Meatballs are one of my dishes to make because they are so versatile. They can be sweet, savory, a main dish or an appetizer! Instant Pot cranberry orange meatballs are a delicious dish that you can enjoy as an appetizer before your main course or you can even make it the main course!
A lot of people think of the cranberry orange flavor as a thanksgiving or christmas time flavor. These amazing instant pot cranberry orange meatballs defy those standards. My family loves when I show up to the family summertime bbq’s with this delicious dish.
What Are Cranberry Orange Meatballs?
As I stated above, these cranberry orange meatballs are not only great to enjoy any time of the year, they can make an amazing appetizer or can be served as the main course. Cranberry orange instant pot meatballs are a sweeter meatball with a little zest from the cranberries and orange juice.
Cranberry Orange Meatball Ingredients
These delicious cranberry orange meatballs need very few ingredients to make and they are pretty common ingredients to get, making this dish all around quick and simple. Here’s what you need:
- Frozen meatballs: You will just need to grab 1 bag of frozen meatballs from the freezer section at the grocery store.
- Cranberries: You can use frozen cranberries or fresh cranberries depending on what you prefer.
- Orange juice: I prefer to use fresh oranges and squeeze out the juice, but you can use store bought orange juice as well.
- BBQ Sauce: Choose your favorite BBQ sauce.
For a full list of exact ingredients, scroll to the bottom for the recipe card!
How to Make Frozen Meatballs in the Instant Pot
Cranberry orange meatballs are not only simple to make, they are really quick as well! This makes a great dish if you need to make dinner with not a lot of time.
Step 1: Prepare the Instant Pot
Place the steamer basket into the instant pot. Add one cup of water.
Step 2: Pressure Cook the Meatballs
Pour in frozen meatballs and place the lid on the instant pot. Set valve to sealed position. Press the pressure cook or manual button and then set the timer to 6 minutes.
Step 3: Quick Release
Once the instant pot stops counting, release the pressure by turning the valve to open. Remove meatballs to a bowl and set aside.
Step 4: Sauté the Cranberries and Orange Juice
Remove the steamer basket and drain broth/water. Add in cranberries and orange juice. Turn off the pot and then turn on saute mode. The cranberries will start to pop as they heat up.
Step 5: Mash the Cranberries
Using a potato masher, mash down the cranberries. Once the cranberries are mashed add in two cups of barbecue sauce and stir.
Step 6: Coat the Meatballs
Add meatballs back to the sauce and stir well coating all the meatballs.
You can serve the meatballs topped with parsley for a holiday feel.
Can I Use Homemade Meatballs?
Not a big fan of frozen meatballs? That’s ok! You can most definitely use homemade meatballs for cranberry orange meatballs. I love making my own meatballs because I can make them any size I choose. Here is my favorite homemade meatball recipes:
What Type of BBQ Sauce Do I Need?
There are so many kinds of bbq sauce and it can be overwhelming choosing one. Don’t panic! You can use your favorite brand and flavor for these cranberry orange meatballs, making them as spicy or as mild as you would like. We use Bull’s Eye BBQ sauce.
How to Store Leftovers
These instant pot meatballs are great to keep in the fridge to save as a snack for days following your delicious meatball meal. To store these cranberry orange meatballs, you will want to place them in a ziplock bag or an airtight container to place in the fridge. They will last in the fridge for about 5 to 7 days. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t recommend refreezing the meatballs after cooking and adding the other ingredients because you will have a more bland flavor compared to when they were made fresh.
Side Dish Recommendations
What better way to complete this amazing cranberry orange meatball than with a few amazing side dishes? Here are some of our favorite side dishes to pair with this delicious dish:
- 1 bag of frozen meatballs
- 1 1/2 cups cranberries (about half a bag)
- 1 orange squeezed for juice or 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups barbecue sauce of choice (we use bulleye's or something local)
- Place steamer basket into the instant pot. Add one cup water.
- Pour in frozen meatballs. Place lid on instant pot. Set valve to sealed position. Press press cook or manual button and then set timer to 6 minutes.
- Once the instant pot stop counting release the pressure by turning the valve to open.
Remove meatballs to a bowl and set aside. Remove steamer basket. Drain broth/water.
- Add in cranberries and orange juice. Turn off pot and then turn on saute mode. The cranberries will start to pop as they heat up.
- Using a potato masher, mash down the cranberries. Once the cranberries are mashed add in two cups of barbecue sauce. Stir.
- Add meatballs back to the sauce and stir well coating all the meatballs.
- Serve topped with parsley for a holiday feel.
Other Instant Pot Beef Recipes
Need some other yummy meal ideas? There is nothing more classic than beef for a main course and these are some of our favorite beef recipes!