Christmas Veal Meatballs

Christmas Veal Meatballs

These Christmas Veal Meatballs are juicy and packed with holiday flavours like cranberries, chestnuts, nutmeg, and rosemary. Combined with a luscious cranberry sauce, this is a perfect festive main dish or a party appetizer.

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Christmas Veal Meatballs

Hello everyone! Happy Monday!

Can you believe it’s already mid of November? How come, right? The holiday game is getting strong indeed. If you haven’t started the holiday season yet, I hope you are joining me soon.

Today I am exited to present you these Christmas Veal Meatballs. Certainly, you can enjoy this recipe all year round, but they does look and taste festive. They are also utterly juicy and soft and a breeze to make. I prefer to use cornmeal in place of bread or bread crumbs because meatballs turn with a tender and light texture. Also, it’s important not to overmix ground meat as it can result in dense meatball. That’s why always mix the wet ingredients (like eggs) with spices and herbs first, and then quickly combine it with the ground meat.

Christmas Veal Meatball

And the flavours? The flavour profile is strong here, too! Cranberries, prosciutto, chestnuts, nutmeg, and rosemary to mention a few. I used three kind of cranberries in fact. Dried cranberries for the added sweetness. Then cranberry sauce for that luscious glaze (Jelly-type would work the best.) And lastly fresh cranberries for the added freshness. I think all these flavours and textures are wonderfully married in these Christmas Veal Meatballs.

I hope you like these meatballs, and you will give this recipe a try, soon. If you make it, please let me know in this post or send me an Instagram message or share you photos adding the hashtag #havocinthekitchen.

More Christmas Recipes

And if you are looking for other festive min course recipes, I have them, too!

Christmas Duck Stew

Christmas Nut Roast

Beef Mushroom Chestnut Stew

Chestnut Mashed Potatoes

Christmas Chestnut Sausage Soup


Christmas Veal Meatballs
Christmas Veal Meatballs

Christmas Veal Meatballs

Recipe by Ben | Havocinthekitchen


Prep time


Cooking time



These Christmas Veal Meatballs are juicy and packed with holiday flavours like cranberries, chestnuts, nutmeg, and rosemary. Combined with a luscious cranberry sauce, make this a perfect festive main dish or a party appetizer.


  • Meatballs:
  • 650 gr. lean ground veal

  • 2 eggs

  • 150 gr. cooked chestnuts, crumbled

  • 3-4 slices of prosciutto (50-60 gr.), thinly sliced

  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, finely minced

  • 1-2 tbsp. instant polenta (cornmeal)

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 1 whole nutmeg, grated

  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. chipotle powder (to taste)

  • 1/2 tbsp. minced fresh rosemary

  • 1 tbsp. minced fresh thyme

  • 2-3 tbsp. olive / vegetable oil, for frying

  • Sauce:
  • about 1 and 1/3 cup canned whole berry cranberry sauce

  • about 2/3 cup of water

  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries

  • a pinch of salt


  • In a small bowl combine the eggs with herbs and spices, and whisk until well combined. Stir in the prosciutto, chestnuts, and dried cranberries.
  • Place the ground veal in a large bowl along. Add the egg mixture and mix with your hands or wooden spoon until evenly blender. Do not overmix as the meatballs could turn dense – about 30 seconds should be enough.
  • Shape the mixture into meatballs (~ 1 inch or as desired). Depending on the size, you should get about 35 meatballs.
  • Heat the oil in a pan cook the meatballs over high medium heat, in few batches, moving them, until nicely seared from all sides, for about 5 minutes per batch. Remove and transfer to a plate and cook the remaining.
  • For the sauce, in a medium-large pot combine the cranberry sauce with water and a pinch of salt. Cook over high medium heat, stirring, 2-3 minutes to thicken it up. Then add the meatballs and simmer for about 10 minutes, gently stirring the meatballs occasionally, to glaze them with the sauce evenly.
  • Add the fresh cranberries, cook for another 2 minutes, and off heat.
  • Serve with side such as mashed potatoes for a main course or as an appetizer (cocktail meatballs). Enjoy!

22 thoughts on “Christmas Veal Meatballs

  1. Marissa says:

    I’m so intrigued by all of the flavors and textures in these festive meatballs, Ben! They would make a wonderful appetizer as well as a main course!

  2. David @ Spiced says:

    Wow – 3 different types of cranberries! That’s crazy, Ben! I do love meatballs, but I rarely think about making them as a main course by themselves (or as an appetizer). I usually end up simmering them in pasta sauce over spaghetti. I need to make a batch of these ASAP! All of the holiday flavors in there are really calling my name!
    David @ Spiced recently posted…Mushroom GravyMy Profile

  3. Laura says:

    What an interesting idea to use cornmeal instead of breadcrumbs. I’m going to have to try that in my next batch of meatballs! I love that you used veal – it’s something we don’t usually cook with, but this I imagine is a fantastic way to enjoy it! Thanks Ben!

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