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Cranberry BBQ Meatballs

A healthier take on the classic jelly/chili sauce appetizer meatballs you used to love as a kid!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes
Servings 10 people
Calories 331kcal
Author Mary Smith


  • 2 bags frozen gluten free meatballs (Each bag of the brand I got had ~ 44 small meatballs)
  • 2 jars Tessemae's Matty's BBQ Sauce (or any BBQ sauce of choice)
  • 1 12 oz bag fresh or frozen cranberries
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup honey or coconut sugar (less or more to taste - depends on how you like your cranberry sauce!)

If making homemade paleo meatballs instead of store-bought:


For frozen meatball version:

  • Start with the cranberry sauce. Heat cranberries and 1/4 cup of water over medium heat for about 5-10 minutes until cranberries begin to pop and soften. Add either honey or coconut sugar (I used honey and it came out great!). Use a wooden spoon to crush the cranberries against the side of the pan. Reduce heat to low and let it sit for a few minutes to thicken.
  • Add meatballs to crock pot. Pour in both bottles of BBQ sauce. Add cranberry sauce and stir everything to combine. Set the crock pot on low and cook for 8-10 hours. Turn to the "warm" setting.

For homemade meatballs:

  • Preheat oven to 375. Combine all meatball ingredients in a large bowl and mix well using your hands. Roll meatballs into small (1 inch-ish) meatballs and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake them for 15 minutes or until mostly cooked through. Add meatballs to crock pot along with BBQ sauce and cranberry sauce as noted above. Cook on low for 5-6 hours on low and then keep on "warm" for the remaining time.


**If making your own meatballs, you can do this ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze them before using to make life easier on the day of your event!


Calories: 331kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 619mg | Potassium: 311mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 22IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 2mg