With a simple mix of cranberry sauce, dijon mustard, and brown sugar, these sweet and tangy cocktail meatballs are fall-comfort finger food for all year long.

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Top down view of cranberry mustard meatballs in a slow cooker, with a wooden spoon dug in the center, about to scoop some up.

About Slow Cooker Cranberry Mustard Meatballs

No matter the time of year, enjoy the sweet and tangy flavor of cranberry with these simple cranberry mustard meatballs. Perfect as an appetizer or a full meal, this easy four-ingredient dish can be quickly thrown in the slow cooker so it can cook on it’s own until you’re ready to eat.

What do these meatballs taste like?

Full of fall comfort, the cranberry mustard sauce has all the tartness of cranberries and mustard that’s then tempered by sweet brown sugar, giving it a tangy-sweet taste. The strong flavors in the sauce are complemented by the deep, savory flavor of the meatballs.

I recommend using turkey meatballs (to really play up the cranberry nostalgia) but any type or flavor of meatball should do.

How long are these meatballs good for?

Once prepared and cooled, this sweet and spicy appetizer can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to three to four days.

Side view of a bowl full of cranberry mustard meatballs.

Can you freeze cranberry mustard meatballs?

Yes, you totally can!

If you’re saving leftovers, allow the meatballs and sauce to cool and then store them in a sealable bag or container.

If you’re meal prepping just to have the meatballs on hand for later, you can add the meatballs (fresh or frozen) to a sealed container or freezer bag, cover them with the prepared cranberry mustard sauce, seal the bag, and then store in the freezer.

Cranberry mustard meatballs can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.

When ready to eat, let the meatballs thaw for 30 minutes on the counter, then transfer all the contents to a Crockpot and cook per the recipe instructions.

What can you serve with this?

These cocktail meatballs work great as a meal by themselves (either served right out of the crock pot or on a serving tray with toothpicks or skewers), but you can also have them as a meal if you’d like.

When serving, I’d recommend pairing grape jelly meatballs with:

  • Any type of mild-flavored rice dish, such as cilantro rice, fried rice, etc.
  • Cooked greens, such as asparagus, green beans, or carrots (but not sweet carrots).

Notes & tips for cranberry mustard meatballs

  • Feel free to use homemade or storebought cranberry sauce, or whole berry or smooth cranberry sauce.
  • Add a little kick by using spicy dijon mustard instead.
  • Any type of meatball should work.
  • If you like to entertain, there’s a Crockpot that comes with bowls for 2.5 Quart, 4 Quart, and 6 Quart and I highly recommend it! It’s so nice to have one unit that can make fabulous dinners and heat up party dips. You can pick one up here: Choose-A-Crock Programmable Slow Cooker, 6 quart/4 quart/2 x 1.5 quart.
  • If serving these as an appetizer, be sure you have toothpicks for easy handling and eating!
Top down view of a bowl full of cranberry mustard meatballs, showing off the whole cranberry and parsley garnish.

More delicious appetizer recipes

How to make cranberry mustard meatballs

This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.

Step 1 – In a medium bowl, whisk together cranberry sauce, dijon mustard, and brown sugar. Do your best to get the sauce smooth, but it’s okay if you’re having trouble breaking up the cranberry sauce; the heat from the slow cooker will melt it.

Step 2 – Toss the frozen meatballs into a slow cooker, then drizzle the cranberry mustard sauce on top. Use a spoon or spatula to quickly toss the meatballs to coat them.

Step 3 – Cover slow cooker and cook.

Step 4 – Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Details

Top down view of cranberry mustard meatballs in a slow cooker, with a wooden spoon dug in the center, about to scoop some up.
5 from 1 vote

Slow Cooker Cranberry Mustard Meatballs

5 mins prep + 4 hrs cook
221 kcal
Yields: 15 servings (4 meatballs per)
With a simple mix of cranberry sauce, dijon mustard, and brown sugar, these sweet and tangy cocktail meatballs are fall-comfort finger food for all year long.

Ingredients 

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, add cranberry sauce, brown sugar, and dijon mustard. Use a whisk to break up the sauce and mix ingredients together. It's okay if the sauce isn't completely smooth; the sauce will melt in the crock pot. Taste test sauce and adjust brown sugar, if needed.
    14 ounces cranberry sauce, 2 tablespoons dijon mustard, 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • Add frozen meatballs to a crock pot. Pour cranberry mixture on top and use a spatula toss and coat the meatballs.
    2 pounds meatballs
  • Cover cock pot and cook on HIGH for 2 hours or LOW for 4 hours.
  • Serve immediately with fresh cranberries and parsley for garnish (both optional).
    fresh chopped parsley, fresh cranberries

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 221kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 59mg | Potassium: 190mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 17IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy