Cranberry-stuffed turkey meatballs

With bread stuffing in the meat mixture and a whole fresh cranberry nestled in the centre of each one, these turkey meatballs are one-bite turkey dinners.

All the familiar flavours are there, including fresh herbs from the garden, golden brown turkey, and a beautiful cranberry sauce for serving.

Here's how I made them:

2 tbsp butter
1/3 cup onion, small diced
1 1/4 cup bread, cut into small cubes
1 1/2 tsp fresh sage, chopped
1 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 lbs ground turkey
1 egg
1 340 g/12oz bag of fresh cranberries

While my oven preheated to 400 degrees (F), I melted my butter in a large skillet over medium/high heat. I added the onions and cooked them for a couple minutes until soft. Then I added the bread cubes, herbs, salt and pepper, and stirred gently for a few more minutes while everything got festive together, then removed the skillet from the heat.

I used the heels of a sandwich bread loaf for this simple stuffing mixture, fresh from the bag, and I cubed them a little smaller than I normally would for a turkey stuffing.

To a large mixing bowl, I added my turkey, egg, and stuffing mixture and used my hands to bring it all together. One at a time I formed the meatballs, pressing my thumb into the centre to make room for a fresh cranberry. With the cranberry tucked inside, I closed the opening and placed the meatballs on a parchment-lined baking sheet, ending up with about 30 meatballs.

The meatballs went in the preheated oven for 25 minutes to get all golden and lovely while I prepared my cranberry sauce. 

Here's how I made it:

the rest of the bag of cranberries
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
zest and juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup water

I brought all the ingredients to a boil in a large saucepan over medium/high heat. The heat was lowered to a simmer while the sauce thickened for another 5 to 6 minutes. That's it! Sweet and sour and lovely.

Perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas or a holiday potluck appetiser, or any time at all!

What do you like to make with ground turkey? Do you have an amazing cranberry sauce recipe? Leave a comment and share your links and holiday cooking ideas!


  1. i'm drooling here. for real!! that looks sooo yummy, and i can practically smell those off my screen. hahah. now where's that "special" latte? ox

  2. I use the recipe on the bag of cranberries, but substitute orange juice for the water. If I have a fresh orange on hand, I slice it into thin rounds (about 1/4"), cut each circle into quarters, and add that to the mixture while it's cooking...

  3. So excited you made these! Fab idea! So yummy!

  4. You are so creative Amy. I love to listen to your ideas before you make (...and blog them), this one is no exception... you're a food artist!

  5. Great phots Amy! Just to let you know you've won an award - go over and check it out

  6. Wow - are these ever unique and delicious looking! Too cool! And the photos are lovely and helpful. Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. I made these tonight and they were delicious! Yum, yum, yum! Thank you!

    1. Glad to hear it, Tessa! Thanks for trying my recipe :)

  8. Brilliant !!!! They are in the oven right now. Can't wait to taste them . One summer my college age son and I attempted to make every possible flavor turkey meatball that we could think of. Now I can add this one to our list.

  9. Hi Amy, so fun to wander onto your blog! I'm in your neck of the woods too. Seattle. Love BC! Especially Victoria which I don't think I could ever get enough of. :) Love your blog, so fun and fresh! These meatballs are fantastic! What a great idea. Looking forward to browsing more. Delicious Wishes, Karista

  10. Almost a year later. Here I am looking for things to do with my Thanksgiving leftovers. I took your idea and simply used the turkey and stuffing already made. Delicious. and Festive.