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Finger Food

Sage and Cranberry Turkey Meatballs

December 15, 2018 (Last Updated: March 3, 2022) by Chris Collins

Deliciously golden on the outside and mouthwateringly juicy on the inside, these Sage and Cranberry Turkey Meatballs are the perfect appetizers which are absolutely bursting with flavour!

It’s always around this time of year you see turkey here there and e v e r y w h e r e. I mean what with Christmas just around the corner, it does makes sense. And don’t get me wrong, I love me some turkey, but I also love putting a spin on traditional food. Oh, hello Sage and Cranberry Turkey Meatballs!

Cranberry Turkey Meatballs with cocktail sticks

I was thinking the other day ‘dang it’s been a hot minute since I’ve whipped up some meatballs’ and with turkey on the mind, it got my brain ticking.

The product of such ticking was indeed these delicious turkey meatballs. Ya’ll, I’m telling you these are so freaking tasty. Turkey and cranberry is a combo we all know and love and when we add our good friend sage to the mix, things just get real intense.

They pretty much just taste like Christmas. It’s fab.

Before we take a look into what’s in these delicious bad boys, let’s see how easy they are to make.

How to make Cranberry Turkey Meatballs

  1. Mix together the filling, making sure you don’t overwork the meat.
  2. Grab a measuring tbsp and scoop out even amounts of the filling.
  3. Gently roll into a bitesized meatball.
  4. Bake or fry.

My personal preference is to bake, not only because it’s less hassle, but also because you tend to get a more even golden crust on the meatballs.

How to make Cranberry Turkey Meatballs - step by step photos

Turkey has a bad rep for being dry and/or bland and that’s something I was conscious of when creating this recipe.

To tackle the ‘bland’ aspect I’ve truly packed these meatballs with so many gorgeous flavours. From nutmeg, to sage and clementine and parsley, like I said earlier, these are essentially balls of delicious festivity.

How to stop turkey meatballs drying out

  1. Use breadcrumbs – Contrary to popular belief, using breadcrumbs in your meatballs actually locks in moisture and keeps them from drying out.
  2. Don’t over work the meat – When you’re rolling the meatballs, make sure you don’t over work it. Mix it just enough until the fillings are evenly distributed.
  3. Oil – I put a tbsp of olive in the meatballs to keep them lubricated, as turkey is quite a lean meat. I also give them a good spray before the go in the oven, just to ensure they come out golden brown, but not completely dried out.

And those are my 3 top tips for juicy meatballs!

Just look at those beauties 😍

Baked Cranberry Turkey Meatballs fresh out the oven

These cranberry turkey meatballs are PERFECT for parties. 

When I usually think of meatballs I just imagine spaghetti and meatballs, but we often forget how they make awesome finger food. Yup, these are delicious hot or cold!

How to serve turkey cranberry meatballs

I usually use toothpicks with a bit of fancy string or something. Yes, that’s a technical term 😂 … I was never very good at art..

Either way make sure you’ve got some cranberry sauce to go alongside!

And there we have it! Soft, juicy, golden and bursting with flavour, make sure you give these cranberry turkey meatballs a go at your next get together!

Turkey Meatballs dipping into spiced cranberry sauce

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How to make Cranberry Turkey Meatballs (Full Recipe & Video)

Sage and Cranberry Turkey Meatballs

Sage and Cranberry Turkey Meatballs

Deliciously golden on the outside and mouthwateringly juicy on the inside, these Sage and Cranberry Turkey Meatballs are the perfect appetizers which are absolutely bursting with flavour!!
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Servings (click & slide): 16
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Original
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Calories per serving: 66kcal

Ingredients (check list):

  • 1lb / 500g Ground Turkey (I use thigh because it tends to be more fatty and flavoursome, but could use breast)
  • 2 tbsp Dried Cranberries, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup / 35g Dried Breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Sage, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Parsley, finely diced
  • 1 medium Spring Onion, finely diced
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 clove of Garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil, plus extra for cooking
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • zest of 1/2 a small Clementine (or Orange)


  • Combine all of your ingredients in a suitably sized bowl, ensuring you don't overwork the meat.
  • Evenly split and roll into bitesized meatballs.

To Bake

  • Place on a lightly oiled tray and bake at 200c/390f for 15-20mins or until golden brown and piping hot in the centre. Give them a shake half way through to ensure they cook evenly.

To Fry

  • Drizzle a little oil in a suitably sized pan over medium heat. Add meatballs and fry for 12-15mins or until golden brown and piping hot through the centre. Give them a good shake every now and then to ensure they cook evenly.
  • Serve with toothpicks and cranberry sauce! Enjoy hot or cold.

Quick 1 min demo!


Top tips for rolling the best meatballs

1. Ensure they're evenly sized - I do this by scooping out 1 measuring tbsp worth of mixture and rolling after that. It's much more difficult to roll them even sized free-hand.
2. Make sure you don't end up with half the mixture on your hands - A nifty trick to stop the meat sticking to your hands is to run them under a tap just before you start rolling. Wash your hands that is, not the meatballs. Please don't wash them...
3. Don't overwork the meat! - Number 1 rule of rolling meatballs is to not overwork the meat. Mix it just enough so all the fillings are evenly distributed, otherwise they'll come out gritty and dry.

Your Private Notes:


Nutrition Facts
Sage and Cranberry Turkey Meatballs
Amount Per Serving (1 meatball)
Calories 66 Calories from Fat 31
% Daily Value*
Fat 3.41g5%
Saturated Fat 0.813g4%
Trans Fat 0.031g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.813g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.484g
Cholesterol 30mg10%
Sodium 177mg7%
Potassium 92mg3%
Carbohydrates 2.86g1%
Fiber 0.4g2%
Sugar 1.34g1%
Protein 6.23g12%
Vitamin A 200IU4%
Vitamin C 4.1mg5%
Calcium 20mg2%
Iron 0.5mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
Tried this recipe?Show me how you got on by tagging @dontgobaconmyheart_ on IG and #dontgobaconmyheart
Looking for more?You'll find plenty more delicious comfort food like this in my Debut Cookbook 'Comfy'

For another party appetizer/crowd pleaser be sure to check out my Cream Cheese and Onion Ball!

cream cheese ball coated in crispy fried onions on chopping board with biscuits and bread

If you loved the Cranberry Turkey Meatballs then be sure to Pin the recipe for later! Already made them or got a burning question? Give me a shout in the comments below and pick up your free ecookbook along the way!





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Recipe Rating


  • Reply
    November 10, 2020 at 1:07 am

    Can you make these ahead? What the recommendation for storing and then reheating? Thanks!!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      November 10, 2020 at 10:14 am

      They’re best made fresh as they tend to dry out a little as they rest. You could prep them to the point of cooking, tightly cover in the fridge, then cook as stated. You could also freeze, thaw in the fridge then cook as stated. If you want to completely cook them and reheat they’ll last 2-3days tightly covered in the fridge. Just reheat at 180C/356F until piping hot through the centre again. Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    November 13, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Mmm, these meatballs look delicious and so pretty! Just wish they were on my table right now ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      November 13, 2017 at 3:16 pm

      Thanks, Julia! They are SO moreish!!

  • Reply
    linda spiker
    November 13, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    5 stars
    Well if those aren’t the prettiest meatballs I have ever seen! Love the styling too. Great photos!

    • Reply
      November 13, 2017 at 2:19 pm

      Thanks so much for your kind words, Linda!

  • Reply
    November 13, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    5 stars
    Oh how beautiful! Such an elegant appetizer for the holidays with wonderful flavors. I would love to have these on my table.

    • Reply
      November 13, 2017 at 2:00 pm

      Thanks, Tara! Superb for the holidays, so glad you agree ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    November 13, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    OMG my fella would KILL for these! I’m gonna leave this page open when he gets home tonight & then count how long it takes him to ask me to make them for him ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Reply
      November 13, 2017 at 2:00 pm

      Haha amazing! Do let me know how he enjoys them ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    November 13, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    5 stars
    This looks so FAB!! I love cranberries!

    • Reply
      November 13, 2017 at 1:46 pm

      Thanks, Deanna! ๐Ÿ™‚