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Crockpot Cranberry-Orange Meatballs

Growing up in the South, there were always some seriously delicious recipes being made for parties; however, the ingredients (now that I am older and more aware of what is in food) were quite questionable! ha! One of those party appetizers was Crockpot Cranberry-Orange Meatballs. Oh-so good but do you know how the lovely southern ladies made it? Frozen Meatballs + Orange Marmalade + Cranberry Jelly + Crockpot = Cranberry-Orange Meatballs. Yep, more or less that’s how it’s made and hey, I gotta hand it to whoever thought of this. It’s freaking brilliant when you are hosting a party! It requires little to no effort and they are always gobbled up as an appetizer. 

So, I’ve taken this little old recipe and made it from scratch. A delicious, homemade cranberry-orange sauce (that is super easy to make) + some homemade, simple baked beef meatballs. Make those two things and pop them in a crockpot to keep on warm before your party and you’ve got yourself a super yummy, clean, whole30 compliant Crockpot Cranberry-Orange Meatballs party appetizer. 🙂

Crockpot Cranberry-Orange Meatballs

For more meatball recipes, check out my Meatball Round-Up!

Cranberry Orange Meatballs
Serves 8
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Prep Time
25 min
Prep Time
25 min
For the meatballs
  1. 2 lbs. ground beef
  2. 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
  3. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  4. 1 egg
  5. 1/4 cup almond flour
For the cranberry sauce
  1. 1/2 cup coconut aminos
  2. 1/2 cup orange juice, no pulp
  3. 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  4. 1/2 cup water
  5. 1/2 inch fresh ginger, grated
  6. 12 oz fresh cranberries
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, combine the ground beef, salt, pepper, egg, almond flour. Using your hands, combine the ingredients.
  3. Form meatballs into 1 1/2 inch rounds, using a 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop of meat.
  4. Place meatballs on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
  5. While the meatballs are baking, make the cranberry sauce.
  6. In a sauce pan, add the coconut aminos, orange juice, fish sauce, water and fresh ginger. Bring to a boil.
  7. Once boiling, add the cranberries and return mixture to a boil.. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer and stir occasionally. Cook until cranberries are fall apart tender and the sauce has reduced and thickened, about 15 minutes.
  8. Transfer sauce to an immersion blender or blender. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  9. Place the cooked meatballs on the bottom of a crockpot. Pour the cranberry sauce over and gently toss to coat.
  10. Keep crockpot on warm or low to serve to your guests.
  11. Enjoy!
The Defined Dish

Welcome! I’m Alex.

I’m a food lover sharing healthy, simple, delicious, recipes from my kitchen to yours. Here you’ll find lots of Whole30, lots of healthy, and a little indulgence here and there because…it’s all about balance y’all!

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  1. I don’t think my cranberries were tart or sweet enough because this was really salty and just tasted like coconut aminos for us. I’m sure it’s really good if your cranberries are ripe enough. I was bummed we didn’t like them because I have tried A LOT of defined dish recipes and LOVED every single one. The meatballs are delicious without the sauce though! I may try this again with better cranberries.

  2. I made them for a holiday party and the typical response was “they aren’t terrible”. 😂 Needless to say, I won’t be making this recipe again.

  3. I made these meatballs on Christmas Eve and everyone absolutely loved them. Evenmy picky niece who doesn’t like to eat meat asked for more of the meatball lollipops 😉 I tend to avoid red meat, so I used ground turkey instead and they weren’t dry at all. And the leftovers were the bomb since all the sauce had time to sink in. These will definitely be a stand by recipe in the future.