These were born out the desire for meatballs, the limited ingredients I had on hand, and the pressure to make something ANYTHING for dinner Christmas Eve.
With a day of baking and wrapping and, in our case, finishing up commissioned cartoon portraits for the holidays (check out my talented husband’s cute stuff on Insta @stuff.bjdr.drew), it was really really great to throw this stuff in the crockpot and have it easily come together into something delicious.
Take a bag of frozen meatballs and throw em in the crockpot with a can of cranberry sauce (I did the chunky kind of this – but I’m usually partial to the jellied version for straight eating) and a smaller (as in not the giant insane bottle) bottle of sweet and spicey BBQ sauce (I used Cookie’s Sweet & Spicy).
Cook on low or high depending on the amount of time you have. To be honest, I didn’t pay much attention to them for several hours while they cooked on low. Since the meatballs are precooked, you’re really just looking for the sauce to come together, the meatballs to heat through, and the flavors to marry.
When they’re all ready, take some slider buns or even hoagies if you want a full sandwich, and toss ’em in the oven to toast up a bit. Pull them out, spread both sides with some softened Boursin or Goat cheese of your choice (maybe even a cranberry goat cheese would be fun!) and pile with some mixed baby greens.
Add your desired amount of meatballs to the buns and chow down, preferably while watching your favorite Christmas Eve movies, episodes, tik tok compilations – whatever your heart desires.
Note: I would definitely go for a hot or spicy BBQ sauce. Cranberries bring a lot of sweetness and if you were to do an overly sweet BBQ sauce I don’t think you’d get the complex flavor mixture you’re looking for.