One Pot Turkey Cranberry Meatballs
Appetizers, Recipes

One Pot Cranberry Turkey Meatballs


This one pot, gluten-free recipe is the Thanksgiving appetizer you never knew you need!


The Perfect Holiday Appetizer 

Say hello to the perfect holiday recipe! Whether you’re using leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving or just looking for a new dish, this One Pot Cranberry Turkey Meatball recipe is calling your name. Not only is this recipe delicious, but it comes together in a snap! I love this gluten-free recipe because everything cooks in one pot, making the clean up a breeze. Also, making meatballs is a great way to use up any leftovers that you have, while also creating a new dish.

An Appetizer Everyone Will Love 

Whether you’re serving these meatballs for Thanksgiving or Christmas, they’re sure to be a fan favorite! If you’re like my family, then holidays usually consist of the same staples. Whether it’s starting with a charcuterie board or waiting all day for the big meal, eating the same things each holiday can get repetitive.

These meatballs are a great way to change them up! Not only are they moist and delicious, but they’re also so easy to make. If you’re looking for a way to get children involved in the kitchen (or just keep them busy while you cook), have them help with this recipe. The little ones will love being able to mash cranberries and roll the ground turkey into balls. It’s a win-win for everyone!

Let’s Eat!

This is by far my favorite meatball recipe to date. If you’re not careful, meatballs tend to get dry, no matter how much sauce you cover them in. By allowing these meatballs to sit in the cranberry sauce on medium-low heat, they’re able to absorb so much delicious flavor and stay moist.


Meatballs have never tasted so good!
Meatballs have never tasted so good

The Sauce

The unique thing about this sauce is that it’s made with both canned and whole cranberries. The real secret ingredient though is orange juice. Orange juice gives this sauce a zesty flavor that is not only addicting but also keeps the meatballs nice and moist.

Start by adding one can of cranberry sauce to a medium-sized saucepan with two cups of orange juice and a dash of cinnamon. Cook the sauce over medium heat for about ten minutes before adding the whole cranberries. Then, cover and allow the sauce to simmer over medium-low heat for 15 minutes.

Finally, use a potato masher or immersion blender to puree the sauce. Then, remove from heat and allow it to cool.

The Meatballs

The best part about these meatballs is that you just add them into the saucepan with the cranberry sauce!

Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and use your hands to knead together. Roll the turkey meatballs, then place in the cranberry sauce. Once all of the meatballs have been added, cover and cook the meatballs on medium-low heat for 15 minutes.

Finally, garnish with parsley and enjoy!

One Pot Cranberry Turkey Meatballs

Recipe by Arianna NegriCourse: AppetizersDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



This gluten-free recipe is just what you need this holiday season!


  • For the Cranberry Sauce
  • 1 can cranberry sauce

  • 2 cups orange juice, no pulp

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 cup fresh cranberries

  • For the Turkey Meatballs
  • ½ white onion, diced

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

  • 1 pound ground turkey

  • 1 teaspoon orange juice

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs

  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, diced

  • Fresh parsley for garnish


  • For the Cranberry Sauce
  • Cook over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, occasionally stirring
  • Next, add 1 cup fresh cranberries and the other cup of orange juice
  • Cover and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes
  • After 15 minutes, mash the cranberries to break down and thicken the sauce
  • Turn the heat to low and cover again while you make the meatballs
  • For the Turkey Meatballs
  • Cook over medium heat until translucent, about 5-7 minutes
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes
  • Once cooled, add to a large bowl with the ground turkey
  • Add the orange juice then season with black pepper, salt, and garlic powder
  • Next, add the breadcrumbs and rosemary
  • Use your hands to thoroughly combine the ingredients
  • After, make 1” thick meatballs
  • Then, place the meatballs in the cranberry sauce
  • Turn the heat to medium-low and cover
  • Cook the meatballs in the cranberry sauce for 15 minutes
  • After 15 minutes, rotate the meatballs and spoon the sauce over the meatballs
  • Cook for another 10 minutes on low heat
  • After 10 minutes, garnish with fresh parsley
  • Serve warm with a side of the cranberry sauce

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