Meatballs are so damn comforting. They are an Italian staple, easy to make, and can do so much more than being a star in the classic spaghetti and meatball dishes we all know. This cranberry sauce meatballs recipe is perfect for the holiday season. It’s easy to make, has a yummy sweet but bitter sauce, and they’re meatless! Yes, meatless meatballs 😉
Why you’ll love this cranberry sauce meatballs recipe:
In case you for whatever reason need convincing on how yummy these vegan meatballs are:
- They are satisfying, easy and perfectly moist
- You can make the meatballs in large batches and freeze them for later (in a tightly sealed container)
- The sauce is perfectly balanced and has so many gorgeous hints of the holidays – I mean cranberries scream Christmas!
- The sauce is also versatile and can be used in so many other ways, reduced to a simmer would create chutney or can be accompanied by pasta, other proteins or even enjoyed as jam!
- This meal is packed with protein
- Cranberries are loaded with health benefits (continue reading for more on that!)
Fresh festive cranberries
For this recipe, I partnered with my friends at Patience Fruit & Co. and used their fresh cranberries. If you’ve been following along lately, you’ll know I’ve been in a major holiday mood and whipping up so much deliciousness using cranberries.
Cranberries are a staple for this time of year and they can be used in so many different ways, both sweet, and savory. The cranberries in this vegan meatballs recipe really add a lot of flavor in the sauce that’s sweet, yet the perfect amount of tart as well. The berries are grown organically and at a high-quality level. Seriously, Patience Fruit & Co. does not cut any corners with this and that’s why I love them so much. I can feel like I know exactly what’s going into my body.
Cranberries are incredibly loaded with health benefits too, which is why this recipe is even better. Polyphenols are the secret (or not so secret) benefit of cranberries and they’re naturally present. These micro-nutrients are packed with antioxidants and other benefits that keep our bodies healthy and happy.
Tips for the perfect vegan meatballs
To really ace this recipe and come out with a 10 out of 10 meatless meatballs, here are my tips:
- Use good quality cranberries
- Stay patient while cooking down your onions and garlic for the sauce, this is an important flavour building step and will really transform your dish
- Use good quality dry and fresh herbs – I used herbs like paprika, ancho chili, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, and fresh herbs like thyme and oregano
- Don’t over combine your meatball mixture, you want the balls to be airy and light, just combine with your hands until everything is incorporated
- Be sure to have your skillet piping hot before cooking your meatballs on it. This way you get a gorgeous crust on the outside before pouring them into the sauce to finish cooking
Overall this vegan cranberry sauce meatballs recipe is easy, and perfect for this time of year. The balls and sauce have a life of their own and the sauce or the meatballs can be used interchangeably in different recipes. Get creative!
Other recipes you’ll love that go hand-in-hand:
Here are some of my other fav recipes that can complement these vegan meatballs:
- The Best Vegan Meat Sauce
- Vegan BBQ Black Bean Meatballs (another twist to meatballs)
- Vegan Pasta Recipes
- Vegan Crab Cakes
What is your favorite way to eat vegan meatballs? Share below in the comments!
Cranberry Sauce Meatballs
For the Cranberry Tomato Sauce:
For the meatballs:
- 396 gram 14 oz of your choice of vegan meat substitute
- 3/4 cup finely chopped sweet white onion
- 3 large garlic cloves finely chopped
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 3 tbsp. oat milk
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
- Garnish with 2 tbsp. fresh oregano
- Heat a large pot on medium-high heat for 30 seconds before adding the olive oil to heat. Heat for 30 seconds, reduce heat to medium and add your onions. Cook for 10 minutes before adding your garlic and cranberries. Stir to incorporate the ingredients and cook for 10 more minutes. Now add your salt, pepper, tomato sauce and water. Bring sauce to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
- While your sauce simmers, prepare your meatballs by adding all your ingredients into a bowl, mix well using your hands and create golf size balls. Should yield around 12.
- Heat a cast-iron skillet or pan on high and lightly grease with olive oil spray. You want to add your meatballs to the skillet or pan when you see smoke rising. Cook for around 4 minutes on each size before adding to the pot of sauce and letting everything heat throughout.
- Serve with pasta, as an appetizer or with your favourites greens and garlic toast.