Cranberry & Apple Turkey Meatballs

Monday, 14 October 2019

This was the Thanksgiving weekend back in Canada.  I can never celebrate it properly at the right time of year because it is impossible to get a whole turkey without paying an arm and a leg for it at this time of year, if you can get one at all.  A month makes all the difference in the world.  Were it November, I would be able to get one quite easily.

I suppose what I should do is buy an extra one at Christmas or Easter and have it in the freezer, but I never think to do that!

You can get all kinds of other turkey bits all throughout the year. Turkey steaks, Turkey cubes.  Turkey breast fillets, ground turkey  . . .  just no whole turkeys.

I quite like turkey myself and enjoy it in any way shape or form.

In any case I made us these delicious Cranberry & Apple Turkey Meatballs, instead of a roast turkey and we enjoyed them.

All the flavours of Thanksgiving in a bite sized meat ball . . . moist and tender  . . .

I added grated raw apple and chopped dried cranberries to the meat mixture, along with some garlic and onion powder, a bit of seasoning and some dried sage . . .

There is an egg and dried bread crumbs as well to bind everything together.  You shape this mixture into balls and then bake them in a hot oven for about 12 to 15 minutes.  Easy peasy.

While they are baking you make a simple and delicious sauce to pour over them.

It also uses simple ingredients.  Cranberry sauce.  I like the whole berry sauce  . . .

A bit of unsweetened applesauce  . . .  some Balsamic vinegar for a tang . . .  orange juice, maple syrup and some finely grated orange zest  . . .

The sauce is so delicious you will want to eat it with a spoon, but please don't!  You need it for the meatballs!

Together these are incredibly delicious. You can make them ahead of time and keep them warm in a slow cooker on low for several hours.  You decide.

Yield: Makes about 2 dozen

Cranberry & Apple Turkey Meatballs

Cranberry & Apple Turkey Meatballs

Sweet and tangy, deliciously moist meatballs. These low fat meatballs make a great main course or a delightful appetiser or nibble.


For the meatballs:
  • 1 pound of lean ground turkey
  • 45g dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1 tart apple, peeled and grated
  • 60g dry bread crumbs (1/2 cup)
  • 1 large free range egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp each onion granules and dried sage
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
For the sauce:
  • 280g whole berry cranberry sauce (1 cup)
  • 2 dessert spoons of unsweetened applesauce (1/4 cup)
  • 2 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • 2 TBS pure maple syrup
  • 1 TBS orange juice
  • the finely grated zest of one orange


How to cook Cranberry & Apple Turkey Meatballs

  1. Preheat the oven to 220*C/425*F/ gas mark 7.  Line a baking tray with baking paper and lightly oil the paper.
  2. Mix the ground turkey together with the bread crumbs, egg, all of the seasonings and spices, the grated apple and the chopped dried cranberries, until well combined.  Shape into meatballs using a light touch.  Try not to compact them too much.  Place them into a single layer on the baking sheet.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. The juices should run clear.
  4. While the meatballs are cooking make the sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a saucepan, whisking until heated through and well combined.  Add the cooked meatballs, turning to coat them in the sauce. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with some chopped parsley if desired.  Serve hot.


You can keep these warm in a slow cooker set on low setting.
Created using The Recipes Generator

These are great as a nibble during the holiday season when people do a lot of entertaining. Today we enjoyed them as a main course.  They are pretty tasty no matter how you choose to enjoy them! 

Up tomorrow: The steak rub I promised for today.  (In all truth my turkey was due to expire and I needed to use it pronto!) 

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