Christmas Meatballs

Step into the enchanting world of holiday flavors with our Christmas Meatballs—a festive twist on a classic dish that will add warmth and joy to your holiday table. These savory delights, infused with seasonal spices and draped in a rich cranberry glaze, are more than just a meal; they are a celebration of the holiday spirit. Join us as we unwrap the secrets behind creating these Christmas-themed meatballs, perfect for bringing loved ones together during this magical season.


For the Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground beef, for hearty richness
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, for texture
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, for a savory kick
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley, for freshness
  • 1 large egg, for binding
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced, for robust flavor
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, for a hint of earthiness
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Cooking oil, for frying

For the Cranberry Glaze:

  • 1 cup cranberry sauce, for a tangy sweetness
  • 1/4 cup orange juice, for citrusy brightness
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, for depth of flavor
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, for richness
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, for a hint of spice

Optional Garnish:

  • Fresh rosemary sprigs, for a festive touch
  • Pomegranate arils, for a burst of color


Crafting the Christmas Meatballs:

  1. Preheat and Prep:
    • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mixing the Meatball Mixture:
    • In a large bowl, combine ground beef, breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped fresh parsley, minced garlic, dried thyme, egg, salt, and black pepper. Mix until well combined.
  3. Forming Meatballs:
    • Shape the meat mixture into bite-sized meatballs, ensuring they are uniform for even cooking.
  4. Frying Meatballs:
    • In a skillet over medium heat, add cooking oil. Fry the meatballs until they are golden brown on all sides. Transfer them to the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Baking to Perfection:
    • Bake the meatballs in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until they are cooked through.

Creating the Cranberry Glaze:

  1. Combine Ingredients:
    • In a saucepan, combine cranberry sauce, orange juice, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, and Dijon mustard. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat.
  2. Simmer and Thicken:
    • Allow the glaze to simmer, stirring occasionally, until it thickens to your desired consistency.
  3. Coat Meatballs in Glaze:
    • Gently toss the baked meatballs in the cranberry glaze until they are thoroughly coated.

Optional Garnish:

  1. Sprinkle Rosemary:
    • Sprinkle fresh rosemary over the meatballs for a festive touch and a hint of herbal aroma.
  2. Top with Pomegranate Arils:
    • Garnish with pomegranate arils for a burst of color and juicy sweetness.

Cook Notes and Variations:

Nutty Upgrade:

  • Add a handful of chopped walnuts or pecans to the meatball mixture for a nutty crunch.

Cinnamon Spice:

  • Infuse the meatballs with a pinch of ground cinnamon for a warm and cozy holiday flavor.

Citrus Burst:

  • Zest an orange and add the zest to the meatball mixture for an extra layer of citrusy brightness.

Cranberry Walnut Option:

  • For an extra festive touch, mix dried cranberries and chopped walnuts into the meatball mixture.

Gingerbread Twist:

  • Incorporate ground ginger, nutmeg, and cloves into the meatball mixture for a gingerbread-inspired flavor.

Keto Versions:

Almond Flour Alchemy:

  • Replace breadcrumbs in the meatball mixture with almond flour for a keto-friendly option.

Monk Fruit Magic:

  • Substitute brown sugar in the cranberry glaze with monk fruit sweetener for a keto-approved sweetness.

Cauliflower Mash Companion:

  • Serve the cranberry-glazed meatballs over cauliflower mash for a low-carb alternative.

As you indulge in these Christmas Meatballs, let the harmonious blend of savory meatballs and tangy cranberry glaze transport you to a winter wonderland of flavors. This dish is not just a festive treat; it’s a manifestation of holiday cheer on your plate. Share it with friends and family, and watch as the joy of the season unfolds with each delicious bite. May your holiday season be filled with warmth, love, and the magic of good food. Bon appétit and Merry Christmas!


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