My absolute favorite type of meal is based around appetizers. Usually cheese. But sometimes I venture out into the cold cruel world that doesn’t include cheese. Rarely. Mainly because I don’t like meat. Yep, you heard it here, although, I think I’ve mentioned that before… I can’t remember. Anyway, I’ll eat it only so I don’t annoy the living daylights outta my family. But when I cook for just myself, nope, you won’t find any meat on my plate. Not that you care about ANY of that, but now you know, just in case you ever invite me over for dinner.

If we have friends over, inevitably we sit around the table and nibble on appetizers, all night. No big fancy meal, just simple finger foods. Because that’s MY favorite way to eat, so I force it upon others too, I’m very thoughtful like that.

In my experience, guys and girls like different appetizers. In our group of friends you can ALWAYS find the girls huddled around the cheese board and the guys staring blankly, wondering if maybe there’s a hidden box of pizza under that cheese board… Occasionally I serve something that is OOBER guy food, because I guess they need to eat too. Beer and beef just SCREAM guy food to me.

So tomorrow, for New years Eve, if you’re hosting a little soiree, make these! These are seriously the EASIEST things in the world to make! Really, this is just assembling, not even cooking. But the end result is REAL tasty, and I promise people will go CRAZY over them!

Boozy BBQ Meatballs (in the crockpot)

Yield: 10 appetizer portions


  • 1 can (15 ounces) cranberry sauce (jellied, but whole might work too)
  • 1 cup of beer (or just toss in the entire bottle for an extra saucy batch)
  • 1 cup of bbq sauce
  • 2 lb bag frozen meatballs (small meatballs)


Toss the cranberry sauce, beer and bbq sauce in the crockpot and stir it a little. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just kinda mixed together. Toss in the frozen meatballs, and give it another quick stir so they’re all coated. Put the lid on. Turn it on low. Walk away.

Drink the beer you didn’t use.

Come back in a few hours (3-4 hours) and you have a delicious appetizer! Garnish with a few dried cranberries, and serve with toothpicks.

Every crockpot cooks at different temperatures. Mine took about 3-4 hours on low, and 1-2 hours on high. If they cook too long the liquid (sauce) will start to evaporate and a crust will form on the side of the crockpot. I MIGHT have a little experience with this, maybe it happened once, or 5 times…But the meatballs will still taste good.

Storing leftovers: store in an airtight container in the fridge, and reheat in the oven at about 350 for 20 minutes. You may want to add a little more beer when you reheat.

My husband HATES beer and cranberries and he LOVES these. So don’t worry if you have beer or cranberry haters, the flavors of both are mild. The bbq sauce flavor is more prominent.

If you don’t have canned cranberry, jam or jelly will work too. Grape, apricot, orange marmalade, raspberry… whatever flavor you have.

These are totally kid friendly too, since the beer cooks out… Although, I don’t know how baby friendly they are. But she seemed to like them, so maybe they ARE baby friendly? KIDDING, of course I didn’t give her any, ok, maybe just a bite…