Cranberry Jerk Meatballs + Herbed Mashed Potatoes

This Cranberry Jerk Meatballs + Herbed Mashed Potatoes recipe is the epitome of comfort food in a bowl. Homemade meatballs are slowly cooked (in a slow cooker) in a savory sauce made from cranberries jerk seasoning, and maple syrup. The perfect dish for any time of the day. All vegan ingredients.

Cranberry Jerk Meatballs + Herbed Mashed Potatoes

When it comes to savory dishes, I always get happy because I’m such a huge stickler for flavor.

However, I get even more happy when I get a chance to showcase a glimpse of my Jamaican background in dishes.

Of course, I always put my own spin on things because that’s just how I like to do things. Haha.

Cranberry Jerk Meatballs + Herbed Mashed Potatoes

Believe it or not, this is one of my last few recipes from 2019 that I haven’t gotten the chance to share yet.

I know. 2019 was the year of CREATING. Haha.

So many recipes didn’t make the cut (and for good reason), while others just had to be tucked away for a better time. And wallah—these meatballs + mashed potatoes fit perfect into the current moment, especially since it’s Veganuary!

Have no clue what Veganuary actually is? No worries—I’m sure that you aren’t alone.

What is Veganuary?

It’s simply a movement that has inspired and supported many people to try the vegan lifestyle for the month of January.

It literally has opened up opportunities for many restaurants to include vegan options and has made veganism more visible and accessible.

Cranberry Jerk Meatballs + Herbed Mashed Potatoes

Whether you are following Veganuary, have decided to eat Vegan food for the entire year or just wanted to make a healthy change for the beginning of the New Year; either way, Orchids + Sweet Tea has an array of Vegan Recipes, including this one.

Back to this recipe. So, if you’ve every tasted Jamaican food or indulged in one of it’s popular staples–Jerk Chicken, then you’re aware that well seasoned dishes are a must.

Personally, I LOVE almost anything Jerk and I’d recommend making a few of our Jerk-infused Recipes:

Best Homemade Jamaican Jerk Chicken Pizza

Jerk Salmon Tacos + Avocado Cilantro Lime Sauce 

Oven Baked Jamaican Jerk Chicken Salad

Crispy Baked Jerk Potato Wedges

Baked Salmon Sliders with BBQ Jerk Sauce

Shredded BBQ Jerk Chicken + Sweet Plantains

But I must be honest about these meatballs—they are AMAZING because of the cranberry AND jerk combo!

That spicy-sweet flavor makes the whole thing to die for.

Cranberry Jerk Meatballs + Herbed Mashed Potatoes

Now, I do understand that vegan meatballs might seem intimidating, but they aren’t.

The awesome thing is that you can choose what ingredients you’d like to make them out of, however, my go-to is usually Vegan Chickpea + Quinoa ‘Meatballs’.

So soft and tender on the inside and nicely crisp on the outside.

Personally, however, my favorite pairing with these meatballs had to be mashed potatoes. You can never get enough.

Plus, I thoroughly enjoy creamy mashed potatoes, which can be achieved without dairy.

Cranberry Jerk Meatballs + Herbed Mashed Potatoes

Let’s dig right into this recipe, shall we?

For the Cranberry Jerk Meatballs:

Combine the quinoa, chickpeas, garlic cloves, nutritional yeast, flax ‘egg’, bread crumbs, smoked paprika, dried parsley, sea salt + black pepper in a food processor and pulse until all ingredients are processed and well combined. Now, form mixture into small to medium sized meatballs, rolling them up quickly with your hands to ensure that everything sticks together well. Repeat until all mixture is used.

Add 1 Tbsp of grapeseed oil to a skillet on medium-high heat and add meatballs to heat until a nice brown crust forms on the cooked side, turning them over until all sides are brown. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Carefully add the meatballs to baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until they begin to brown at the edges.

Remove from oven and let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, turn on your slow cooker to it’s highest setting.

Add all of the sauce ingredients to the slow cooker, stirring everything together until well combined. Add in meatballs and spoon a bit of the sauce from around the meatballs to cover them.

Cover and let everything slow cook + simmer on high for about 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally to ensure that desired thickness is kept for the sauce. **NOTE: Try not to stir the meatballs too much so that they don’t fall apart.**

In the meantime, make the mashed potatoes.

For Mashed Potatoes:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add peeled + diced potatoes to the boiling water. Cook for about 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Once fully cooked through, drain potatoes from water and add them to a large bowl, mashing them with a stainless steel potato masher (or fork) until fully broken down. **I also find it easier to add potatoes to the bowl of an electric mixer, which does wonders!**

Once mashed, add vegan butter and herbs, stirring them in until fully melted and potatoes become creamy. Set aside.

Once timer has ended, sauce is thickened, and meatballs are soft and cooked through, turn off slow cooker or keep it on the “keep warm” setting until ready to serve.

To Serve, add mashed potatoes to a plate or bowl and top with cranberry jerk meatballs. Add dried parsley for garnish, if desired.

Bon Appetit!

MADE OUR RECIPE(S)?

If you choose to make these Cranberry Jerk Meatballs + Herbed Mashed Potatoes or any other recipe from us, be sure to tag us on Instagram at #Orchidsandsweettea so that we can share the love!

Cranberry Jerk Meatballs + Herbed Mashed Potatoes
Cranberry Jerk Meatballs + Herbed Mashed Potatoes

Cranberry Jerk Meatballs + Herbed Mashed Potatoes

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 3 hrs
Total Time: 3 hrs 20 mins
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Ingredients

For Mashed Potatoes:

  • 3-4 large Russet baking potatoes, peeled + diced (See Notes!)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled + smashed
  • 3-4 Tbsps vegan butter + 1 Tbsp, if needed! (I use Earth's Balance)
  • 1/3 cup Almond milk (I use Califia Farms; You can use your fave plant-based milk!)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried chives
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley

Vegan Meatballs:

  • 1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained + rinsed
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 3/4-1 cup bread crumbs (See Notes!)
  • 1 flax 'egg'  (See Notes!)
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced small
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt + black pepper
  • 1-2 Tbsps grapeseed oil, for cooking

Cranberry Jerk Sauce:

  • 3-4 Tbsps jerk seasoning
  • 1-2 cups cranberry compote/topping (See Notes!)
  • 1/2 cup fresh water
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (See Notes!)
  • 2-3 Tbsps dry white cooking wine

Instructions

For the Cranberry Jerk Meatballs:

  • Combine the quinoa, chickpeas, garlic cloves, nutritional yeast, flax ‘egg’, bread crumbs, smoked paprika, dried parsley, sea salt + black pepper in a food processor and pulse until all ingredients are processed and well combined. Now, form mixture into small to medium sized meatballs, rolling them up quickly with your hands to ensure that everything sticks together well. Repeat until all mixture is used.
  • Add 1 Tbsp of grapeseed oil to a skillet on medium-high heat and add meatballs to heat until a nice brown crust forms on the cooked side, turning them over until all sides are brown. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Carefully add the meatballs to baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until they begin to brown at the edges.
  • Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
  • Meanwhile, turn on your slow cooker to it’s highest setting.
  • Add all of the sauce ingredients to the slow cooker, stirring everything together until well combined. Add in meatballs and spoon a bit of the sauce from around the meatballs to cover them.
  • Cover and let everything slow cook + simmer on high for about 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally to ensure that desired thickness is kept for the sauce. **NOTE: Try not to stir the meatballs too much so that they don't fall apart.**
  • In the meantime, make the mashed potatoes.

For Mashed Potatoes:

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add peeled + diced potatoes and garlic to the boiling water. Cook for about 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  • Once fully cooked through, drain potatoes from water and add them to a large bowl, mashing them with a stainless steel potato masher (or fork) until fully broken down. **I also find it easier to add potatoes to the bowl of an electric mixer, which does wonders!**
  • Once mashed, add vegan butter and herbs, stirring them in until fully melted and potatoes become creamy. Set aside.
  • Once timer has ended, sauce is thickened, and meatballs are soft and cooked through, turn off slow cooker or keep it on the “keep warm” setting until ready to serve.
  • To Serve, add mashed potatoes to a plate or bowl and top with cranberry jerk meatballs. Add dried parsley for garnish, if desired.
  • Bon Appetit!

Tips & Tricks

STORAGE: Leftovers can be kept in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Re-heat when ready to serve.
NO-BOIL MASHED POTATOES: To cook them alternatively without boiling—place potatoes on a baking sheet (lined with parchment paper) and lightly dress them with grapeseed oil. Bake in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for 25-30 minutes, until tender and knife goes through each potato smoothly. Once done, remove from oven and continue recipe.
SWEETENER: If you choose to opt out of pure maple syrup, you can always substitute with Agave as well.

CRANBERRY COMPTE: Combine 2 cup organic cranberries, 1/2 cup organic pure can sugar, and 1/4 cup water into a medium pot on medium-high heat, just until the sugar dissolves. Ensure that you stir all ingredients together well. Once it begins to boil, reduce heat and let simmer until cranberries are softened and ‘bursting’. Once cranberries are fully cooked and ‘sauce-like’/thickened, remove from heat and let cool for 5-10 minutes.

FLAX ‘EGG’: Combine 1 Tbsp ground flaxseeds + 3 Tbsps warm water and whisk until well combined. Let sit for 10 minutes.

 

HOMEMADE BREADCRUMBS: To make your own breadcrumbs, simply grind 1-2 cups of cubed gluten-free bread into a food processor until finely chopped. Place crumbs onto a parchment lined baking sheet and spread out evenly. Bake for 5-6 minutes in the oven set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring occasionally. Once brown + crisp, remove from oven and let cool. Continue recipe steps and store remaining breadcrumbs in a tightly sealed container. 

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Cranberry Jerk Meatballs + Herbed Mashed Potatoes.

ORCHIDS + SWEET TEA

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