how to make Cape Cod Cocktail Meatballs

These cocktail meatballs are ideal for a Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or any celebration that you favor to impress. They are the first appetizer to go, and all people wishes the recipe. The recipe originated in Cape Cod (cranberry country). Bon appetit!

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 20 mins
40 meat balls


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 (16 ounce) can jellied cranberry sauce (such as Ocean Spray®)
  • 1 ½ cups ketchup
  • 2 ½ tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

  2. Mix ground beef, bread crumbs, parsley, eggs, grated onion, soy sauce, and garlic powder in a bowl until thoroughly combined. Pinch off about 2 teaspoons of meat mixture per meatball and roll into small meatballs. Arrange meatballs in a large, deep baking dish.

  3. Bake in the preheated oven until meatballs are browned, about 25 minutes. Drain excess grease.

  4. Combine jellied cranberry sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, and lemon juice in a saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir the sauce until cranberry sauce has melted and brown sugar has dissolved.

  5. Pour the sauce over meatballs and bake until sauce forms a glaze and meatballs are no longer pink inside, 25 to 30 more minutes.

    Nutrition Facts (per serving)

    168 Calories
    6g Fat
    19g Carbs
    9g Protein

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