Herbed Turkey Meatballs with Cranberry Sauce

Are your teeth aching from the sweets that abound this time of year?  (I know, I know, I’m partly to blame.)  Are you already missing the flavors of Thanksgiving, or maybe you still have some cranberry sauce without a purpose?  Or, maybe you are just looking for a quick and healthy weeknight meal?  This dish helps satisfy any or all of those problems!  I had leftover cranberry sauce, some celery and a variety of fresh herbs after Thanksgiving and they needed to be used quickly, so I decided to give these meatballs a try.

This is a pretty cool hybrid of meatballs, a classic comfort food, with the flavors of turkey day.  Served with some mashed potatoes and broccoli, this was a great dinner with the flavors of a holiday meal minus all the fuss.  As with many dishes including fresh herbs, you can adjust the herbs to suit your tastes and what you happen to have on hand.  I used a combination of fresh thyme, rosemary and parsley with a touch of dried oregano.  All three of us really enjoyed this dinner, and I think it will be a nice addition to the weeknight repertoire.

Side note: Today’s holiday giveaway is one of the few kitchen unitasker items I just can’t live without – a Whirley Pop!  Enter on the Facebook page (details will be posted before 7 am).

Herbed Turkey Meatballs with Cranberry Sauce
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1 tbsp. butter
1/3 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup celery, finely chopped
1 lb. ground turkey
1 cup bread crumbs (I used panko)
1 large egg
2 tsp. minced fresh thyme
2 tsp. minced fresh parsley
½ tsp. minced fresh rosemary
¼ tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. poultry seasoning*
½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
Cranberry sauce, for serving

Preheat the oven to 425° F and lightly grease a baking sheet, or line with parchment paper.  Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and celery and cook just until softened, about 4-5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the celery and onion, ground turkey, bread crumbs, egg, fresh and dried herbs, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper.  Mix together until well combined.  Form the mixture into evenly sized meatballs, about 1½ inches in diameter.  Place the meatballs, evenly spaced, on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake 10-15 minutes, until completely cooked through.  Serve warm with cranberry sauce on the side.

*I usually have a poultry seasoning blend on hand, but if you don’t, you can make your own with spices you may already have.

Source: Williams Sonoma via Pink Parsley

22 Responses

  1. I can never get enough turkey, mashed potatoes, and of course cranberry sauce!! I actually prefer it over gravy 😀


  2. Looks fantastic & I belive the taste is great too!

  3. i love the turkey and cranberry sauce combo! these meatballs look delish!

  4. I definitely need a recipe like this. I am having a sugar overload at home and trying to keep my kids away from all the cookies I’m making so I’ll have some left to share with my coworkers.

  5. These would be perfect for a “gobbler” meatball sandwich! I crave the flavors of Thanksgiving throughout the year, so this recipe is definitely bookmarked :).

  6. These meatballs look amazing! I recently started using ground turkey in my meatballs when I make meatballs and sauce. It’s much healthier and the flavor is great too. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Great idea! I love making turkey meatballs, but usually just follow my regular meatball recipe, substituting ground turkey for the ground beef. I’ll have to try it with these/some seasonings and with the cran sauce, since I usually just serve them with pasta/sauce…thank you!

  8. Neat dinner idea. Looks quite tasty. I am eying the cranberry sauce I have stashed in the freezer. 😉

  9. I love your recipe. I won’t be ready for more turkey for about a month though. And I love that you baked them.

  10. Wow, what a great recipe!

  11. I love ground turkey, and it looks like there is tons of flavor in this recipe. This would make an awesome New Years Eve snack. Thanks for sharing.

  12. This is such a great idea! I can’t wait to try it!

  13. Well, I’ve tried turkey burgers and liked them, so I’m sure this would be good too. Thanks for sharing. Suzanne

  14. Yum! I make a turkey burger with cranberry sauce that is very similar and it’s like Thanksgiving in a dish. So perfect 🙂

  15. These look great for dinner tonight. A question about the herbs though. We have a lot of parties this week and to buy those fresh herbs when most of them would go to waste would be sad. Do you think it would taste just as good if I used all dried herbs?

  16. Personally I love ground turkey for hamburgers or meatballs. They can get dry if you’re not careful, but a turkey meatball using this recipe would be divine!
    Lila Ferraro

  17. This sounds like such a great winter comfort food dinner!! Thanks for posting, Annie! 🙂

  18. This looks sooo good. Maybe I am missing thanksgiving a tad yet this is different enough to make without anyone else realizing. 🙂

  19. nevermind about my previous comment. I ended up using fresh parsley and dried everything else. They were still a-maz-ing. I served them exactly as you did, with mashed potatoes and steamed veggies and my 2 year old shovled everything into her mouth! It’s like Christmas dinner in a ball!!

  20. I saw this post today at 4pm and by 8pm my husband and I were enjoying this meal together! (I had other shopping and things to do in the mean-time, it did not take me 4 hours to prepare!) Thank you!

  21. oh man this totally reminds me of eating at ikea (which i LOVE doing)…meatballs with lingonberry sauce!

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