These cocktail meatballs are perfect for a Christmas, New Year's Eve, or any party that you want to impress. They are the first appetizer to go, and everyone wants the recipe. The recipe originated in Cape Cod (cranberry country). Bon appetit!

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Ingredients

20
Original recipe yields 20 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

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  • Mix ground beef, bread crumbs, parsley, eggs, grated onion, soy sauce, and garlic powder in a bowl until thoroughly combined. Pinch off about 2 teaspoons of meat mixture per meatball and roll into small meatballs. Arrange meatballs in a large, deep baking dish.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until meatballs are browned, about 25 minutes. Drain excess grease.

  • Combine jellied cranberry sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, and lemon juice in a saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir the sauce until cranberry sauce has melted and brown sugar has dissolved.

  • Pour the sauce over meatballs and bake until sauce forms a glaze and meatballs are no longer pink inside, 25 to 30 more minutes.

Nutrition Facts

168.4 calories; 9.4 g protein; 19.2 g carbohydrates; 46.1 mg cholesterol; 370.8 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (62)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
12/24/2012
These meatballs are the best EVER! I've been making them for over 3 decades and they have always been a hit. Always the first appetizer to go! The vibrant color alone make it a perfect appetizer for the holidays. If I could, I would give them 10 STARS! Read More
(28)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
12/27/2012
I really didn't like them. It was a disappointment as I took them to a buffet for Christmas. People said they were good tho'. I won't make them again. I did make them as written in the recipe. Read More
(8)
85 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 56
  • 4 star values: 20
  • 3 star values: 6
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
12/24/2012
These meatballs are the best EVER! I've been making them for over 3 decades and they have always been a hit. Always the first appetizer to go! The vibrant color alone make it a perfect appetizer for the holidays. If I could, I would give them 10 STARS! Read More
(28)
Rating: 5 stars
12/24/2012
These meatballs are the best EVER! I've been making them for over 3 decades and they have always been a hit. Always the first appetizer to go! The vibrant color alone make it a perfect appetizer for the holidays. If I could, I would give them 10 STARS! Read More
(28)
Rating: 5 stars
02/21/2014
I thought these were fantastic and everyone at the party raved about them. The only changes I made were fewer bread crumbs-about 1/2-3/4 of a cup in the meatballs-always depends on the fat content of the meat; I did add the can of chopped pineapple to the sauce as another reviewer suggested and I think that is a great add-in for this recipe. I put the meatballs in the crock pot when they were done-about medium and I cooked the sauce longer on the stove-about med. heat for 10 mins. or so stirring continuously. Then I poured the sauce over the meatballs in the crock pot and had them on low for about an hour before serving. These are going to be my go-to appetizer for work parties and other events like that. They are just a bit different so it's not the usual cocktail meatball. They taste great and are pretty easy to make. Read More
(18)
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Rating: 5 stars
12/31/2013
These were great! I would never have thought to use canned cranberry sauce for a meatball sauce. Glad I did! Read More
(14)
Rating: 5 stars
12/18/2015
Jazzyrobn was so right! I brought these to our Christmas party last night and they were devoured in minutes! People were upset that I didn't have more and I brought about 60 of them. Many asked for the recipe and loved that it uses jellied cranberry sauce for the glaze. The only thing I do differently is that I put the drained meatballs into a crock pot and pour the sauce over them and heat on high for 1 hour. The crock pot stays nice and hot and they are easier to transport to wherever you maybe going. This will definitely be my go-to potluck dish from now on. Loved it!! Edited on 12-18-15 -- I brought these cocktail meatballs to another Christmas party this year and again the crock pot came home empty.:) Read More
(9)
Rating: 3 stars
12/27/2012
I really didn't like them. It was a disappointment as I took them to a buffet for Christmas. People said they were good tho'. I won't make them again. I did make them as written in the recipe. Read More
(8)
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Rating: 4 stars
01/08/2014
This was a Recipe Group selection. I made these meatballs larger and served with white rice for dinner. I really liked the sauce and would give it a 5; I used whole berry sauce. However my whole family thought the meatballs were rather bland and would give them a 3. So I'll call the total recipe a 4. Next time I would double the garlic powder and onion and add some salt and pepper to the meatball mixture. Someone else suggested half sausage which would also be better. Read More
(8)
Rating: 5 stars
01/28/2013
I made the meatballs larger so I could serve it as a supper and it was very good. Very moist meatballs sauce just had a touch of sweetness and was very good served with rice. I would definitely do this as an appetizer at a party or potluck! Read More
(8)
Rating: 5 stars
02/02/2014
Great Recipe! Love the cranberry much better than jelly that I've had in other cocktail meatballs. Read More
(7)
Rating: 3 stars
01/11/2014
The recipe was good but too sweet for me. Read More
(7)