Healthy Baked Turkey Meatballs in Cranberry Sauce


Healthy Baked Turkey Meatballs in Cranberry Sauce – an easy recipe for the best meatballs with lean ground turkey glazed with a refined sugar-free paleo cranberry sauce! No breadcrumbs needed for this simple gluten-free recipe. 

Healthy Baked Turkey Meatballs with Cranberry Sauce – an easy fall comfort food dinner! 

Craving Thanksgiving flavors? Here is a healthy recipe for baked turkey meatballs in paleo cranberry sauce that will give you the holiday feels without weighing you down!  

While traditional meatball recipes usually call for a mix of different minced meats, this turkey meatball recipe used ground turkey only. You can absolutely use another lean meat. I have actually successfully made this recipe with beef, wild boar and bison

These Baked Turkey Meatballs are my keeper for when I’m craving simple healthy comfort food that won’t take me ages. 

So what’s in these healthy turkey meatballs? Well, ground turkey, which is wonderful low-fat source of protein. I also mix in chopped soaked chopped cranberries for bursts of juicy tart flavor and some festive holiday spices.

side view of a plate of healthy baked turkey meatballs smothered in paleo cranberry sauce

How to make Healthy Baked Turkey Meatballs: 

SO simple. You soak some dried cranberries, chop them up and mix them with your turkey and spices. DONE! You can prepare that mix ahead of time and chill it in the fridge. 

Now, roll the meatballs and bake them for 20 minutes or until they reach 159 – 160F internal temperature. 

healthy paleo cranberry glazed baked turkey meatballs on a small brown plate

How to make Paleo Cranberry Sauce: 

This is my go-to recipe for making a simple homemade refined sugar-free Paleo Cranberry Sauce.

  • 3 cups whole cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 3/4 cups orange juice – freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  1. Add the fresh cranberries, orange juice, and coconut palm sugar to a medium saucepan and bring the ingredients to a boil.
  2. Lower the heat to a low simmer and let the sauce reduce for 5-10 minutes, scraping the sides of the pan with a spatula once in a while. 
  3. Turn off the heat and stir in the spiced and orange zest. Allow the sauce to cool or use straight away.

close-up of a plate of paleo cranberry glazed turkey meatballs

What to serve with Healthy Baked Turkey Meatballs: 

While the turkey meatballs bake, you can prep anything you’d like to serve with them.

  • Cauliflower rice or cauliflower mash. 
  • Zucchini Noodles 
  • A simple green salad
  • Mashed potatoes 

 

Tips for making Healthy Baked Turkey Meatballs: 

  • Make sure to not overbake the meatballs. I always start taking the internal temperature after about 18 to 20 minutes. 
  • You can make Paleo Cranberry Sauce yourself (see recipe above) or use store-bought. It will most likely have some sugar added. 
  • As with the cranberry sauce, I make my own paleo bbq sauce using this recipe but you can use store-bought sugar-free bbq sauce instead. 
  • Unfortunately, unsweetened dried cranberries are sometimes a bit hard to find. But you can go ahead and quickly bake fresh ones in the oven to dry them out.  Toss fresh cranberries in some olive oil and bake them in a 350 F hot oven until they are soft and slightly dried. This should take about 20 minutes. 

Did you make and love this healthy baked turkey meatballs recipe? Give it your review below! And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram!

Healthy Baked Turkey Meatballs with Cranberry Sauce (Paleo)

These healthy Baked Turkey meatballs feature all of the flavors of Thanksgiving dinner, combined into one bite-sized mouthful of deliciousness.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Canadian
Keyword baked turkey meatballs, healthy cranberry meatballs, healthy turkey meatballs
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 3
Calories 300 kcal
Author Kiki Johnson

Ingredients

or the meatballs

  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries 40 g
  • 1/2 cup red wine or orange juice
  • 1 pound lean turkey mince or lean beef or bison 500 g
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp chili powder optional
  • 1 tbsp black pepper

For the sauce

  • 1/4 cup organic red wine 60 ml
  • 1/4 cup healthy bbq sauce no or low sugar, 60 ml
  • 1 cup sugar-free cranberry sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce low sodium or coconut aminos

Instructions

  1.  Let the cranberries soak in the red wine overnight in the fridge or for at least 6 h at room temperature. The next day, take them out of the liquid and let drain in a sieve but do not discard the liquid.

  2. In a bowl, mix cranberries, minced turkey, salt and ground spices. Preheat the oven to 375 F.

  3. Form meatballs using 1 tbsp meat for each meatball. Add to a casserole and bake for 20 - 30 minutes or until they reach an inside temperature of 70 C or 158 F. 

  4. In a medium-sized pot mix all ingredients for the cranberry sauce and also add the soaking liquid from the cranberries. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a slow simmer. Let the sauce simmer for about 5 minutes until it reaches a thick consistency.
  5. Add the baked meatballs to the cranberry sauce and stir to cover them with the glaze. Put the lid on and let quickly come to a simmer. Serve over cauliflower rice.

Recipe Notes

  • Make sure to not overbake the meatballs. I always start taking the internal temperature after about 18 to 20 minutes. 
  • You can make Paleo Cranberry Sauce yourself (see recipe above) or use store-bought. It will most likely have some sugar added. 
  • As with the cranberry sauce, I make my own paleo bbq sauce using this recipe but you can use store-bought sugar-free bbq sauce instead. 
  • Unfortunately, unsweetened dried cranberries are sometimes a bit hard to find. But you can go ahead and quickly bake fresh ones in the oven to dry them out.  Toss fresh cranberries in some olive oil and bake them in a 350 F hot oven until they are soft and slightly dried. This should take about 20 minutes. 

Pinterest Graphic turkey meatballs


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