An easy and hearty crockpot meal, this Cranberry Chipotle Meatballs & Sausage recipe is a sweet and savory dish with a spicy spin! You can serve these up as appetizers, too.
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Slow Cooker Cranberry Chipotle Meatballs & Sausage
While I’m writing this, it’s hot outside, but I’m already thinking about fall and winter, I’m sure you know the feeling!! And that means I’m thinking about what kinds of recipes I’d love to try when it gets colder.
I know these Cranberry Chipotle Meatballs & Sausage will absolutely hit the spot!
You might be wondering what I’m talking about. Cranberry? Chipotle?! And meat?! Imagine a mild chipotle sauce with a slight cranberry flavor, both spicy and sweet. Imagine your favorite sausage and meatballs cooked in it for a few hours. Sounds amazing, right?!
Sometimes I even add a few fresh cranberries to the finished dish!
And if you’re not a fan of the idea of adding fruit anything to your meat, trust me, you’ll love this still. It tastes phenomenal, and it feels especially festive around Christmastime.
It’s something new, but so, soooo delicious … and a brand new way to enjoy meatballs! I hope you enjoy these Crockpot Cranberry Meatballs!
Crockpot Cranberry Chipotle Meatballs & Sausage: Ingredients & Equipment
For this Cranberry Chipotle Meatballs and Sausage recipe, you’ll need …
- meatballs – I just use frozen ones! However, whether or not you thaw them out will affect the cooking time. You can use beef, pork, chicken, turkey, whatever’s your favorite.
- smoked sausage link – you’ll want to cut these into ½” pieces. You can also use the “little smokies” if you want to save time.
- whole cranberry sauce, chipotle pepper sauce, honey, apple cider vinegar, and cinnamon – each ingredient, though very different, makes for a beautiful sauce you’ll adore.
- chipotle pepper – optional, but chop one up and throw it in if you want extra heat in your crockpot cranberry meatballs!
- crockpot – this is all you’ll need! As always, know your appliance well since you may have to adjust cooking times depending on your use.
Note: I often serve these with a cheese and cracker tray, especially at get-togethers!
Crock Pot Cranberry Chipotle Meatballs & Sausage: FAQs
As an appetizer, this will serve approximately 20-24 people. As a main dish, this would feed about 8-10 people. Of course, these are just estimates, and the actual serving size depends on appetites!
Without the chopped chipotle pepper, it’s very mild. By adding the pepper, you’ll bring it up to medium heat. If it’s too hot after that, though, just add 1/3 cup of brown sugar to bring up the sweetness and balance it all out.
It’ll take about 4 hours and 20 minutes if you use unthawed frozen meatballs. While that’s a long time, only 20 minutes of that is active! The rest is just waiting for it to cook – impatiently!! If you use thawed meatballs, however, it should only take 2 hours for them to cook.
Simply store them in an airtight container in the fridge, as always. They’ll stay fresh for up to 5 days!
Yes, they’ll freeze just fine! Just place them in an airtight container, and they’ll keep them for up to 6 months. For serving, first, let them thaw in the fridge overnight and then reheat it on a stovetop until thoroughly warmed through. If the sauce seems a bit thin, first simmer it in an uncovered pan on low heat until the sauce is properly reduced and thick again.
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Cranberry Chipotle Meatballs & Sausage
An easy and hearty crockpot meal, this Cranberry Chipotle Meatballs & Sausage recipe is a sweet and savory dish with a spicy spin! Of course, you can serve these up as appetizers, too.
- 1 bag (26-32 oz.) frozen meatballs
- 2 packages (14oz. each) smoked sausage link, cut into 1/2" slices
- 2 cans (14oz. each) of whole cranberry sauce
- 1 can (7oz.) chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (you will need the adobo sauce - reserve the remaining peppers for another use or discard them)
- 1 chipotle pepper from the canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped (optional, for more heat)
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Add the frozen meatballs and sliced smoked sausage to the slow cooker.
- Mix the whole cranberry sauce, chipotle pepper sauce, honey, apple cider vinegar, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. If you want extra heat, add in the chopped chipotle pepper.
- Pour the sauce over the meatballs and smoked sausage and stir.
- Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or high for 2 hours.
- Stir before serving.
- If you prefer, you can use all meatballs or all sausage instead of a mix. Smokies work well in this recipe too!
- Although I prefer whole berry cranberry sauce, jellied cranberry sauce can be used.
- As written, this dish is currently at a mild heat level. Adding one chopped chipotle pepper will bring it up to medium heat. If it is too hot, add 1/3 cup of brown sugar to bring up the sweetness.
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Calphalon 5-Piece Nylon Kitchen Cooking Utensil Set
Silicone Spatula Set of 4
Stainless Steel Measuring Cups - 5 Piece Stackable Measuring Set
Stainless Steel Metal Measuring Spoons, Fits in Spice Jar, Set of 6 with bonus Leveler
Slow Cooker Liners, Regular (Fits 3-8 Quarts), 12 Total, 6 Count (Pack of 2)
Crockpot 8 Quart Slow Cooker with Auto Warm Setting and Cookbook, Black Stainless Steel
Nutrition Information:Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 74Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 36mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 0gSugar: 14gProtein: 1g
Please note that the nutritional information listed on this page is an estimation based on the products I used. Ingredients and nutritional information can vary significantly between brands. Always be sure to read labels. Please verify that a recipe fits your needs before using it. Nutrition info may contain errors, so please verify it independently. Likewise, recipes may contain errors, so please use your common sense when following them.
Why do you prefer the whole cranberry? I like both but want the best for this. It seems the sauce would be a good consistency and not sure people would l8ke to chew the berries, do they soften up a lot and dissolve? Thank you so much
Truly, it’s just a matter of personal preference. I like the chunkier sauce. You can totally use the jellied sauce if you prefer a smoother sauce.