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Hi, can I make this ahead of time?
Hi, Kathleen! I think the best thing to do would be to make and roll the meatballs ahead of time and also prepare the sauce, and then brown the meatballs and simmer with the sauce when you’re ready to serve. You can also make the recipe entirely and then reheat before serving.
I can’t get fresh cranberries, but I have a can of sauce. Could I just cook it down with the orange zest, vinegar, etc? I think the can has only cranberries and sugar. Or, I can get dried or juice. The recipe looks wonderful!
Hi, Diane! Sorry to be a bit late to reply on this one. I think using fresh or frozen cranberries is pretty crucial for this recipe. You could give your canned sauce a try, but I just can’t guarantee the results. Sorry not to be of more help!
Elise, What about making a puree out of the glaze to use 100% of it? Would it be too thick or should I just stick with the strained version? Also, is baking the meat balls a viable option as well?
Hi, Chef! I think that the pureed mixture would be quite thick and might not glaze the meatballs quite as well. If you were making a big batch, then you could give the oven a try; for regular-sized batches, I think the stovetop method will give you the best results. Hope this helps!
Elise or Emma, approximately how much glaze results from this recipe before it’s added to the meatballs? I would like to use the glaze atop other meats or even vegetables, but to do so, I must first know its yield.
Hi Mae, it’s been a while since I last made this recipe, but I’m guessing about a cup and a half?
We don’t get fresh cranberries here. Do u think I can sub dried cranberries and if so then what should the quantity be?
Hi, Kamal! Emma here, managing editor for Simply Recipes. Unfortunately, I think you really need fresh (or frozen) cranberries for this recipe, and dried cranberries won’t make a good substitute. Sorry!
Could this be adapted to the crockpot?
I don’t think so. These meatballs are browned on the stovetop and then just simmered a few minutes in the glaze. You couldn’t get the browning if you used a slow cooker and the meatballs might just fall apart if you did.
Delicious! I was actually hesitant to prepare this for dinner because my son is a picky eater although he loves turkey, I don’t know if he’ll love a cranberry-glazed turkey. But I’m glad I took the risk. Thanks for sharing this recipe!
These were awesome! Even my dad (who is not big on new/different things) kept coming back. Followed the directions exactly except for adding some pepper as seasoning to the sauce. Loved it!
I made these yesterday for our New Years Eve party…I was so excited about the recipe because I love cranberries. I was not fond of the flavor of the meatball or the sauce. I thought the spice overpowered the taste I was hoping for which was the cranberries. They were indeed very moist and smelled peppery (which I loved) even though there was no pepper in it. But not sure which of the spices I would reduce if I made them next time. I used fresh grated ginger, fresh grated orange peel, and organic apple cider vinegar along with a little of the cayenne in the sauce. May use less of the fennel seed. Not sure. My husband liked them but I was not as impressed. I love using spices and herbs but this combo for me was a little off. Sorry.
Besides the beautiful color of the dish, it was an excellent combination, particularly the hint of fennel in the meatballs with the cranberries. I added a handful of chopped cilantro to the meatball mixture, and baked them in mini-muffin pans.
I made this tonight but substituted 2% small curd cottage cheese (Breakstone brand) for the ricotta cheese since I have more use for it in my kitchen, and it was delicious. Such an interesting blend of flavors and moist. Definitely a keeper!
Elise, what do you think about substituting cottage cheese for the ricotta?
Perhaps a fine curd cottage cheese? Interesting idea, I think it’s worth a shot. ~Elise
I would like to try these meetballs, they look yummy. What can I use to substitute the milk? My son is allergic to milk. He is doing well with cheese, but milk is still a problem. Thanks a lot.
Use water or stock. ~Elise
This looks great! Do you think it’s important to pan-fry the meatballs? When I make Swedish meatballs I usually use my small Pampered Chef scooper to form them and put them under the broiler. My Grandmother would cringe, but it does make the job a lot quicker!
I’m going to serve these on Christmas Eve!
You can put them under the broiler. You’re just trying to brown them. ~Elise
Im thinking of skipping the meatballs and using this glaze on a nice ham. Seems like a nice change from the cherry and pineapple that is traditional.
I made these for a party this last Saturday and they were a HUGE hit! So moist and delicious. The only thing was, I did not get that pretty cranberry red color when I followed the above method exactly – I made them again last night, and instead of adding the glaze to the pan with the cooked meatballs, I poured it over the meatballs just before serving and this time, it turned out looking like your picture. Also, I baked them in the oven instead of frying so I did not roll the raw meatballs in flour as before. I wonder if the browned flour in the pan had something to do with the odd color? Anyway, thanks again for a wonderful recipe!!
I made these yesterday for a Bengals Football get-together. My husband said quote, “Best “expletive” meatballs in the entire world.” Couldn’t have said it better myself. They were a treat for everyone. Thanks again for yet another amazing recipe!
I tried these meatballs and they were not real good. They had little flavour except the overpowering cranberry sauce.
Try adding some garlic and rosemary to the meatballs and they may stand out on their own.
With the salt, dried thyme, and fennel seeds, the meatballs should be quite flavorful. If yours aren’t, I would suggest checking your spices. Spices can go “dead” after a year, which is why it is recommended that you either throw out old spices. If you use old spices, expect to use much more than a recipe calls for. ~Elise
These look awesome but I’m not sure about the ricotta; I usually don’t care for it (so I’m the weird person who doesn’t like stuffed pasta shells). Can someone who’s tried these comment on the prevalence of the flavor? Also, if anyone has an idea for a good substitute cheese, it would be much appreciated. Ricotta comes up often in this sort of recipe and it would be nice form me to have a go-to replacement.
Made these tonight for a holiday potluck tomorrow at work- DELICIOUS!!
What an awesome dish, I know it will be a hit :)