Baked Cranberry Meatballs


Slightly sweet and tart cranberries are perfect in both sweet and savory dishes. This unique recipe is a little bit of both. These meatballs are moist, flavorful, and covered in a vibrant cranberry based barbecue sauce. I typically serve them as an appetizer, but feel free to add a hearty side, like mashed potatoes, and make them into a full meal.

Moist meatballs covered in cranberry barbecue sauce.

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Things You’ll Need

  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 large egg

  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

  • 2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped

  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs

  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water

  • 1/3 cup cranberry sauce

  • 3/4 cup barbecue sauce

Moist meatballs covered in cranberry barbecue sauce.

Step 1

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, garlic, egg, cheese, parsley, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and panko. Slowly add the water, a few tablespoons at a time. The mixture should be very moist but still hold its shape when rolled into meatballs.

Combine the beef, garlic, egg, cheese, herbs, and bread crumbs. Combined meat mixture.

Step 2

Scoop two tablespoons of meat into your palm and roll them into a firm ball, place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with all meat.

Roll meatballs into 2 tablespoon sized balls.

Step 3

Bake meatballs for 20 to 22 minutes, or until they're cooked through.

While the meatballs bake, make your cranberry barbecue sauce. Add cranberry sauce and barbecue sauce to a small saucepan over medium-heat. Cook, whisking frequently, until cranberry sauce has completely dissolved into the barbecue sauce — about 5 minutes.

When the meatballs are done cooking, add them to the sauce and stir to coat.

Meatballs get added to cranberry barbecue sauce.

Step 4

Serve warm and enjoy!

Serve cranberry meatballs warm.


Enjoy this easy mozzarella-stuffed meatballs recipe all year round.


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