Need a recipe for gluten-free meatballs? These Cranberry Citrus Meatballs make a great appetizer, especially during the holidays. Customize them with whatever meat you happen to like.
My good friend Rachel of Rachel Cooks  is having a baby boy in December so some of her online friends are throwing her a virtual baby shower today. Rachel and I “met” while promoting Emeril Lagasse’s Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders cookbook last year. She was also a founding member of Virtual Potluck , but no longer participates (sniff, sniff). Thanks to Brandy of Nutmeg Nanny , Brandi of Bran Appetit! , and Heather of Farmgirl Gourmet  for hosting Rachel’s shower.
Rachel hasn’t had the easiest pregnancy, but I hope she’ll feel up to trying some of my sweet, citrusy meatballs. I figured everyone else would bring carb-based treats, so I thought I’d better stick with something in the protein family.
These cranberry citrus meatballs are the perfect party food – throw them in the slow cooker and they’re ready when you are.
Make-ahead tips: Make the meatballs and brown them ahead of time. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to use. Mix up the sauce ahead as well and store in refrigerator. A few hours before your shower or party, put the meatballs and sauce in the crock pot.
Best of luck with the new addition to your family, Rachel! I can’t wait to see pictures.
- ½ cup egg substitute
- 2 pounds ground pork
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- ½ cup dried cranberries, minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 (14 ounce) can whole-berry cranberry sauce
- ⅓ cup ketchup
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- In a large bowl, combine egg substitute, pork, rice, dried cranberries, salt and pepper. Shape into meatballs about 1-1/2 inches in diameter (you should end up with about 48).
- In a large skillet, heat half of the olive oil over medium heat. Brown as many meatballs as will comfortably fit in your pan. You don’t need to cook them through, just brown on all sides. It should take about 5 minutes. Drain meatballs on paper towels. Continue until all meatballs have been browned, adding olive oil as necessary.
- Transfer meatballs to a slow cooker. In a medium bowl, whisk together cranberry sauce, ketchup, orange juice and lime juice until combined. Pour mixture over meatballs in slow cooker (don’t stir). Cover and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours or on high for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
Other Party Food
Here are the dishes that some of Rachel’s friends are bringing to the baby shower. We’ll be using the hashtag #RachelPops on Twitter today when we celebrate – please join us!
- S’mores Popcorn  by Nutmeg Nanny
- White Chocolate “Quilted” Cupcakes  by Creative Culinary
- Snickerdoodle Scones  by Fake Ginger
- Walnut Streusel Coffee Cake  by Cookistry
- Salted Caramel Cashew Popcorn  by Bake Your Day
- Paleo Pumpkin Whoopie Pies  by Bread and Butter
- Turtle Pumpkin Ice Cream Cake  by A Spicy Perspective
- Southern Cheese Straws  by 30AEATS
- Blue Layered Jello  by Taste and Tell
- Mini Blackberry Pies  by Sweet Basil
- Caramel Popcorn Pretzel Bars  by Bakeaholic Mama
- Cucumber Sandwiches w/Basil and Sundried Tomato Mascarpone Cheese  by Susie Freaking Homemaker
- Itty Bitty Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies  by Chip Chip Hooray
- Hermit Bars – Chewy Molasses Cookie Bars  by The Lemon Bowl
- Baby Blue Cheese Burgers  by Budget Gourmet Mom
- Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls  by Mother Thyme
- Sweet Potato Soup with Maple Cream  by Pass the Sushi
- Bourbon Toffee Popcorn  by Bran Appetit!
- Roasted Butternut Squash and Sage Pesto Crostini  by Thrifty Veggie Mama
- Curried Salmon Phyllo Cups  by Cooking with Books
- Sweet Potato Pie Dip with Pie Crust Dippers  by The Spiffy Cookie
- Dark Chocolate Cashew Brittle Cookies  by Farmgirl Gourmet
- Caramelised Onion Mini Pizzas  by London Bakes
- Apple Asiago Prosciutto Bites  by Sarah’s Cucina Bella
- Baby Blueberry Pies  by Steph’s Bite by Bite
- Chicken Salad  by Eat 2 Gather
- White Chocolate Biscoff Muddy Buddies  by Miss in the Kitchen