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Balsamic Cranberry Turkey Meatballs

Balsamic Cranberry Turkey Meatballs
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The following recipe and photography is courtesy of Graham R. and his dog, Carl. For more of their delicious food ventures, visit them on Instagram @cookingwithcarrrl.

This seasonal meatball appetizer is made with a type of turkey that doesn’t get much love: ground turkey. To ensure every last one is eaten, these meatballs are cooked in a balsamic cranberry sauce that will leave you feeling thankful that I’m a part of your life. The sauce is incredible and could even be used as a BBQ sauce. Cranberry ribs? Count me in!

Cranberry Balsamic Turkey Meatball Ingredients

I don’t know about you, but I am a sucker for any appetizer that features a meatball. These make the perfect small bite for any holiday get-together and they look stunning when plated. Toss them on a plate with a toothpick, freshly cut rosemary and cranberries, and you have a dish that looks like it came straight out of a magazine.

One ingredient I was thrilled to try in this recipe was Heinen’s brand new bread crumbs! Available in original and Italian, I opted for the Italian variety, which is bursting with flavor, making seasoning a breeze. Both are worthy of a spot in your pantry and meatballs!

Follow my bread crumb trail correctly and you’ll be in meatball paradise!

Balsamic Cranberry Turkey Meatballs

Balsamic Cranberry Turkey Meatballs


For the Turkey Meatballs

  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup Heinen’s Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 Heinen’s cage-free egg
  • 2 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. orange zest
  • 2 tsp. rosemary
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika

For the Balsamic Cranberry Sauce

  • 1 can cranberry sauce
  • Juice of ½ orange
  • 1/4 cup Heinen’s chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup Heinen’s balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. Heinen’s honey
  • 1 tsp. sriracha
  • 2 tsp. rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch


  1. Preheat the oven to 425˚F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the meatball ingredients, except for the turkey. Mix well, then add the turkey and mix with your hands. Do not over mix.
  3. Roll the turkey mixture into golf ball-sized meatballs and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.
  4. While the meatballs are cooking, prepare the cranberry sauce. Combine everything but the corn starch into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil for 3 minutes, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Combine the cornstarch and two tsp. of water in a small bowl. Add this to the cranberry mixture and stir until thickened.
  6. When the meatballs are done cooking, add them to the sauce and simmer for 10 minutes. Coat the meatballs in the sauce and stir every few minutes.
  7. Serve with toothpicks and garnish with fresh cranberries and rosemary. Enjoy!

Cranberry Balsamic Turkey Meatballs

Graham Russell

By Graham Russell

Graham Russell is half of the outdoor cooking duo behind CookingWithCarrrl. A true pairing of Beauty (Carl) & the Beast (Graham) – CookingWithCarrrl combines humor with easy-to-follow charcoal grilled/smoked recipes that the family will be sure to devour. Cooking with charcoal can be intimidating, but we are here to show you any dog can learn a new trick. Graham currently resides in Northeast, Ohio with his wife, two daughters, and dog, Carl.

Recent Reviews

  1. What a great recipe and flavor profile. I made these gluten free by substituting gluten free panko bread crumbs and coconut amino acids instead of soy sauce. For the meatballs, I also added feta cheese and goat cheese and a couple of tablespoons of melted butter to make sure that the meatballs were not dry. I also added fresh sage and parsley.

    For the sauce I used fresh cranberries and made the sauce with orange juice and fresh orange zest.

    I tried to replicate a Thanksgiving dish in one crock pot (for serving) and it turned out great. It was raved by everyone. Thank you for the recipe!

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