5-Ingredient Turkey Meatballs with Cranberry Sauce

Photo by: Michelle Dudash ©Scripps

Michelle Dudash, Scripps

’Tis the season for turkey and cranberries. So why not package them into one tasty bundle? When cooking ground turkey in meatballs or patties, the trick to a moist, flavorful result is using the lean variety, rather than extra lean, which contributes that needed additional bit of fat. While flaxseed functions as the binding agent, feel free to substitute an egg. And if you’re looking to upgrade from the cranberries, try lingonberry preserves — the sophisticated sister — available in well-stocked grocery stores.

These meatballs take less than 30 minutes to make from start to finish, and you’ll love them as an appetizer or as an entree. For dinner, I pair them with roasted broccoli or crispy Brussels sprouts with lemon. My 2-year-old loves running around the house with one of the meatballs skewered on a fork — not that I can say I recommend anyone doing that.

5-Ingredient Turkey Meatballs with Cranberry Sauce

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes; Cook Time: 8 minutes


1 pound ground turkey (93 percent lean)

1/4 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce, plus additional for serving

1 tablespoon flaxseed meal

1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning

1 1/2 teaspoons expeller-pressed canola or rice bran oil


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Using your fingers, combine the turkey, cranberry sauce, flaxseed meal and poultry seasoning in a bowl. Rub palms of hands and fingers lightly with oil and roll the mixture into about 20 meatballs, placing directly onto the prepared sheet pan. Do not overhandle. Sprinkle tops of meatballs with an additional pinch of salt, if desired.

Bake until cooked through, about 8 minutes. Or, for better browning, bake for 6 minutes, then broil on high heat on the top rack until the tops begin to brown, about 2 minutes. Serve with cranberry sauce.

Cook’s notes: To avoid overhandling, use a small ice cream scoop (#40, 50 or 60 size), if you have one, to portion the meatballs. Nutritional analysis includes 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Per serving: Calories 200; Fat 9 g (Saturated 2 g); Cholesterol 65 mg; Sodium 230 mg; Carbohydrate 7 g; Fiber 1 g; Protein 22 g; Vitamin A 0% DV; Calcium 0% DV; Vitamin C 0% DV; Iron 10% DV

Need help with your Thanksgiving prep?

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Michelle Dudash is a registered dietitian nutritionist, Cordon Bleu-certified chef consultant and the author of Clean Eating for Busy Families: Get Meals on the Table in Minutes with Simple and Satisfying Whole-Foods Recipes You and Your Kids Will Love.

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