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Cranberry Turkey Meatballs

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Get ready to take your appetizer game to the next level with these Cranberry Turkey Meatballs. Everyone loves a little meatball dipped in sauce but these little babies take it to the next level.

We all love to serve cocktail meatballs for any gathering but these are the perfect ones to choose for your holiday get togethers! What makes them so festive is they are turkey but also coated in a delectable cranberry sauce with a touch of orange and ginger.

Now that we’ve introduced these tasty appetizers, let’s explore how you can add this festive dish to your holiday spread.

cranberry turkey meatballs on plate

A Healthier Twist on a Classic

While we’ve all enjoyed the classic crockpot meatballs with grape jelly since the ’80s, it’s high time we gave our appetizer repertoire a makeover.

These cranberry turkey meatballs offer a healthier twist, without compromising on taste. Ground turkey, with its unique texture, serves as an excellent replacement for ground beef in many recipes.

It’s got a different consistency that I love and it’s perfect for meatballs.

When using ground turkey you just need to season a little more and make sure you add eggs for moisture and bread crumbs to keep it all together.

3 cranberry turkey meatballs next to bowl with cranberry glaze

The Secret to Outstanding Flavor

I have to say these are the tastiest turkey meatballs you can make.

My secret is to add an extra egg so that they stay bouncy and moist but also to be generous with the seasoning!

I add a lot of garlic and also seasonal spices that will make these meatballs your favorite go-to for the Fall.

Crafting The Irresistible Sauce

The sauce accompanying these cranberry turkey meatballs is what makes them irresistibly festive yet incredibly easy to prepare.

All you need is a can of jellied cranberry sauce, 2 tablespoons of orange juice, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, and a couple of tablespoons of finely chopped fresh ginger.

Heat it up, and you’ve got yourself a wonderful dipping sauce. Could it get any simpler?

Preparing the Meatballs

Now, let’s get to the heart of this delicious recipe. To make these mouthwatering cranberry turkey meatballs, you’ll need:

ingredients to make cranberry turkey meatballs


  • 1 pound Ground Turkey
  • 2 Small Eggs (or 1 Extra-Large Egg)
  • 3 Cloves Minced Garlic
  • 1/2 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons Grated Romano or Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Fresh Minced Parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Fennel Seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 teaspoons Poultry Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper (or 4 Grinds of Fresh Pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil (for coating the pan)

Cranberry Dipping Sauce:

  • 1 Can Jellied Cranberry Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Orange Juice
  • 2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Finely Minced Fresh Ginger

Baking Instructions

  1. Start by lining a baking pan with parchment paper and coating it with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine ground turkey with all the ingredients listed above. Don’t be alarmed if it feels stickier compared to ground beef – just keep mixing until the breadcrumbs and ingredients are fully incorporated.
  3. Shape the mixture into small one-inch meatballs and place them on the olive oil-coated pan.
  4. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and generously coat the meatballs in the prepared cranberry sauce, then continue baking for an additional 10-15 minutes until they’re nicely browned.
  6. Serve immediately with extra sauce or transfer them to a small crockpot on the “keep warm” setting, ensuring the meatballs are completely covered with sauce.

And there you have it, an irresistibly delicious and festive appetizer that’s sure to be a hit at your next gathering – Cranberry Turkey Meatballs.

These meatballs are a healthier alternative to traditional beef meatballs, but they’re just as flavorful and satisfying.

The cranberry sauce, with its sweet and tangy notes, complements the savory meatballs perfectly, making every bite an explosion of flavor.

So, why wait? Start prepping, and let these meatballs steal the show at your holiday spread!

cranberry turkey meatballs

Wrapping Up the Feast

I’m sure that these little balls will be the hit of your Friendsgiving or any occasion you need to serve something that will surely please all your guests young and old.

These cranberry turkey meatballs would be perfect for your football get together or your Thanksgiving appetizers.

Whenever you choose to make these I’m guaranteeing these will surely be a hit and you will once again be able to shine that crown.

Enjoy and have a fabulous Fall with your friends and family.

Cranberry Turkey Meatballs

Perfect appetizer for your holiday soiree! Turkey meatballs with a wonderful cranberry orange ginger sauce. These little tasty morsels are the perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving or even a football day! Everyone loves a little meatball but these take a elevated twist with a tasty turkey meatball in a delicious dipping sauce!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Cranberry Orange Ginger Sauce 10 minutes
Course Appetizer
Servings 36


  • 1 Sauce Pan For Cranberry Sauce
  • 1 Sheet Parchment Paper For easy clean up


  • 1 LB Ground Turkey
  • 2 Small Eggs or 1 Ex Large Egg I used farm eggs so I added an extra egg
  • 3 Cloves Minced Garlic
  • 1/2 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 2 TB Grated Romano or Parm Cheese
  • 2 TB Fresh Minced Parsley
  • 1 Tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 1/2 Tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 Tsp Poultry Seasoning
  • 1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Pepper-or 4 Grinds of Fresh Pepper
  • 2 TB Olive Oil To coat pan

Cranberry Dipping Sauce

  • 1 Can Jellied Cranberry Sauce
  • 2 TB Orange Juice
  • 2 TB Brown Sugar
  • 2 TB Finely Minced Fresh Ginger


  • Place parchment paper on pan and coat with 2 TB olive oil
  • Mix ground turkey with all above ingredients and mix well – it will seem sticky compared to ground beef but just keep mixing and incorporating the panko and all the ingredients
  • Form into small one inch balls and place on olive oil coated pan
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes
  • Remove from oven and coat in prepared cranberry sauce then continue to bake for an additional 10-15 minutes
  • Serve immediately with additional sauce or place in crock pot to keep warm

Cranberry Orange Dipping Sauce

  • Add can of jellied cranberry sauce to small sauce pan
  • Add the 2 TB Orange Juice, Brown Sugar and finely chopped fresh ginger
  • Stir continuously for about 5 -8 minutes till it has melted to a nice saucy consistency
  • Using a basting brush you brush each meatball heavily with the sauce at the 15 minute mark and save the rest of the sauce to serve in a dipping bowl with the meatballs.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

More Fall Appetizer Favorites:

Apple & Maple Butternut Squash Crostini

Chickies In A Blanket

Turkey Cheeseball

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