Christmas Meatballs Recipe

Exquisite entrees are essential to any cooking repertoire, and recipe developer Susan Olayinka from The Flexible Fridge has a winner: Christmas meatballs. This dish is packed with protein and will make a nourishing meal paired with a simple side. These holiday meatballs incorporate a combination of pork and beef, as well as plenty of added seasonings. This fantastic dish is nourishing and has just the right amount of flair to stand out for a celebratory meal.

Known across the pond as polpettes, meatballs are purely an Italian indulgence, writes The Atlantic. Traditionally, the source explains that polpettes are served as the main course, either alone or with a light broth — not quite the spaghetti and meatballs dish you have in mind. Olayinka's recipe is served in a similar fashion with just a simple broth-based sauce. The flavor is certainly not lacking, so tie up your apron and let's get to work! 

Gather the ingredients for these Christmas meatballs

Start out by measuring ¼ cup of fresh parsley, 1 cup of pork mince, 1 cup of beef mince, 1 medium egg, and ⅓ of a cup of breadcrumbs. This next ingredient may surprise you: Add in ⅓ of a cup of dried cranberries. Olayinka tells Mashed, "Cranberries in savory food [are] amazing!"

For extra flavor use 1 teaspoon each of salt, dried thyme, and dried sage. Additionally, for the sauce you'll need 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 2 cups of beef stock, 1 ½ tablespoons of cornstarch, and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar.

Toss the meatball ingredients together

Begin by finely chopping the fresh parsley and setting it aside. In a mixing bowl, place the pork mince, beef mince, egg, breadcrumbs, cranberries, chopped parsley, and salt. Drop in the dried thyme and dried sage as well. You'll need a bit of elbow grease to properly combine the meat and seasonings. About the cranberries, Olayinka points out, "[They] add some sweetness [...] which is so needed and so delicious." She adds that "it's a nice change."

Form the mixture into meatballs, then fry them in a pan

With your hands, form the mixture into golf ball-sized meatballs. Once all of the meatballs are shaped, pour oil into a frying pan. and fry the meatballs on low-medium heat for 12 minutes. As the meatballs cook, whisk the beef stock with the cornstarch and brown sugar to combine. Once the exterior of the meatballs turns dark brown, check to ensure they are thoroughly cooked inside as well. 

Add the broth into the pan

Remove the meatballs from the pan and set them aside. Pour the beef stock mixture into the pan on medium-high heat. Stir the contents of the pan for 5 minutes, until the sauce thickens. In case the sauce gets a bit too thick, Olayinka advises adding a bit of water. When the sauce has reached a nice consistency, return the cooked meatballs into the pan. Coat them with the warmed sauce and turn off the heat.

Pair this with a side dish and serve

These decadent Christmas meatballs are complete! "I really like sweet-and-sour paired together so this recipe was a win," Olayinka shares. Complement this savory entree with a rich side dish. Olayinka serves this dish with boiled potatoes but notes that "you can also have it with mashed potatoes or roasted potatoes." Optional sides to partner it up with include brown rice, pasta, or sautéed veggies. 

Serve these meatballs with a glass of red wine for a classic pairing. We're certain your family and friends will love them — they'll probably be back for more! If you happen to have leftovers, they can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for two to three days. 

Christmas Meatballs Recipe
5 from 24 ratings
These Christmas meatballs have a festive flair thanks to the added cranberries. Perfectly seasoned, enjoy this dish with potatoes or your favorite side.
Prep Time
Cook Time
cranberry meatballs on plate
Total time: 27 minutes
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley
  • 1 cup pork mince
  • 1 cup beef mince
  • 1 medium egg
  • ⅓ cup breadcrumbs
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  1. Start by finely chopping the fresh parsley.
  2. Place the pork and beef mince, egg, breadcrumbs, cranberries, chopped parsley, salt, dried thyme, and dried sage into a bowl.
  3. Mix the contents together until they are well combined.
  4. With your hands, form the meatballs into the size of golf balls and set them aside.
  5. Pour the oil into a pan and fry the meatballs on low-medium heat for 12 minutes, until they are fully cooked with a dark brown exterior.
  6. Meanwhile, mix the cornstarch and brown sugar into the beef stock.
  7. Pour the beef stock mixture into a saucepan set on medium-high heat.
  8. Mix and cook for 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.
  9. After 5 minutes, transfer the cooked meatballs into the sauce, to coat.
  10. Serve the meatballs with extra sauce.
Calories per Serving 940
Total Fat 63.3 g
Saturated Fat 20.2 g
Trans Fat 1.3 g
Cholesterol 242.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 43.6 g
Dietary Fiber 2.6 g
Total Sugars 20.1 g
Sodium 1,294.3 mg
Protein 48.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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