Turkey & Cranberry Meatballs with Cranberry Orange Sauce
These Turkey Cranberry Meatballs taste like Thanksgiving in meatball form! They are loaded with ground turkey, sage, apples and cranberries and served with an orange cranberry sauce for dipping. I love serving these as a canape but they can also be enjoyed as a main with mash. These Turkey Meatballs are Paleo, Whole30, Dairy Free, Grain Free, Gluten Free and Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal.
These Turkey meatballs are all of the flavours of thanksgiving dinner, combined into one bite sized mouthful of deliciousness. They are the perfect combination of roast turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing, my three favourite parts of a turkey dinner.
So what’s in these turkey meatballs? We start with a base of ground turkey, which is a low fat, high protein meat, and mix in shredded apple, sage, parsley, orange zest for a nice citrusy kick, and oven roasted cranberries for bursts of juicy tart flavour. The meatballs are baked in the oven and then served alongside a tart cranberry orange sauce that is perfect for dipping.
I am always shocked at the amount of sugar in store bought dried cranberries (cranberries are only the second ingredient listed after sugar!) and unfortunately unsweetened dried cranberries are very hard to find. Even if you can find unsweetened cranberries, I prefer to quickly bake fresh ones in the oven as it gives you complete control of what is in them. In this recipe I toss fresh cranberries in olive oil and bake them in the oven until they are soft and slightly dried, which only takes about 20 minutes. This results in juicier and more flavourful berries baked in the meatballs.
You could serve these turkey cranberry meatballs as a main dish alongside some roasted veggies and mash, but I like the idea of serving them as a canapé with toothpicks for guests to dip them into the sauce.
An easy entertaining tip – double the recipe and freeze portions of the cooked meatballs along with the sauce in Ziploc bags, so you can have a quick and delicious appetizer ready to go in minutes.
Here are a few more Thanksgiving recipes that you might enjoy…
- Brussels Sprout, Bacon & Kale Gratin
- One Pan Green Beans & Bacon
- The Best Cauliflower Mash
- Caramelized Leek, Fennel & Onion Gratin
- Hasselback Butternut Squash
- Sheet Pan Roasted Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprout & Bacon
If you make this recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!
Turkey & Cranberry Meatballs with Cranberry Orange Sauce
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 large shallot finely diced
- 1 pound ground Turkey
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup shredded apple
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
- 1/3 cup almond flour
- 1/2 tsp orange zest
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
Cranberry & Orange Sauce
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/2 tbsp honey or maple syrup*
- Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay 1 cup of cranberries out evenly. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes until they become shrivelled and slightly dried.
- Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add in the garlic and diced shallot and saute on for 8-10 minutes until the shallot has softened.
- In a bowl combine the remaining ingredients for the meatballs along with the sauteed shallot and garlic. Mix with your hands until completely combined. Add the oven baked cranberries in at the end so they stay intact and gently mix.
- Roll the mixture into approximately 20 small meatballs and place on a parchment paper lined baking tray. Bake in the oven for 18 minutes until slightly golden on top and cooked through.
- While the meatballs are baking, in a pot cook the cranberries, orange juice and honey on medium heat until the cranberries begin to pop. Transfer the cranberry sauce to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- Before serving brush each meatball with the cranberry sauce and sprinkle with parsley. Serve the remaining cranberry sauce in a bowl alongside the meatballs for dipping.
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These are delicious and moist! Mine aren’t as pretty as yours lol but good for a first attempt. Mine seemed more wet than your pics as I molded them. Maybe I should’ve added more almond flour? I made a double recipe.
So happy to hear that they tasted good! I would recommend adding a spoonful more almond flour if they are too moist or wetting your hands when rolling the balls so that they form properly. Adding extra almond flour won’t effect the flavour so it never hurts to add more if the texture doesn’t seem quite right for you.
I’m planning on trying this recipe, but I can’t use almond flour due to a nut allergy in the family. Would any other non-nut flour work? Could I use a rice flour instead? Or gluten free bread crumbs? Thanks!
yes definitely, because there isn’t a large amount of almond flour, you can substitute it for any other flour of your choice.
They are great but I think they need Orion or shallots in the mix? A little bland. I also may have used too much turkey. My package was one pound.. thanks
This my favorite in the world!!!!! I love ground turkey, cranberries and apples!!!! It’s like the fall in a perfect dish!!!!!
These were really moist and delicious; however, I personally would’ve preferred using dried cranberries instead of fresh. The fresh ones were a tad too tart for me. Would DEFINITELY make again though! So easy and full of flavor.
So delicious. All the flavors of the holidays that we love in one meal. Per my husband they will be good to make this summer when we want a lighter version of a holiday meal!
This was bland. I followed the recipe exactly. Typically I do not I always dpuble the seasonings but it is just sage and salt with shallots and garlic. I will have to rework this.