Saucy Cranberry Glazed Meatballs

Just in time for a festive meal, glorious ruby red cranberries take a break from dessert and join the savoury side of the table. What a deliciously decadent trade! In my book cranberries don’t get enough use, or credit, and this recipe adapted from David Lebovitz will become a starring regular on my table.


When cranberries are in their very short autumn season, I like to pick up extra to stash in the freezer. There was a time when I used them exclusively for baking, but with my GF status baking is very limited these days. I found this recipe handily, when looking for a way to ‘festive up’ meatballs. I’m so very glad I did!


While some may call the meatball humble, I call it one of my favourite foods. Easy to make the recipe is deliciously adaptable and can be made from all kinds of meat from ground beef, pork, veal, poultry or sausage. I usually use a combination of two, or sometimes more, to really give them depth. And flavour. Use your own favourite recipe or try mine: meatballs. It uses both medium & regular (you do want some fat for good taste!) ground beef, as well as some ground turkey – which really helps lighten them. Who likes a heavy, leaden meatball anyway…?


ps As for cooking them, try either pan frying for crispy edges or oven baking, which keeps them nice and soft. Try both. See what you prefer. That’s the joy of cooking!

Saucy Cranberry Glaze for Meatballs
Just in time for the holidays: a festive sweet & savoury sauce for meatballs!
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  1. 2 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  2. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  3. 1/4 cup white sugar
  4. juice of 1/2 orange, or a small clementine
  5. 1/2 tsp of orange zest (optional)
  6. pinch of salt
  7. Put all in a medium sized non-reactive pot and bring to a boil.
  8. Turn down to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes, until the berries pop, stirring occasionally
  9. This can be made ahead and finished when cooking the meatballs (it does taste better if made the previous day!)
To finish sauce for the meatballs
  1. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  2. 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  3. 1 tsp Sriracha (or other hot sauce)
  4. 2 TBSP stock (chicken or beef) use water if you have neither
  5. 1 tsp Kosher salt
  6. 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Put it together
  1. Add the ingredients from "to finish the meatballs" to the pre-made cranberry sauce.
  2. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 5 minutes while making the meatballs.
  3. Keep warm, and add the meatballs when ready.
  4. Stir to coat all the meatballs with the sauce.
  5. Makes about 2 dozen.
  1. Tip: the chunky texture is excellent with the meatballs, but purée the sauce if you prefer.
Adapted from David Lebovitz
Adapted from David Lebovitz
farm girl city chef

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