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Penny Pinching Epicure: Sweet & Spicy Meatballs

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sweet & Spicy Meatballs

I'm fond of tricks that give the impression you have slaved all day over a hot stove stirring a wicked good sauce when in fact you threw a bunch of ingredients together in like 5 minutes.

This is one such "trick" recipe. You basically melt down a can of jellied cranberry sauce (it's all on sale now that Turkey Day has come and gone), throw in a bottle of cocktail or chili sauce, and voila--a sweet & spicy sauce I like to use with meatballs, although it would go well with chicken or beef (especially ribs) as well.

Note 1: The sauce is totally not my original recipe even though a number of my friends attribute it to me. It is, however, my meatball recipe :)

Note 2: Some people like to cook their meatballs first and then add them into the sauce. I prefer to to cook them in the sauce so they absorb all of the good flavors.


1 can jellied cranberry sauce (NOT whole berry)
1 bottle cocktail or chili sauce
1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1 garlic clove, minced fine

  1. Heat cranberry sauce in a large saucepan until melted. Add cocktail/chili sauce and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Combine meat, egg, bread crumbs, cilantro and garlic. Roll into balls and add to sauce (try to space them out, after a minute or so they'll firm up enough to stir).
  3. Cook 8-10 minutes or until cooked through, stirring occasionally.
The cost:
ground meat: 4.99
cranberry sauce: 1.29
cocktail/chili sauce: 1.49
cilantro: 1.69

Grand total: $9.46; serves 4-6 over rice or quinoa

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