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Herbed Turkey Meatballs recipe Perfect holiday recipe for Herbed Turkey Meatballs with a Barbecue Cranberry Sauce. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, as I’m sure it is to many others. There’s just something so comforting about being surrounded by loved ones, reflecting over the year and truly thinking about what you’re thankful and grateful for and last but certainly not least the food. Ultimate comfort food. While the traditional dishes are absolutely wonderful, I totally get that not everyone wants to go through the task of roasting a whole turkey, or even a whole turkey breast. So this year why not think a little outside the box and make these turkey meatballs instead?! What’s so awesome about turkey meatballs? Not too much I guess…but paired with this cranberry barbecue sauce and BOOM. You get something totally different and awesome! You still get the sweet and tangy flavors of cranberry sauce with the depth and flavor of a smoky barbecue sauce.

Okay, so maybe it’s a little extreme ask people to replace the roasted turkey on thanksgiving or to think that meatballs are a sufficient equivalent to a beautifully roasted turkey, BUT wouldn’t this make a great holiday party hors’dourves? Just a thought. Enjoy!
xx Jenny

Herbed Turkey Meatballs with a Cranberry Barbecue Sauce

Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Servings: 4



  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • cup oats
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sage, minced
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, minced
  • 1 tablespoon thyme, minced
  • 1 tablespoons chives, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste

cranberry bbq sauce

  • 12 ounces cranberries
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon


  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Place all ingredients for the turkey meatballs in a large mixing bowl and mix together until just combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Take two tablespoons of the mixture and form into a meatball. Place onto a lightly greased baking sheet and repeat until all of the turkey mixture has been used.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned and completely cooked through.
  • For the sauce: Place first six ingredients into a saucepan and stir. Bring the mixture to a simmer, over medium to medium-low heat.
  • Once the cranberries begin to macerate, about 10 minutes, stir in the remaining ingredients.
  • Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce has thickened and reduced by ⅓. Serve with meatballs.


  • *Makes 16-20 Meatballs
  • **Note: Sometimes I like to saute 1/2 yellow onion (diced), a clove of garlic (minced), 1 tablespoon thyme (minced) and 1/4 cup dried cranberries to the bbq sauce before adding the fresh cranberries, sugars etc. It makes this spicy/tangy sauce even more hearty and savory!
Calories: 410kcal Carbohydrates: 66g Protein: 30g Fat: 4g Saturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 103mg Sodium: 537mg Potassium: 1003mg Fiber: 6g Sugar: 49g Vitamin A: 861IU Vitamin C: 33mg Calcium: 122mg Iron: 4mg


  1. Anastasio Bieberhausen Not Specified Not Specified

    OH, WOW!

    Instant XMas Mood!
    …need it right now!

  2. cindy Not Specified Not Specified

    yum! I made some cranberry sauce for turkey burgers w/ goat cheese last night…I am totally going to make the leftovers into this barbeque sauce!

  3. Bev Weidner Not Specified Not Specified

    I’ll make them for the holidays. And for next week. And tonight. And right now.

  4. movita beaucoup Not Specified Not Specified

    I’m in Canada, so we’ve already had our Thanksgiving. In order to pay tribute to my American friends, I’m thinking I should make these turkey meatballs. And eat them all by myself. In a closet.

  5. Jacquelyn | lark+linen Not Specified Not Specified

    this just put me over the edge. I’ve left hunger mode and am now in starvation mode – they look (and sound) SO good!

  6. nicole {sweet peony} Not Specified Not Specified

    you know, i was never a meatball girl but now i kinda dig them. i think these would be awesome as a cocktail meatballs too… to get everyone’s tummies ready for the real deal :)

  7. Sarah Heat Not Specified Not Specified

    I love your party food series! So fun.
    I’m totally making these.

  8. Alexandra Not Specified Not Specified

    Now I’m hungry! These look delicious and Im definitely going to making these soon :)

  9. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar Not Specified Not Specified

    What an awesome appetizer! Love that sauce.

  10. Christin Not Specified Not Specified

    You have so many aweaome flavors going on in that Cranberry BBQ sauce! This is going to the top of my “To Make” list.

  11. Sofie Dittmann Not Specified Not Specified

    these look DIVINE. thanks for the tip!

  12. Lori Not Specified Not Specified

    Making this now!