Cranberry orange meatballs dress up frozen meatballs and turn them into an effortless holiday appetizer. This easy dish will delight your guests each time you serve it!
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Can you believe the holiday season is here?
Talk about the fall flying by!
We are in full on planning mode and ready for a full season of celebrating and entertaining.
Which of course, means hosting parties at our house.
And for every gathering, I like to put something out for my guests to snack on even if they are over for a big holiday meal.
But for those occasions, I like to keep things as easy as possible. I’m not looking to make a fussy appetizer while I am in the middle of making a turkey dinner.
These tangy crockpot meatballs are just the thing for those occasions!
It’s so easy but still yields a festive and impressive result you’ll love serving and eating.
To make this you’ll need:
- Meatballs– Make it easy on yourself and use your favorite kind of frozen, homestyle meatballs. If you are ambitious you could certainly make your own meatballs.
- Cranberry sauce– You’ll need both whole berry cranberry sauce and jellied cranberry sauce to give this dish some texture.
- Orange juice– Use the kind with no pulp.
- Apricot preserves– Your favorite brand.
- Spices– Garlic powder and dried minced onions. This is one scenario where you should use the dried spices and not substitute fresh so the sauce will smooth.
You’ll also need nonstick spray and a crockpot of course. You can also use a disposable crockpot liner, if you prefer.
How to Make
To start, spray the bowl of your crockpot with the nonstick cooking spray.
Then, add the frozen meatballs to the bowl of your slow cooker.
Add the cranberries, juice, preserves and spices to the slow cooker and give it a good stir to combine everything well.
Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 2 hours.
Stir before serving so the meatballs get evenly coated with the sauce.
Serve with toothpicks or mini forks and enjoy!
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the crock pot on high until warmed through or in the microwave.
Can I make these ahead of time?
You can put this together the night before. Just keep it all in the crockpot, covered and place the crock pot in the fridge.
Prior to serving, heat until warmed through.
Tips and Tricks
- These are sweet and tangy. To add a little heat to the mix, sprinkle some red pepper flakes into the sauce.
- To make dinner out of this, serve with white rice.
- Dress them up by garnishing them with chopped fresh parsley or chives.
- Want to give them an even more holiday feel? Substitute turkey meatballs.
- Turn them into a meal by serving them over mashed potatoes. Don’t forget to ladle on some extra sauce!
Other Crockpot Meatball Appetizers
These cranberry orange meatballs are the perfect festive starter this holiday season. Make them for your next party and enjoy!
Looking for other meatball appetizers? Try these:
- Buffalo Chicken Meatballs with Blue Cheese Sauce
- Crockpot Asian Glazed Meatballs
- Peach Bourbon Meatballs
- Crockpot Hawaiian Meatballs
If you’ve tried this CRANBERRY ORANGE MEATBALLS, or any other recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers! You can also follow along with me on PINTEREST, FACEBOOK, and INSTAGRAM to see more amazing recipes and whatever else we’ve got going on!
Crockpot Cranberry Orange Meatballs
- 1 48 oz pkg homestyle meatballs
- 1 14 oz can whole berry cranberry sauce
- 1 14 oz can jellied cranberry sauce
- 3/4 cup orange juice no pulp, recommended
- 1/4 cup apricot preserves
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp dried minced onions
- non stick cooking spray
- Spray the bowl of your crockpot with non stick cooking spray.
- Add the frozen meatballs to the prepared bowl of the crockpot.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the crockpot. Stir everything together to combine.
- Cover & cook on HIGH for 2 hours.
- Stir everything to evenly coat in sauce.
- Serve with toothpicks or mini forks.
This post may contain affiliate links. As an amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See my full Disclosure Policy for details. As always, all opinions are my own.
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