Meatballs with Spicy-Sweet Cranberry Sauce

This slow cooker recipe is a great “family” dish in the broadest sense, whether the group is within your household or comprised of the many friends at a house or work party. 

The ginger and garlic add depth to what could be an overly sweet concoction otherwise.

Meatball Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs Lean ground beef
  • 22 Saltine crackers, crushed
  • 1/3 cup Dry minced onion
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 2 tsp Ground ginger
  • 2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • Sweet & spice cranberry sauce:
  • 1 14 oz. can Whole cranberry sauce
  • 1/4 cup Ketchup
  • 1/4 cup Hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbs Soy sauce
  • 2 tbs Buffalo hot wing sauce, or more to taste
  • 2 tbs Red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbs Brown sugar
  • 1 tbs Garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp Ground ginger


  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Place a baking rack on top of a baking sheet or line baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all meatball ingredients, mix until well combined. Roll meat mixture into desired meatball size. Place meatballs onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk cranberry sauce ingredients together in a bowl, starting with just 1 tablespoon hot wings sauce if you’re not sure what spice level you want. You can add more hot sauce to taste at the end of cooking.
  4. Line the bottom of your slow cooker with meatballs, then a layer of sauce, then the remaining meatballs followed by the remaining sauce. Gently stir meatballs an hour after cooking.
  5. Cover and cook on low heat for 2-4 hours (depending on size of meatballs) or until cooked through. Taste and stir in additional hot wings sauce to taste. Keep warm until serving.

Serving size depends on size of meatball | Prep Time 2-3 hours