglion
Reviewed Dec. 7, 2011

"Just like my grandma's recipe for meatloaf, only she added sauerkraut to the cranberry and chili mix. Delish!"

MY REVIEW
vajudybug
Reviewed Nov. 5, 2011

"These are so easy and tasty. Have made them many, many times"

MY REVIEW
Papa H
Reviewed Dec. 28, 2010

"Nice spicy kick"

MY REVIEW
Summy
Reviewed Dec. 23, 2010

"I made this recipe years ago. I made the mistake of using Italian style frozen meatballs one time, and they didn't taste good at all. But when I have made this recipe (in my slow cooker, on LOW), they have disappeared. I love the idea of adding fresh cranberries to this sauce and letting them pop. Sounds delicious. I will try this next time."

MY REVIEW
feathergirl926
Reviewed Dec. 22, 2010

"Just got home from a dinner with some friends and everyone loved these. I think they could be spicier but that's just because I really love spicy food; my friends all thought they were great the way they are!"

MY REVIEW
bridgetsoup
Reviewed Oct. 27, 2010

"I've also done it with a small jar of grape jelly and a jar of heinz chili sauce. AMAZING. I almost beg for a reason to make them!!

Do it though, you wont be disappointed... except when they are all gone! :)"

MY REVIEW
vajudybug
Reviewed Oct. 13, 2010

"I make this all the time-my family all loves this recipe"

MY REVIEW
Kekrs18
Reviewed Aug. 12, 2010

"This recipe is amazing! I love cranberry and the tang it adds to this sauce as opposed to the sweetness of grape jelly. My family asks for this again and again!"

MY REVIEW
kimineese
Reviewed Jun. 15, 2010

"I make these all the time and everyone wants the recipe. I add a little bit more cayenne pepper for more zip. They are always a hit!!!"

MY REVIEW
niagaracat
Reviewed Mar. 21, 2010

"Delicious sauce and was a good use for home made chili sauce and homemade meatballs. Leftovers were great also."

MY REVIEW
2muchmuchmtthyme
Reviewed Jan. 30, 2010

"Also tasted great with 'little smokeys', vienna sausages and plain old inch size slices of hot dogs."

MY REVIEW
marie0956
Reviewed Jan. 2, 2010

"Took these to a Christmas get together and found different meatballs everywhere. So I thought, great..no one will eat these. OMG they were the first ones gone. Everyone wanted the recipe!"

MY REVIEW
ibohemian
Reviewed Nov. 24, 2009

"Yes I liked the cranberries and chili sauce -- but cannot seem to find any tasty "store bought meatballs" -- so I make my own -- so much better . The recipe is a variation of the grape jelly and chili sauce . That is good - with homemade meatballs , that is ."

MY REVIEW
sheribf
Reviewed Nov. 24, 2009

"I've made this favorite recipe several timessince finding it last year. It was a huge hit at my November Bunco! It's a unique, spicy, twist on meatballs and full of fall flavor."

MY REVIEW
bookwormette
Reviewed Nov. 23, 2009

"So good!!! I think I could try that with the slow cooker, but cook LOW for maybe at least 2 hours."

MY REVIEW
shelleyjCA2AZ
Reviewed Dec. 10, 2008

" you can use Little Smokies links too.....
"

MY REVIEW
jennahovey
Reviewed Dec. 10, 2008

"I made these meatballs for the Christmas luncheon at work, and they were a huge hit! Many people asked for the recipe, and complimented me for days after. I have been looking for opportunities to make these because they were so delightful! Note: While simmering the sauce I added 1 cup of fresh cranberries. I allowed them to pop open and I crushed them down once they were soft. Yum!"

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