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Cranberry Meatballs and Sausage

Years ago, I found a version of this sausage and meatballs recipe in a cookbook. At first taste, my family judged it a keeper. The tangy, saucy meatballs are requested by our friends whenever I host card night. We also take the yummy dish on camping trips. —Marybell Lintott, Vernon, British Columbia
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
  • Makes
    16 servings


  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound bulk pork sausage
  • 1 can (14 ounces) jellied cranberry sauce
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 1 package (1 pound) miniature smoked sausage links


  • In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Crumble bulk sausage over the mixture and mix well. Shape into 1 in. balls. In a large skillet, cook meatballs over medium heat until a thermometer reads 160°.; drain.
  • In a large saucepan, combine the cranberry sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and mustard. Cook and stir over medium heat until cranberry sauce is melted. Add the meatballs and sausage links. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until sausage links are no longer pink and sauce is slightly thickened, 10-15 minutes.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • Worcestershire sauce was originally considered a mistake. In 1835, an English lord commissioned two chemists to duplicate a sauce he had tried in India. The pungent batch was disappointing and wound up in their cellar. When the pair stumbled upon the aged concoction 2 years later, they were pleasantly surprised by its unique taste.
  • Consider preparing meatballs in bulk to save on prep time. You can make several batches of meatballs, bake them and then freeze until needed. Simply thaw the frozen meatballs in the refrigerator overnight and you’ll be ready to go.
  • Check out 37 of our most marvelous meatball recipes.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 serving: 218 calories, 14g fat (5g saturated fat), 41mg cholesterol, 514mg sodium, 18g carbohydrate (10g sugars, 1g fiber), 7g protein.

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    Click stars to rate
    Average Rating:
    • rena 55
      Jan 15, 2021

      Made these for a Christmas party and there was not much left! Very easy and tasty. I even used frozen meatballs since I was in a time crunch!

    • bicktasw
      Jan 1, 2021

      I made this recipe for Christmas Eve and everyone loved it! When I made it, I used dried onion flakes (about 1 teaspoon) instead of a diced onion and I added about 1 tablespoon of water to the breadcrumb mixture. The meatballs were tasty and tender but I think I'll use plain ground pork the next time I make them as the sausage flavor was a bit too strong for our taste ....... thus the 4 star rating.

    • Becksterpurple414
      Feb 2, 2019

      No comment left

    • luigimon
      Sep 29, 2013

      Everyone loves this! Even my sister in law, who is a very picky eater......she went back for seconds!!!!

    • VictoriaElaine
      Aug 10, 2013

      I was skeptical of using pork sausage for the meatballs (have always used ground beef for meatballs) & a little unsure of how the cranberry sauce would taste, but decided to give it a try due to the positive reviews. I'm so glad I did - it is soooo delicious! I don't like smoked sausage links, so I sliced up a pound of polka kielbasa as a substitute. Loved having both meatballs & sausage in one dish. What I loved about the sauce, besides the taste, is that it doesn't make so much that the meatballs drown in it, like the grape jelly/chili sauce recipe. I will definitely be making this for the holidays this year!

    • kshea
      May 19, 2012

      We thought this was good, but not great

    • Khourtney
      Nov 13, 2011

      Its a hit every year! Fun and simple and a nice appetizer for everyone when they are still waiting for the main courses to be done!

    • heyitswong
      Feb 24, 2011

      Absolutely loved this receipe!!! My friends and I were not too big of a fan of the sausage links but we LOVED the meatballs with the cranberry sauce!

    • debnmike2
      Jan 16, 2010

      I made this for my annual cookie dough exchange party. What a hit, there were no leftovers. Making again next year!

    • lcronan
      Jan 14, 2010

      I used 2 lbs of Italian sausage - 1lb spicy and 1lb mild- instead of the links - turned out AMAZING! I just doubled the ingredients that mix in the meatballs. There was plenty of sauce!