Meatballs with Cranberry Pinot Noir Sauce Recipe

Slow Cooker Recipe

Meatballs with Cranberry Pinot Noir Sauce are so easy to make and so delicious – plus they are addictive!  These meatball appetizers are such great party food to serve to a crowd for a sporting event or holiday party to serve your family and friends.

Cocktail meatballs make a great holiday appetizer to serve your family and friends.  The delicious cranberry sauce is quick and easy to make.  It is not too sweet with a cranberry and Pinot Noir flavor and received lots of compliments.  Adding Oregon’s famous pinot noir wine is a “no brainer” since I live in the Oregon wine country.

Recipe originally by Sharon Beran of Beran Vineyards of Hillsboro, Oregon.  Check out What’s Cooking America’s Appetizer Recipes for more great appetizer ideas.

Please check out my Holiday Open House Menu which includes this popular and delicious Meatballs in Cranberry and Pinot Noir Sauce.


Cranberry Meatballs with Pinot Noir Sauce



Meatballs with Cranberry Pinot Noir Sauce Recipe:

Cocktail Meatballs In Cranberry Pinot Noir Sauce Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 50 small meatballs


2 pounds extra-lean ground beef (hamburger)*
1 1/2 cups fresh homemade bread crumbs**
1/2 cup finely-chopped celery
1/2 cup finely-chopped onion
2 eggs
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Pinot Noir Sauce (see recipe below)

* 1 (1-pound) bag frozen cocktail-size meatballs may be substituted.

** Learn how to make homemade bread crumbs.



Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Lightly oil a large shallow baking dish or pan.

Uncooked meatballsIn a large bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, celery, onion, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, and pepper: mix well.  I find that mixing ground beef using my hands is the easiest way.  Shape into 1-inch balls.  Place in one layer in prepared baking pan.  NOTE: You do not want meatballs too small or too big. These are meant to be a finger food, so you want something you can eat in one or two bites. 

Bake for 20 minutes, turning once.  Remove from oven, drain grease from pan, and transfer cooked meatballs to a heated chafing dish or a crock pot/slow cooker; pour prepared Pinot Noir Sauce over the meatballs.  Over low heat, keep warm while serving, stirring occasionally. S erve with appetizer toothpicks or skewers.

Prepare Cranberry-Pinot Noir Sauce.

Meatballs may be made in advance.  After baking the meatballs, freeze in plastic bags.  When ready to use, place the frozen meatballs in the prepared Cranberry-Pinot Noir sauce and let simmer in the slow cooker for approximately 1 hour to thaw.

Makes 50 small (1-inch) meatballs.


Cranberry-Pinot Noir Sauce:

1 (16-ounce) can whole cranberry sauce
1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
1 cup Pinot Noir wine*
2 teaspoons hot Chinese mustard

* Any red wine may be substituted.

In a medium-size saucepan over medium heat, add cranberry sauce, brown sugar, pinot noir wine, and Chinese mustard; stir to combine.  Let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often.  Remove from heat; set aside.

Comments and Reviews

2 Responses to “Meatballs with Cranberry Pinot Noir Sauce Recipe”

  1. Kristine

    Where do you buy hot Chinese mustard?

    • carol Nagle

      Since it only calls for a couple of teaspoons, I would just use the little packets from my favorite Chinese carry out restaurant!


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