These Slow Cooker Cranberry Meatballs only have 6 ingredients and are prepped in under 5 minutes. This easy appetizer is flavorful and perfect to serve for the holiday season and beyond. While this post is sponsored by US Cranberries, all opinions and the recipe are our own.

Slow Cooker Cranberry Meatballs

Hello perfect holiday appetizer! These slow cooker cranberry sauce meatballs will be your favorite appetizer or snack this holiday season. And honestly, I don’t think we have to limit this deliciousness to just November and December! When isn’t an easy, flavorful, and delicious appetizer a good idea?!

You only need 6 ingredients and less than 5 minutes to prep these slow cooker cranberry meatballs. I don’t think it gets much easier than that!

You all remember those grape jelly meatballs that your parents made back in the day? It’s still a great recipe, and it’s easy. Well, when Grace and I were chatting about what we make for easy appetizers for the holidays and beyond we started reminiscing about those grape jelly meatballs, how everyone loved them and how easy they were to make. Then you could actually see the light bulb go off, we knew that Cranberry Meatballs were now going to be our new favorite appetizer.

And we were right.

Our cranberry sauce meatballs are just as easy to make as those grape jelly meatballs, but they are better. I promise. The cranberry sauce has a bit of tartness, then adding the orange juice and orange zest adds those citrus notes that makes for an incredible pairing.

Slow Cooker Cranberry Meatballs Ingredients

Cranberry Meatballs Key Ingredients

  • Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
  • Brown Sugar
  • Chili Sauce
  • Butter
  • Orange – for juice and zest
  • Meatballs
Slow Cooker Cranberry Meatballs Prep

How To Make Cranberry Sauce Crockpot Meatballs

  • Simply put everything in the crockpot, stir every now and then, enjoy when the meatballs are heated throughout in about 4 hours.
Best Slow Cooker Cranberry Meatballs

Why We Love This Recipe

  • It’s easy and inexpensive to make.
  • It’s a fantastic reason to buy another can or two of cranberry sauce.
  • It’s a great way to use leftover cranberry sauce.
  • Have I mentioned it’s absolutely delicious yet? Well, it is 😉

My son actually said that this was his favorite meatball recipe, which is impressive, because I make a lot of different meatball recipes! He took the leftovers and even made meatball subs the next day.

Easy Slow Cooker Cranberry Meatballs

Simple Substitutions

Tasty Slow Cooker Cranberry Meatballs

Why We Love Cooking With US Cranberries

  • Cranberries are America’s Original Superfruit,® with many health benefits. Learn about the Gut Healthy Benefits of Cranberry Juice.
  • It’s a family business. I have a huge appreciation for our farmers, what they do for us and our families is absolutely incredible. More than 1,100 small family farmers – many of them fourth, fifth or even sixth generation – produce U.S. cranberries.
  • Cranberries are a nutrient-dense fruit that can be used in sweet (cranberry cupcakes anyone?) and savory dishes. Like our meatballs!
Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce Meatballs

Slow Cooker Cranberry Meatballs FAQs

Q: How long do cranberry meatballs take to cook?
A: The meatballs take about 4 hours on low or 2 hours on high in the slow cooker.

Q: Can you make this recipe in the oven?
A: Yes, you can bake the meatballs at 350°F for 30-40 minutes until heated through.

Q: What meat works best for this recipe?
A: Frozen pre-made meatballs are recommended for convenience. Alternatively, you can use beef, turkey, or pork.

Q: Do you have to use a slow cooker for this recipe?
A: No, you can make these meatballs on the stovetop in a skillet or bake them in the oven.

Q: How long will leftover cranberry meatballs last?
A: Leftover meatballs will keep for 3-4 days refrigerated in an airtight container.

Q: What’s a quick way to make cranberry sauce?
A: You can pulse fresh cranberries in a food processor with sugar and orange juice.

You guys ready for that easy appetizer recipe? Here is our Slow Cooker Cranberry Meatballs recipe. Be sure to print it, pin it and share it with your friends. Trust me, everyone will be asking you for this recipe!

Slow Cooker Cranberry Meatballs

Slow Cooker Cranberry Meatballs

With only 6 ingredients and less than 5 minutes of prep time, these slow cooker cranberry sauce meatballs with soon be your next favorite appetizer!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Course Appetizer, Appetizers, Christmas, Holidays, Nut Free, Snacks, Thanksgiving
Servings 10
Calories 223 kcal



  • 40 frozen meatballs We used a small cooker and filled in as many meatballs as we could!
  • ¾ cup whole berry cranberry sauce
  • cup chili sauce
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ orange for zest and juice


  • Place the butter and sugar on the bottom of the slow cooker.
  • Pour in the frozen meatballs.
  • Top with chili sauce and cranberry sauce.
  • Squeeze in the orange juice from the orange.
  • Top with orange zest.
  • Stir after 2 hours to make sure the sauce is well mixed.
  • Enjoy after the meatballs are heated throughout, approximately 4 hours on low and 2 hours on high.


Feel free to substitute veggie meatballs or turkey meatballs.


Calories: 223kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 10gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 284mgPotassium: 255mgFiber: 1gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 154IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 1mg
Keyword christmas, cranberries, easy recipes, holidays, meatballs, slow cooker recipes, thanksgiving
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!