Crock-Pot Recipe: Cranberry Cocktail Meatballs

This recipe is an easy way to feed a whole bunch of people, and it's always a big hit at our poker night.

This cocktail meatball recipe is great for any occasion.

This cocktail meatball recipe is great for any occasion.

We host poker night every Saturday night, and after three years, I have accumulated a lot of great snack recipes. With having over 15 people each time, it's tough to make a lot of little snacks to feed such a big group, so I tend to look to the Crock-Pot for simple solutions. This way, I can still enjoy the game while the snack is warming up, getting ready to be eaten at break time. This is also a great snack to put in a big bowl in the middle and let everyone take bites as they play.

This recipe is a play on the standard Grape Jelly Cocktail Meatballs, but instead of jelly, I like to use cranberry sauce.


  • 24 ounces frozen meatballs (turkey meatballs work great as well)
  • 18 ounces barbecue sauce
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 16 ounces cranberry sauce jellied
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard


  1. Mix the barbecue sauce, soy sauce, cranberry sauce, and mustard together until you get a smooth consistency.
  2. Put frozen meatballs in the Crock-Pot and pour the mixture over them. Stir so all of the meatballs are evenly coated.
  3. Cook on low for four to six hours. If it starts to boil, reduce the heat to "keep warm" so that the barbecue sauce does not burn.
  4. Enjoy!

Note: You can also do this with homemade meatballs. I have used homemade venison meatballs in this recipe, and they were a big hit. If you are doing the homemade meatballs, just brown the meatballs on the outside, and then add them to the Crock-Pot. Cook six to eight hours or until thoroughly cooked through. Do not allow the mixture to boil too long, as the barbecue sauce will burn.


dappledesigns (author) from In Limbo between New England and the Midwest on May 04, 2015:

Great to hear! Happy birthday and enjoy!

Ruth Johnso on April 24, 2015:

I'm going to have this at mine and my daughters birthday party tomorrow!!!

Kelly on March 21, 2015:

This looks delish! I've always wanted to make my own meatballs but they seem to fall apart. Do you have a good recipe for those? And when you Brown your meatballs, is it in the oven or in a skillet?

Heather on December 23, 2014:

Cranberry jelly, where I'll I find that. Can I replace something else like a different kind of jelly?

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on December 06, 2014:

Wow...those look good and I'll bet that flavor combination is delicious. Thanks for sharing your recipe with us. Will pin this so I can find it easily when I wish to give this a try.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on December 06, 2014:

O yeah...crock pots are the best. It is like my Momma's cast iron pot back in the day. She would put goodies in and they simmered on the back burner all day.

Now we have these new fangled doodads that get the job done for us too.

I will have to give your recipe a try. Meatballs are always a hit. Thanks for sharing

Angels are on the way

RTalloni on December 06, 2014:

I just remembered this recipe (similar) last week. Used it years ago and thought it might work for an upcoming event. Thanks much for the updated details on it!

dappledesigns (author) from In Limbo between New England and the Midwest on June 29, 2014:

it adds a great flavor - but it doesn't really taste like mustard. I have seen some people use a mild mustard like honey mustard as well. Dijon works really well too, but if you don't like mustard I wouldn't recommend plain yellow mustard.

las81071 on June 20, 2014:

These look great I never really like mustard in to many thing

But I'm seeing that a lot of people use in sauces I may

Have to give another try

Jackie Jacobs from USA on September 05, 2013:

These actually look amazing. I will be making these next time we have a party. Thanks! Voted up!

dappledesigns (author) from In Limbo between New England and the Midwest on April 13, 2013:

I like to use Sweet Baby Rays sauce. I do tend to stay away from the brown sugar recipes because I find that it burns a little bit quicker in the crock pot if it's not stirred.

Shawn Scarborough from The Lone Star State on April 02, 2013:

I love simple recipes that you can make in a crock pot. This recipe looks like it will be very easy to make. I can see how it would be a big hit at my next party. Which BBQ sauce do you use with this recipe?

dappledesigns (author) from In Limbo between New England and the Midwest on December 11, 2012:

If you keep it on the lowest cooking setting on the slow cooker and make sure there is a little extra sauce in there so it doesn't burn on you I think it would be ok.

If you have one of the slow cookers that you can program, I would do 4 hours on low and then put it on keep warm until you get home to tend to it.

Ryan on December 11, 2012:

I have a bout an 8 hour window where I will be gone. Could these cook for 8 hours?

dappledesigns (author) from In Limbo between New England and the Midwest on June 25, 2012:

As a snack / appetizer about 8 people.

April on June 23, 2012:

How many does it serve??

Movie Master from United Kingdom on September 28, 2011:

What an ideal recipe if you have guests in, thanks for sharing.

dappledesigns (author) from In Limbo between New England and the Midwest on September 28, 2011:

No problem! They are definitely a big hit and very tasty too. If you choose to make your own meatballs ground turkey really works well.

karwoo from Lake Stevens on September 27, 2011:

this is a beautiful picture and probably is really awesome

Sarah Carlsley from Minnesota on September 27, 2011:

Yum! These sound and look delicious. Thanks for sharing this!

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