Slow Cooker Cranberry BBQ Meatballs

SONY DSCFriends, it’s all beginning!  Snow.  Elastic pants.  Food overload.  Family time.  The holidays….yay!

Are you all set for Thanksgiving?  Turkeys brining?  Recipes ready to rock and roll?  We will be hosting my in laws again this year so it will be cozy and quiet…looking forward to a wonderful day with lots of food.  When it comes to Thanksgiving dinner I’m a bit of a traditionalist….aside from throwing in a fun, new salad here and there I like to stick to the basics.  Classic roasted turkey.  Mashed potatoes and gravy.  Stuffing. Those are the basics….delicious, dependable, crowd pleasing basics.  And then…in my house, there is no such thing as a Thanksgiving meal without Ina’s Spinach Gratin-I die.  And a good old fashioned cranberry sauce-can never ever ever get enough.  

Side note: for my favorite cranberry sauce, I gently boil 16 ounces cranberries, 1 Cup FRESH squeezed orange juice, 1 Cup brown sugar (not packed) and a pinch of salt for 10-12 minutes..simple and perfect every time 👌🏻


So today….I am here with a little recommendation.   You must shift one little thing on your ‘to-do’ list for Thanksgiving dinner so that your football Saturday and Sunday following Thanksgiving will turn into the most delicious appetizer party in the world.  DOUBLE YOUR CRANBERRY SAUCE RECIPE!  DO IT!

Because you’ll need leftovers.  Because the leftovers will make the most sweet and savory cocktail meatballs you have ever feasted on.


Now I know, there are about a million and one cranberry sauce recipes out there. And any traditional version should work for this meatball recipe, I promise. Heck, you can even use a can or jar of store bought cranberry sauce if you’d like.  I’m not guaranteeing it will taste as top notch as the homemade version does…but I’m willing to bet it’s still pretty amazing.

Honestly, these make a great easy slow-cooker weeknight dinner as well.  Perfect paired with cheesy smashed cauliflower and green beans if you ask me…and my kids pretty much devour the heck out of them which is a major score.   So easy…so yummy!


So here’s to wishing you the most lovely Thanksgiving in the world, friends.  I know I am feeling so grateful for so much this year…it’s overwhelming.  And you are among my list.  I appreciate our little weird but lovely web-friendship more than I can tell you.  Your support means the world to me…and I wish you nothing but an outstanding holiday with loved ones!  xoxo

Slow Cooker Cranberry BBQ  Meatballs

notes:  any basic cooked meatballs will work here…even frozen store bought.  I always try to keep these meatballs in the freezer which are a great homemade version that works wonderfully for this recipe but when I am out of homemade meatballs Trader Joes frozen Turkey Meatballs work lovely for this.


2 Cups Prepared Cranberry Sauce

1/3 Cup Ketchup

1/4 Cup Chicken Stock

3 Tablespoons Honey

3 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard

1 Garlic Clove, grated or pressed

Kosher Salt + Black Pepper, to taste

2 Pounds Pre Cooked Turkey Meatballs, fresh or frozen (see note above)

Sliced Green Onion, for garnish


Place the cranberry sauce, ketchup, chicken stock, honey, balsamic vinegar, dijon and garlic in the bowl of a slow cooker and whisk until well combined; season, to taste, with salt and black pepper.  Add meatballs to the sauce and stir to coat.  Cover and cook on low for 5 hours or until meatballs are completely warmed through and sauce has thickened and coated the meatballs.  Serve garnished with sliced green onion.

inspired by this recipe 


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