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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.