Go Back
+ servings

Slow Cooker Cranberry Meatballs

Homemade meatballs in a saucy sweet and spicy cranberry sauce. Serve these meatballs as a main dish with rice, steamed vegetables, or pasta.  Share this slow cooker recipe as an appetizer for a party.
Course Appetizer
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 46 meatballs


For the Meatballs

  • 2.5 pounds sirloin or ground beef
  • 1 small white onion, minced
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Frank's Kraut, liquid drained, minced
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

For the Sauce

  • 2 (14) ounce cans whole cranberry sauce or jelly
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon light or dark corn syrup
  • 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 tablespoon cold water


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
    To make the meatballs start by mixing the dry ingredients together in a small bowl; set aside.
    Drain the liquid from Frank's Kraut then place 1 cup in a food processor and blend until it's minced. Repeat with garlic and onion; set aside.
    In a large bowl, combine ground beef with dry ingredients. Add in sauerkraut, onion and garlic. Add in 2 eggs and 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Mix everything well.
    Heat a large skillet set over low heat ( about a 2-3 heat level ). Add in 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut or canola oil. Use a cookie scoop to make the meatballs. I used a 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop for each ball. Carefully brown meatballs in batches, turning once.
    Place meatballs on baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes.
    In a slow cooker, combine sauce ingredients. Make a slurry with the cornstarch and cold water. Add it to the slow cooker. Heat on low and whisk ingredients together.
    Once meatballs are done cooking, carefully add them to the slow cooker and toss together. Cook until meatballs are saucy, about 20 minutes on low. 


*To make this recipe easier, you may use 1/2 jar store bought chili sauce in place of the homemade sauce.  Use two cans cranberry sauce with the chili sauce.