Cranberry-Red Wine Meatballs

in Appetizers, Beef, Christmas, Cranberries, Thanksgiving, Wine

Cranberry and Red Wine Meatballs

Meatballs are typically only served in two ways in this house: Meatball Subs or drenched in wine and berries as an appetizer but mostly the former. I joke that my husband has become a meatball connoisseur – he can describe in great detail the subtle (and not so subtle) differences between the meatballs served at the various restaurants and delis that we frequent. He has his meatball obsession. I have my queso quest. We’re a yummy pair :)

Meatballs are always a hit on the appetizer buffet. I only recently tried the Grape Jelly-Chili Sauce meatballs at a party (something about that combo always scared me… no doubt it was the idea of mixing grape jelly with chili sauce). And then my husband proceeded to eat my weight in them. (Yeah… it was totally him that made three trips to the crockpot.)

Cranberry-Red Wine Meatballs

Red wine and cranberry sauce elevate the boring cocktail meatball.


  • 2 cups whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup of your favorite red wine (I used our Cab)
  • 2 tsp hot Chinese mustard
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire
  • 1 batch of meatballs, cooked


  1. Add cranberry sauce, brown sugar, red wine, mustard, and Worcestershire to a sauce pan. Heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the meatballs to the pan, stirring to coat and heat thoroughly.
  3. Serve warm. (Alternately, you can pour the sauce over the meatballs in a crockpot set to warm for serving.)


Yields: ~4 dozen meatballs

Adapted from CDKitchen

Estimated time: 20 minutes

7 comments… add one

  • These meatballs are beautiful! Wow!! They look so delicious.

  • Oh, what can I sub for the alcohol?

  • I am a huge fan of meatballs that are NOT Italian style – Swedish especially! This sauce to the meatballs sounds absolutely delicious!

  • Meatballs are great! I always at the grape jelly-chili sauce meatballs growing up. It was standard in our house! I have a meatball recipe that I posted on my blog back in the spring. Here it is:

  • I LOVE the combination going on here!!! Now these are my kind of meatballs!

  • they sound intense and look divine!

  • Man, my grandmomma was Italian and she made the most amazing meatballs I ever tasted, like you wouldnt believe. Sadly, she didnt leave a single recipe for us so I’ve been trying to figure it out by myself… slowly working my through the meatball recipes here, I still cant figure out what her secret ingredient was though!!!

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