Cranberry Jalapeño Meatballs


Cocktail meatballs are a great way to get a party started, and your guests will enjoy this updated sweet, spicy, and delicious appetizer.

cranberry jalapeno cocktail meatballs
Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs



  • ½ pound lean ground beef

  • ½ pound ground pork

  • cup plain dry bread crumbs

  • 2 tablespoons minced jalapeno pepper, or to taste

  • 1 tablespoon tomato-based chili sauce (such as Heinz®)

  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • ½ cup tomato-based chili sauce (such as Heinz®)

  • ½ cup jellied cranberry sauce

  • 2 tablespoons jalapeno pepper jelly

  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt

  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, or to taste (Optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, place a baking rack on top of the foil, and spray the rack with cooking spray.

  2. Combine ground beef, ground pork, breadcrumbs, jalapeño pepper, chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, garlic powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Shape into meatballs using a tablespoon-sized cookie scoop. Place the meatballs on the prepared baking rack.

  3. Bake in the preheated oven until an instant-read thermometer reads at least 160 degrees F (71 degrees C), 16 to 18 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over low heat, whisk the chili sauce, cranberry sauce, jalapeño jelly, lemon juice, brown sugar, and garlic salt until melted, and the sauce starts to thicken. If sauce is too thick, just stir in a little water

  5. Add the meatballs to the skillet, and simmer until meatballs are well glazed, about 10 minutes. Serve warm with a garnish of chopped parsley, if desired.

Cook's Notes:

Removing the seeds and ribs from the jalapeños will make them less spicy, so just adjust the peppers to your personal taste. The meatballs may be kept warm in a slow cooker. You can bake the meatballs and freeze in a zip-top plastic bag. When ready to use, prepare the sauce, add the meatballs, and cook until warmed through.

You do not need an egg for the meatballs to bind.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

471 Calories
24g Fat
41g Carbs
22g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 471
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 24g 31%
Saturated Fat 9g 47%
Cholesterol 83mg 28%
Sodium 1225mg 53%
Total Carbohydrate 41g 15%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Protein 22g
Potassium 518mg 11%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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