Picante Cranberry Meatballs Recipe
Picante Cranberry Meatballs Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Picante Cranberry Meatballs Recipe

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These zippy ground beef meatballs are my favorites, and the recipe is so easy. Cranberry, chili and picante sauce sound like an unusual combination, but the flavors blend deliciously. Our nine grandchildren request these meatballs often.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 30 min.
MAKES:8 servings
Contest Winning Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 30 min.
MAKES: 8 servings


  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dried minced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup crushed saltines (about 30 crackers)
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • SAUCE:
  • 1 can (14 ounces) jellied cranberry sauce
  • 1 cup chili sauce
  • 1/4 cup picante sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Hot cooked noodles, optional

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1-1/2 cups) equals 363 calories, 10 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 109 mg cholesterol, 1043 mg sodium, 42 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 25 g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, ketchup, parsley, soy sauce, onion, garlic powder and pepper. Add cracker crumbs. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 1-1/2-in. balls.
  2. In a skillet, brown meatballs over medium heat. Transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish.
  3. In a large saucepan, combine the cranberry sauce, chili sauce, picante sauce, brown sugar and lemon juice. Cook and stir until cranberry sauce is melted and mixture is heated through. Pour over meatballs.
  4. Cover and bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. Serve with noodles if desired. Yield: 8 servings.
Originally published as Picante Cranberry Meatballs in Country Woman September/October 2003, p29

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Reviewed Jul. 4, 2010

"i didn't like them. edible, but won't make again. odd flavor - think it was the chili sauce part i didn't like."

Reviewed Nov. 20, 2008

"Excellent! know to me the sauce was not to sweet at all. Just perfect for me and my family. We much rather it over white rice than the noodles. Overall great recipe."

Reviewed Jul. 9, 2008

"This would also make a great-tasting meatloaf."

Reviewed Jun. 15, 2008

"Very good, but too sweet. I doubled the recipe for extra sauce, so next time I will omit the brown sugar and add some extra picante and some red pepper flakes, overall tho very gud!!!"

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