Cranberry Barbecue Meatballs

Cranberry Barbecue Meatballs

These Cranberry Barbecue Meatballs are luscious, sweet & savoury, smoky, festive, and packed with the flavour!

Jump to Recipe
Cranberry Barbecue Meatballs

So Many Meatballs!

Hello, everyone! How are you doing? Have you been doing a lot of Christmas baking? How many kilograms cookies have you eaten so far? While cookies and eggnog are delicious, we all need some substantial foods!

I’ve already shared two main course recipes (Roasted Cranberry Rosemary Chicken and Beef Mushroom Chestnut Stew). Also, I’ve been on a cranberry kick this season. It was time to combine both these things.

There is a funny story behind this post. Since I do not make meatballs often (Last time I made them over two years ago), I wasn’t very sure about the proportions. It’s often comes to eyeballing when developing recipes. Besides, I wanted to make more meatballs, enough for two days. The more meatballs, the better, right?

I was quite generous when eyeballing, too. 3 lb. of beef, 1 lb. of pork. Do you knowhow many meatballs you can get from 4 pounds of meat? Spoiler alert: A LOT. That’s about 90 meatballs. At least. I stopped counting after about 86th meatball.

Even though this recipe turned out great, I probably wouldn’t like eating so many meatballs for a few day in a row. So I decided to freeze (after pre-cooking) about a half of the meatballs and use another half for this recipe. For you convenience, I’ve reduced the ingredients (Both for the meatballs and sauce) for about 50 small meatballs. Sure, feel free to increase or even decrease them to adjust to your purpose.

Cranberry Barbecue Meatballs

These Cranberry Barbecue Meatballs are packed with flavour! Nutmeg, rosemary, honey, smoked paprika, chipotle, luscious cranberries. Also, feel free to use a good BBQ sauce of your choice. I opted for hickory smoked & sweet sauce with honey. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend using too sweet BBQ – choose for something smoky and, perhaps, spicy, to balance out the sweetness.

That’s absolutely delicious, my friends!

I hope you like these luscious cranberry meatballs, and you will include this recipe on the menu. The question is if you are going to make 100 meatballs!

Cheers for now.

Cranberry Barbecue Meatballs
Cranberry Barbecue Meatballs

Cranberry Barbecue Meatballs

Recipe by Ben | HavocinthekitchenCourse: MainDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



These Cranberry Barbecue Meatballs are luscious, sweet & savoury, smoky, festive, and packed with the flavour!


  • Meatballs:
  • 1,5 lb. beef, cubed

  • 1 lb. pork, cubed

  • 1 small onion

  • 1-2 garlic cloves

  • 1 egg

  • 1 slice brioche (~30 gr.)

  • 1 tbsp. instant cornmeal

  • 1/2 fresh nutmeg, grated

  • 1/2 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped

  • 1/4 tsp. allspice

  • a good pinch of white pepper

  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

  • ~ 1 tsp. salt

  • ~ 4tbsp. olive oil

  • Cranberry Sauce:
  • ~ 2,5 to 3 cups of BBQ sauce (hickory smoked and honey in this recipe)

  • ~ 1,5 cups fresh cranberries

  • 1 tbsp. fresh rosemary

  • 1/8 tsp. chipotle

  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

  • 2 tbsp. honey


  • Using an electric meat grinder, ground the meat along with the onion, garlic, and brioche. Stir in the egg, cornbread, rosemary, and spices and mix until well-combined.
  • Shape mixture into ~50-60 small (walnut-sized) or bigger meatballs. Heat 1-2 tbsp. of oil and cook the meatballs in 4-6 bathes, for about 5 minutes or until well-seared, mixing with a spatula occasionally and adding the remaining oil when necessary. Set aside and repeat with remaining meatballs.
  • For the sauce, in a large pan combine the sauce with the cranberries, rosemary, chipotle, paprika, honey, and cook for about 5 minutes. If decided, you can dilute it with some water (up to 1/2 cup)
  • Return the meatballs, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Enjoy!

8 thoughts on “Cranberry Barbecue Meatballs

  1. Marie says:

    I’m loving the smoky barbecue flavours in these meatballs. I love to mix beef and pork too but I love the spices you’ve added here. Great idea to make a big batch and freeze too since there will always be meatballs ready to go that way.

  2. Liz says:

    My husband always hovers around the crockpot meatballs at any party! Your version is a step up from the usual fare—and perfect for the holidays!

  3. Laura says:

    I think my kilos of cookies eaten might be similar to your kilos of meatballs made, Ben! I’ll tell you what – I’ll trade you a kilo of cookies for a kilo of these delicious sounding and looking meatballs. I don’t make meatballs very often either but when I do, I wonder why I don’t cook them more – so delicious and so versatile. The sauce you make here sounds positively delicious!

  4. Marissa says:

    Love the idea of making a big batch of these tasty meatballs, Ben! Loving the sweet, savory, and spicy flavors. Terrific appetizer, but a great meal option too.

  5. Kim | Give it Some Thyme says:

    These meatballs look and sound insanely delicious, Ben. Love all the smoky, spicy and sweet flavors going on here. Four pounds is certainly a big undertaking but you were smart to make a double batch. Now you have plenty on hand whenever there’s a craving. For me that would be often!

  6. David @ Spiced says:

    Haha – you have enough meatballs to last for days! 4 pounds!? To be honest, though, that’s how I like to roll – now you’ve got a delicious batch of meatballs in the freezer that requires little prep. These meatballs sound amazing, and I love the sweet + smoky flavor profile you’ve got going on here. Pass me a fork – if you have any left (hah)!
    David @ Spiced recently posted…Southern Cheese StrawsMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge