German Style Meatballs
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Many people celebrate Oktoberfest in the fall. Here is a family favorite we make for our annual dinner at church. Flavorful meatballs in a sweet and sour sauce, loaded with sauerkraut and cranberries. Members of our church like these German Style Meatballs so much, they’ve come to expect it each year.
(This post modified with new pictures on 9/20/22.)
This recipe is so easy to prepare, as well. You just need to make sure you have the necessary ingredients, as some of them may not be a regular item stocked in your pantry. These items (for me anyway) are: Onion Soup Mix, Sauerkraut, Chili Sauce, and Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce. It seems like a lot, but really, these meatballs are delicious! And who doesn’t like meatballs, right? See my other Meatball Recipes Here.
Another item worth noting is that this recipe works really well if you happen to have a lot of ground venison in your freezer. We eat a lot of deer meat, so I’m always looking for ways to use it. This recipe is a perfect fit for it.
Ingredients for German Style Meatballs
(See full recipe at the bottom of this post.)
- lean ground beef (80/20 or ground venison)
- onion soup mix
- plain bread crumbs or crushed saltine crackers
- Chili Sauce (See my Homemade Version Here.)
- brown sugar
- whole berry cranberry sauce
Instructions for Making this Recipe
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. To begin, gather all your ingredients so that you have them in easy access at your workspace.
Make the Meatballs
Using a large stainless mixing bowl, mix together the ground burger, onion soup mix, and bread crumbs, making sure to combine everything thoroughly.
You’ll want to use a lean ground beef for this recipe. Ground venison also works really well.
I like to use my hands to make the meatballs. You can also use crushed saltine crackers if you don’t have any plain bread crumbs.
Using a cookie scoop or spoon, shape the mixture into small meatballs. Place in an oblong baking pan sprayed with baking spray. This should make enough meatballs to fill the pan.
Prepare the Sauce
In a separate bowl, mix together the chili sauce, water, brown sugar, sauerkraut, and whole cranberry sauce.
Chili Sauce is one of those items I may not always have in my pantry, so here is an easy Homemade Version if you need it.
Pour the sauce over the meatballs.
Bake the meatballs, uncovered for 2 hours. Allow to cool for 15 minutes and then turn the meatballs in the sauce. If you’re planning to take this to a potluck dinner, you may also opt to place the meatballs in a slow cooker to keep warm on low. This recipe will easily serve 8-10 people.
Wine Recommendations – Serve with a Dry Riesling such as Chateau Michelle Riesling or a favorite Gewurztraminer.
German Style Meatballs
- 2 lbs lean ground beef 80/20 (or ground venison works well, too)
- 1 package onion soup mix
- 1 cup bread crumbs or crushed saltine crackers
- 12 oz Heinz Chili Sauce See Homemade Recipe Here.
- 6 oz water fill half of empty Heinz bottle
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 16 oz sauerkraut drained
- 14 oz whole berry cranberry sauce
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Gather your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.
Prepare the Meatballs
- In a large stainless mixing bowl, mix together the ground burger, onion soup mix, and bread crumbs. You can also use crushed saltine crackers.
- Using a cookie scoop, shape into small meatballs. Place in an oblong baking pan sprayed with baking spray.
Make the Sauce
- In a separate bowl, mix together the chili sauce, water, brown sugar, drained sauerkraut, and whole cranberry sauce. Pour mixture over the meatballs.
- Bake uncovered for 2 hours in preheated oven. Let set for 15 minutes and then turn the meatballs.
- If you're planning to take this to a potluck dinner, you may also opt to place the meatballs in a slow cooker to keep warm on low. Serves 8-10