Cranberry BBQ Turkey Meatballs

Looking for a holiday party appetizer? You found it! I went to a Friendsgiving-esque gathering last night and nobody had signed up to bring meat, but I didn’t have the time or energy to make a whole turkey. So this is the brain-child of that dilemma. These are savory and sweet and involve cranberries so they are pretty much the perfect addition to any holiday dinner. Try them and let me know what you think!



For the meatballs:

  • 3 pounds ground turkey
  • 1/2 c finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 c finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 c diced red onion
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp mineral salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • green onions for topping

For the sauce:

  • 1 16 oz. can jellied cranberry sauce
  • ~16 oz. of your favorite spicy BBQ sauce (I used Annie’s Organic Sweet & Spicy – the ingredients are squeaky clean!)
  • optional:
    • juice of half a lemon
    • pinch of salt
    • 1 tbsp coconut sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. After dicing red onion, celery, and parsley, add to a large bowl with the ground turkey.
  3. Add in eggs, breadcrumbs, salt, and spices. Mix it up!
  4. Roll the mixture into balls about 1 inch in diameter.
  5. Place the meatballs on a baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, depending on the size of yours.
  6. While the meatballs are in the oven, add the can of cranberry sauce and BBQ sauce to a crockpot on low. I started with equal amounts of both ingredients and continued adding barbecue sauce to taste.
  7. Add in the optional ingredients listed above or other spices to your sauce while it simmers. Use a whisk to mix while the cranberry jelly warms and breaks up.
  8. When your meatballs are cooked, let them cool so they don’t break easily, then add to the sauce in your crockpot.
  9. Keep warm until ready to serve.

And that’s it! I loved eating mine with fresh, crunchy green onions on top, but you do you!

Happy Thanksgiving, all.


Be well!

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