Sweet Chili Meatballs

This recipe comes straight from the 80’s and is a favorite of our father, Vinnie! I happened to come across a few of our mothers recipes and just had to give this one a try! I know what you are thinking- sweet chili? Like the yummy sauce I dip egg rolls in? No, I’m talking SWEET- cranberry sauce – and actual chili. Hormel chili. I know its a strange concept! But trust the process! My boyfriend and I agree it tastes like a sloppy joe meets a meatball? You have to give it a try!

Sweet Chili Meatballs

A favorite of Vinnie's!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Sweet and salty meatballs, sweet and sour meatballs
Servings: 6 people


  • 3/4 Cup Bread Crumbs- Plus 1/4 Cup to Roll Meatballs in
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 Cup Milk
  • 1 Pound Ground Beef
  • 1 Tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Oil


  • 1 Can Hormel Chili (no beans)
  • 1 Can Cranberry Sauce


  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • In a mixing bowl add Hormel chili and cranberry sauce. Mix with a whisk until smooth. Set aside.
  • Combine breadcrumbs, milk, egg, ground beef and seasonings in a large bowl. Mix until well combined. (Working with your hands is best!)
  • Shape the beef mixture into 1.5 inch meatballs.
  • Heat oil in a thick sauce pan over medium to high.
  • Place meatballs into pan allowing for space between working in batches.
  • Gently move the meatballs around to brown all sides.
  • Pan fry for 6-8 minutes until brown and crisp on all sides.
  • Remove each meatball from the pan when ready.
  • Once cool enough to touch, roll each meatball in the remaining breadcrumbs.
  • Place half of the sauce mixture in bottom of casserole dish. Add meatballs and cover with remaining sauce.
  • Bake for 25 minutes.
  • Serve on potato rolls or over a white rice. They are good on their own as well!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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