Cranberry Pinot Noir Meatballs 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.

Cranberry Pinot Noir Meatballs

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.

Check out What’s Cooking America’s Appetizer Recipes for more great appetizer ideas.

Please check out my Holiday Open House Menu which includes these popular and delicious Meatballs.


Cranberry Pinot Noir Meatballs Recipe:
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
40 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cocktail Meatballs In Cranberry Pinot Noir Sauce Recipe
Servings: 50 small meatballs
Cocktail Meatballs:
  • 2 pounds extra-lean ground beef (hamburger)*
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh homemade bread crumbs**
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Cranberry-Pinot Noir Sauce:
  • * 1 (1-pound) bag frozen cocktail-size meatballs may be substituted.
  • ** Learn how to make homemade bread crumbs.
  • *** Any red wine may be substituted.
Cocktail Meatballs Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Lightly oil a large shallow baking dish or pan.

  2. 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. 

  3. 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.

  4. Prepare Cranberry-Pinot Noir Sauce.
  5. 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.

  6. Makes 50 small (1-inch) meatballs.

Cranberry-Pinot Noir Sauce Instructions:
  1. 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.


Recipe originally by Sharon Beran of Beran Vineyards of Hillsboro, Oregon.

Comments and Reviews

3 Responses to “Cranberry Pinot Noir Meatballs 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!

  2. Terri Lynne

    In prep for a dinner party this week, I made the Cranberry, Pinot Noir sauce. At least without additional cooking, it didn’t have much depth of flavor. So I added some caramelized onions and some ground mustard seed and allowed to simmer for a while. Now it feels like there is more depth of flavor so I’m looking forward to simmering meatballs in the sauce to see how the addition of meat flavor and juices adds. Thanks for the idea!


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