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Black Friday 2018

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3 Ingredient Sweet and Sour Meatballs (Easy Slow Cooker Meal Idea)

3 min Serves 5

Slow Cooker Cranberry Meatballs

Ingredients

Directions

1

Pour sauces over meatballs in slow cooker and combine.

2

Cover and cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours.

3

Serve over rice if desired as a meal or individually as a cocktail appetizer.

49 Comments

Love EASY slow cooker meal ideas?

For the days that are super hectic, having these type of minimum effort dinner ideas can be a lifesaver!  This delicious Cranberry Chili Meatballs recipe has just three common pantry and freezer ingredients and takes just a few hours in the slow cooker.

We actually featured this dish as an easy no-fuss party appetizer recipe for entertaining a couple years ago in THIS post. Today I’m here to say that this same idea can be a yummy dinner idea as well!

Slow Cooker Cranberry Meatballs

This easy three ingredient recipe results in a delicious sweet and tangy slow cooked sauce!

Ingredients

Directions

1

Pour sauces over meatballs in slow cooker and combine.

2

Cover and cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours.

3

Serve over rice if desired as a meal or individually as a cocktail appetizer.

Additional Notes

Recipe from OceanSpray.com 

There’s lots of variations to this recipe where you can use grape jelly instead of cranberry, and also BBQ sauce instead of chili sauce. Sometimes I’ll add a few red pepper flakes for serving if desired for more spice. You could really use this as a base and add more spices and flavors if desired.

My kids seem to be extra picky when it comes to slow cooker meals, however – they LOVE these meatballs served over rice and a steamed veggies! The sauce is a little sweet and tangy and is definitely a crowd pleaser. Plus, it’s so simple to prepare, that I’m calling it a win! 😋



Written by Lina for Hip2Save. Lina is a proud mom of 2 kids who loves photography, all holidays, cooking, thrift store makeovers, bargain shopping, and DIY makeovers. Her goal is to create a beautiful life and stylish home on a dime! To see all of Lina’s DIY/Crafts created just for Hip2Save, click here.

Join The Discussion

Comments 49

  1. Rebecca

    This is perfect timing. I am trying to eat out of our freezer and have some meatballs I need to use. Thanks so much!

    • Lina D

      Great! I think you’ll enjoy 👍🏻

  2. Dee

    Adding to our rotation for next week! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Lina D

      You’re so welcome 👍🏻

  3. Rebecca

    I’ve done this with a jar of grape jelly instead of cranberry. Equally delish!!!

    • Mik

      That’s what I use too! 😀

    • Lina D

      Thanks for sharing!!

    • tctbtob

      I grew up using the grape jelly too and now I make it for my kids! I thought my mom was the only one who did this. I may just make it tonight for dinner.

  4. babymair

    Hi Lina,I took ur advice and used the cranberry, and bbq sauce …and used mini meatballs last year at thanksgiving as appetizers.so easy everyone loved them .Thx for all the great recipes …

    • Lina D

      Yay! I’m so glad!

  5. Buckeyemom

    In addition to adding the sauce on meatballs, I also use it with Lil Smokies…so Good! 🙂

    • Lina D

      Those are yummy too!

  6. Jody

    It’s also good with a can of sauerkraut (drained) added to the sauce. I am not a sauerkraut fan, but it adds a really nice tang. This is a great holiday appetizer too!

  7. Jenn

    This looks good! We usually do grape jelly and BBQ sauce. 😋

  8. Ashley

    Looks yummy! Adding to next week’s meal plan!

    • Lina D

      Great enjoy!

  9. Bianca

    Thank you for the recipe, Lina! This will be dinner 🥘 tonight!

    • Lina D

      Yay! You’re so welcome 👍🏻

  10. ds

    does anyone have a favorite meatball bag? I bought one from Aldi and my husband didn’t care for it. Thank you for this i am always looking for easy!!!

    • Michele

      Trader Joe’s has great frozen smaller (I think they call them cocktail) ones. They are yummy!!

    • Melissa

      I always disliked bagged frozen meatballs until I tried the foster farms home style turkey meatballs. Those are really good.

  11. diana

    I’ve made it with pumpkin butter and BBQ sauce. It tasted like sweet and sour sauce from McDonald’s. Yummy

    • Lina D

      Wow! Great idea.

  12. Meg

    I do the grape jelly and Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce (original recipe) over the Italian frozen meatballs you get at Safeway (others will work, too, but imho the Sweet Baby Ray’s is key). I make it for every single potluck and people always ask for the recipe, which cracks me up, because can you even say it’s a recipe? lol I always love Lina’s posts!

    • Lina D

      Ha I know! Saying the ingredients is funny at parties 😀 Thanks Meg!

  13. Valerie

    I would bring a big crockpot full of the frozen meatballs with the chili sauce/grape jelly to parties and it was always a big hit. Can’t get much easier than that!

    • Lina D

      I agree! Thanks for sharing Valerie 😀

  14. llc

    You can also substitute ketchup for the chili sauce. Chili sauce is pricey in my opinion.
    Get cheap (and delicious) meatballs at Sam’s Club. Their big bag can be divided for 2 events.

  15. Carol

    Did something similar for apps at our last party. Used grape jelly with the chili sauce instead. Went over really well!!

    • Lina D

      Awesome- thanks for sharing!

  16. judy

    I have and love this easy recipe!

  17. Sarah

    Thanks for reminding me of these awesome meatballs!! I don’t know what it is, but the cranberry sauce changes them into something amazing. (I’ve tried grape jelly before and hated them!) BUT I LOVE them with the cranberry sauce. Mmm mm. Never thought to do as a meal instead of just an appetizer

    • Lina D

      Oh you’ll love this! Thanks for stopping by 👍🏻

  18. Raedev

    This is great because I have four cans of cranberry sauce and nobody likes it in my family but me. Thanks again Lina!!

  19. T

    making it for Saturday’s BUNCO 🙂

    • Lina D

      Yay! Have fun!

  20. trham

    does anyone know of a frozen meatball brand that is gluten free? my daughter has celiac and i can’t seem to find GF meatballs

  21. Allison

    I’m going to try this with my Gardein frozen veggie “meat”balls 🙂

    • Lina D

      Oh that’s a nice idea! Enjoy!

  22. Yuliya Porter

    Just made these for my daughters’ b/day party, no leftovers:) thanks for sharing!!!!

  23. ds

    i could not find the chili sauce in my store so i used the bbq and grape jelly it worked good. Next time i will try this one thanks for getting me thinking!

    • Lina D

      You’re welcome! Glad it worked out 👍🏻

  24. *Angela-Miles*

    I’m gonna try this. Thanks for posting. I’m not a big meatball eater, but I won a bag in the Kroger instant win game a few months ago and need to use them. Thanks for the idea 🙂

  25. Mama

    I will definitely try this, sounds yummy. Thanks

  26. missyalford

    Meatballs are on sale at Kroger this week and next. They are in the buy 10 save $5. With $1.50 coupon it makes a 14oz bag $1.00.

    • Lina D

      Thanks for sharing!

  27. Tammy

    Question…If you use the chili sauce with grape jelly, how much jelly do you use? Thanks

  28. Marcia

    Can I switch this to low instead of using high?

    • Lina D

      Yes! May take longer but definitely can!

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