Turkey Sage Meatballs with Cranberry Glaze

Turkey Sage Meatballs with Cranberry Glaze 

This app is a shout out to the Queen Bird and her favorite Berry.  As AJ and I will be heading down to Connecticut to celebrate with the in-laws this year, we wanted to have a little get-together with some friends up in Boston.  Pavlov got it right…there is something about the flavors of the Thanksgiving spread that can help set a tone for a evening of gratitude and cheer.  Without having the time to commit to a full Turkey before we hit the road, this is an easy twist with flavor that speaks loud and clear.  This year, more so than ever, we have so much to be thankful for, as a nation and as a family.  From our family and health, to a roof over our head and new opportunities, even the waves of adversity that have given us greater perspective, compassion and drive.  I am filled with gratitude.  Serve these with Chestnut Fixing Stuffed Mushrooms, Kale Chips and a shot of Pumpkin Cheesecake. Gobble gobble!

Rich sage and ricotta give the mild meat aromatic, seasonal flavor

For the Meatball


  • 1 1/4 lbs ground turkey, 90% lean
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs, plain
  • 1/4 cup ricotta, (I use whole milk)
  • 1 egg, large
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs sage, chiffonade
  • 2+Tbs vegetable oil

For the Cranberry Glaze:

Cranberry glaze with tangerine zest


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 12oz cranberries, fresh if available
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp zest (orange or tangerine)
  • 2 Tbs ginger, minced and pressed
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne


  • Preheat oven to 325F
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all Turkey Meatball ingredients.  Mix gently with a fork until just incorporated.

  • Form meat mixture into 3/4″ balls and place on tray.  I like to use a small cookie or melon scoop to keep size consistent, insuring even cook time.  Once all the balls have been scooped, I will go back and roll them gently between my hands to create an even sphere.

  • On medium heat, add vegetable oil to a large skillet.  Gently add turkey meatballs in three batches, careful not to overcrowd.  Carefully turn with two forks to evenly brown on all sides.  Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through.

  • Meanwhile, combine the water, sugar, cranberries, salt, zest, ginger, and apple cider vinegar in a medium pot.   Simmer on medium heat for approximately 10-15 minutes until berries have all split open.  Off heat, stir in cayenne and adjust seasoning to taste.  Transfer mixture to a strainer over a large saute pan.   Press remaining juice thru with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.  Be sure to scrape the outside of the strainer to include the fine pulp.

  • Heat Cranberry Glaze and medium heat and allow to reduce and thicken.   The mixture should be the consistency of thick syrup.  Add the Turkey Meatballs to the Glaze, heating through and spooning the glaze over the top.  Transfer to a warm bowl.  You may want to spoon extra glaze on top or have a bowl on the side, ready for an extra dip.  Toothpicks are the perfect utensil for these little bites.

Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. This looks so good. I’m always looking for an appetizer, to hold off the vultures until dinner is set. Thank you

  2. How many meatballs does this recipe make? Does the oil go in the turkey mixture or in the pan for frying?

  3. Hi! I want to make these as an appetizer for Thanksgiving. Has anyone ever made them? Is the cranberry sauce bitter?

  4. Can you put these in the crock pot after you pan fry them and make the sauce, or does that turn them into a meat sauce?


  1. […] the taste of something as basic as, say, meatballs. Just in time for the months ahead, a batch of cranberry turkey meatballs wouldn’t hurt anyone. Plus, it’s a great way to keep off any extra pounds as the cold […]

  2. […] Turkey Sage Meatballs With Cranberry Glaze. Turkey that outdoes the bird. […]

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