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Healthy cranberry meatballs slow cooker

Set your crock pot for these homemade healthy cranberry meatballs! These make a great fall dinner or the perfect Thanksgiving appetizer. This version is healthier and gluten free so everyone can enjoy them!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: appetizer, cranberry, gluten free, healthy, meatballs, thanksgiving
Servings: 8
Calories: 215kcal


For the meatballs:

  • 1 ½ pound ground beef or chicken
  • 2/3 cup tapioca flour
  • 2 large egg
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the sauce:

  • 2 cups fresh cranberry sauce homemade for paleo version
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup sugar free ketchup (I like primal palate)
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 5 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper- optional
  • Fresh chopped parsley, orange zest or herbs to garnish


  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, tapioca flour, egg, garlic powder, onion powder, green onions, salt and pepper. Using a wooden spoon or clean hands, stir until well combined. Using a spoon or your hands, roll the meatball mixture into 1 1/4-to-1 1/2-inch meatballs, forming about 24 meatballs. Mixture will be sticky. Add some extra tapioca flour to your hands to help from sticking.
  • Place meatballs onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 4-5 minutes, or until all sides are browned.
  • While the meatballs are browning, make the sauce. Add all the sauce ingredients to the crock pot and stir. Place meatballs into a slow cooker. Add prepared buffalo sauce and gently toss to combine. Cover and cook on low heat for 2 hours.


Could also use frozen party meatballs (may not be gluten free). If using, place frozen meatballs in the crockpot with the sauce and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 3-4 hours.
Check ingredients for store-bought cranberry sauce. Make your own for healthier version.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 215kcal | Carbohydrates: 17.6g | Protein: 22.3g | Fat: 5.5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 266mg | Fiber: 1.2g | Sugar: 2.8g