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Christmas Meatballs

Cranberry sauce and brown sugar create a tangy glaze for moist meatballs that are good Christmas appetizers or Christmas dinner ideas. We love them so much, I prepare them year-round. —Joyce Bentley, Redlands, California
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
  • Makes
    about 3 dozen


  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 envelope onion soup mix
  • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • SAUCE:
  • 1 can (14 ounces) whole-berry cranberry sauce
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar


  • In a large bowl, combine first five ingredients. Add beef; mix lightly but thoroughly. Shape into 1-in. balls.
  • Place a third of the meatballs on a microwave-safe plate. Cover with waxed paper; microwave on high until cooked through, 2-3 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Repeat twice with remaining meatballs.
  • In a 2-qt. microwave-safe dish, mix sauce ingredients. Microwave, covered, on high until heated through, 3-4 minutes, stirring halfway. Gently stir in meatballs. Microwave, covered, on high until heated through, 1-2 minutes.
Editor's Note
This recipe was tested with an 850-watt microwave.
This recipe was tested in a 1,100-watt microwave.
Nutrition Facts
1 meatball: 71 calories, 2g fat (1g saturated fat), 22mg cholesterol, 190mg sodium, 9g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 0 fiber), 4g protein.


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Average Rating:
  • Reenwad
    Mar 15, 2018

    Why is this listed under "low carb" recipes? Not even close to being low carb!

  • jstowellsupermom
    Jan 2, 2018

    As others mentioned, I cooked the meatballs and made the sauce on the stove top. A nice change to the standard meatball recipe people tend to bring to potlucks!

  • PrplMonky5
    Jan 1, 2018

    These were pretty tasty, but I felt the onion flavor was a little too heavy. Next time I'll cut back on that. I enjoyed the chopped up cranberries in the meat, I think that was a nice touch. I too put these in the oven, but for some reason it took mine nearly 30 minutes at 350, not 20. Maybe my meatballs were bigger? Pretty unique dish, but not something I'd make every week.

  • jon.ruth.alumbaugh
    Nov 25, 2017

    I had made my own meatballs but the sauce recipe caught my eye. It is WONDERFUL! So easy to make. I used a red and yellow onion and spiced things up a bit with orange peel. The aroma in the house was heavenly. It's a keeper. This Taste of Home Field editor is one happy camper as were all the guests who tried it on Thanksgiving!

  • rmbarr059
    Dec 28, 2015

    Delicious! Made as appetizers and brought to our family's Christmas dinner. Everyone enjoyed them and this was the first time I've EVER made meatballs! I did follow another reviewer's advice and baked the meatballs at 350 for 20 minutes since the thought of microwaving them creeped me out a little. I also made the sauce on the stove. Very good!

  • ojc0806
    Dec 19, 2015

    Very tasty! I made the meatballs a day ahead and placed them in the freezer. I also made the sauce and stored in a zip lock bag in the fridge. Then placed in crock pot on high for 4 hrs. Turned out perfect!

  • maryann152
    Dec 15, 2013

    Loved'em & everyone else did too !

  • drumsdaylilies
    Nov 27, 2013

    I use a crockpot for this recipe. I fill a 4 quart crockpot full of frozen meatballs and double the sauce recipe and cook on high for about 4 hours. Delish! Everyone at our house loves the altered version of Christmas Meatballs.

  • MrsOwens
    Oct 16, 2013

    Simple and delicious. I used a crockpot as I cannot stand the taste of microwaved meat.

  • VictoriaElaine
    Feb 21, 2013

    I thought the onion soup mix came thru as the dominant taste in these meatballs. Overall, they had a very good flavor & the sauce was tasty - sweet, but not overly sweet. I don't like making things in the microwave, so I baked the meatballs in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes, & made the sauce on the stovetop.