Meatballs for Game Day

Saucy Game Day Meatballs

These game-day tips will help you prepare for game-day guests and the saucy meatballs will leave your friends begging for more. Be prepared to share the recipe for these amazing cranberry meatballs!

Quick Tips for Game-Day Gatherings

Get your plan in place. Write it out if that helps.
Outside help is a plus. Delegate when and what you can.

Tried-and-true recipes make it easy. Make your favorites and keep it simple.
Efficiency pays off–prep as much food as you can in advance.
Applaud yourself for a job well done, and don’t sweat the small stuff.
Make memories, and most of all, have fun!

Truly, if you provide these three essentials, everybody will be happy:

  1. A good-sized TV for the best viewing
  2. Enough comfy seating for everyone
  3. Delicious food

Little Extras

Football Mugs or Swag Bags

To make these football-inspired mugs, simply cut white vinyl or label stickers to the desired size for “football laces.” Attach to the outside of DRY mugs, mason jars, or glasses. For “Go Team” straws, simply print the words on cardstock and cut to the desired size, wrapping one end around the straw and gluing or taping in place.

To make swag/gift bags, follow the directions for football mugs above, but attach the white vinyl or label stickers to brown paper bags instead. Fill the bag with candy, popcorn, or other snacks for people to take home after the game.

About the Meatballs

Ingredients Needed

ground beef or ground pork
soft bread crumbs
Worcestershire sauce
garlic salt
black pepper
cranberry juice
whole cranberry sauce
brown sugar
hot Chinese mustard (or yellow mustard)


sharp knives
big shallow baking pan
large bowl
medium saucepan
slow cooker
toothpicks or small skewers (optional)

Get the mouthwatering recipe for these cranberry-glazed meatballs below.

This recipe makes about 25 meatballs. You can easily double or triple the recipe, depending on the number of people you’re serving. 

Saucy Cranberry Meatballs

INGREDIENTS (Makes about 25)

1 lb. extra lean ground beef or ground pork
¾ C. soft bread crumbs
¼ C. finely chopped celery
¼ C. finely chopped onion
1 egg
1½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. garlic salt
½ tsp. black pepper
Cranberry juice
½ (14 oz.) can whole cranberry sauce
½ C. brown sugar
1 tsp. hot Chinese mustard (or yellow mustard)


Preheat your oven to 375° and lightly grease a big shallow baking pan. 

In a big bowl, combine the ground beef or pork, bread crumbs, celery, onion, egg, Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, black pepper, and a splash of cranberry juice. Mix with a meat chopper (or your hands) until just blended. Shape into 1″ balls and arrange in the prepped pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until done. 

In a medium saucepan, stir together the cranberry sauce, brown sugar, mustard, and ½ cup cranberry juice. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often. 

Transfer the meatballs to a slow cooker and pour the sauce over the top. Set the cooker on “keep warm” or “low” for serving. 

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