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Cranberry Glazed Mini Meatballs

Kick off the holidays with this easy, festive and delicious appetizer!

This crowd pleaser can be used for any holiday party that you host or need to bring a dish to. Easy, festive and delicious!

No to mention - a healthier version!

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Let's Talk Health

This recipe lightens up the traditional meatball recipes that uses sodium-heavy prepared ingredients, like ketchup and chili sauce. It also includes whole-grain bulgur in place of breadcrumbs.

Why bulgur? Bulgar is whole wheat kernel that is cooked and dried and then made available for consumption. It is a super food for controlling blood sugar levels because of the low glycemic index.

It's packed with health benefits such as:

  • Its anti-inflammatory action

  • A rich source of the mineral magnesium

  • A great laxative with its high source of insoluble fiber

  • Helps to control blood sugar

Cranberry sauce packs a health punch without the sugar! Learn more about cranberry's many health benefits - check out this blog by Lindsay!


Ingredients for Cranberry Glaze

  • 12 ounce bag cranberries, rinsed (approx 3-4 cups)

  • 3/4 cup water

  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice (about ½ large orange)

  • 1/4 cup raw honey

  • 1-2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or your favourite orange liqueur (optional)

  • 1 teaspoon orange zest

  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Rinse cranberries and set aside ½ cup of them. These will be stirred in at the end for extra texture. This is optional.

  2. Combine the remaining cranberries, water, orange juice, liqueur, and honey together in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring up to a simmer as you stir. Once simmering, reduce heat to low-medium. While stirring occasionally, continue to cook until liquid has reduced and cranberries have burst and thickened, about 10 more minutes.

  3. Remove from heat and stir in ½ cup reserved cranberries if using, orange zest, and vanilla extract. Sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.

  4. Serve warm or at room temperature. Cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days.

Note: To thicken, reduce water. You can also use sugar if you prefer instead of the honey. If so, use 1/2 cup.

Ingredients for Meatballs

  • 1 cup water

  • 1/4 cup uncooked bulgur

  • 1 pound 90% lean ground beef

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion

  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp. olive oil

  • Coconut cooking spray

  • 5 tablespoons organic grape jelly

  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

  • 1 teaspoon unsalted tomato paste

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper


  1. Combine water and bulgur in a small bowl. Let stand 30 minutes; drain. Combine bulgur, beef, and next 8 ingredients (through olive oil) in a large bowl; gently mix with hands until thoroughly combined. Cover and chill 45 minutes. Shape into 39 (1-inch) meatballs.

  2. Preheat oven to 425°F. Arrange meatballs in an even layer in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake in preheated oven until lightly browned and cooked through, about 15 minutes.

  3. Place meatballs in a large bowl. Add the cranberry glaze; toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.

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