Thanksgiving Turkey Meatballs

Have you started planning your Thanksgiving menu? Whether you are hosting or bringing a dish as a guest, you definitely want to consider adding these Thanksgiving Turkey Meatballs to the mix!

I don’t know about you, but my kids are not huge fans of the big turkey. They may take a few bites, but it’s not something they’d ever ask me to make. Don’t get me wrong, we still have one, but I tend to buy a smaller turkey and compensate with this recipe that is so good, they have actually asked for more after dessert!

This recipe is full of lean protein, whole grains, fiber, veggies and good ranges for saturated fat and sodium. The sauce has great thanksgiving flavors like allspice and cranberry sauce and tangy from the tomatoes and lemon juice. Cranberries contain antioxidant properties and high levels of disease-fighting phenols. Be careful which cranberry sauce you pick up! Most of the common brands like Ocean Spray and store brands contain high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup. I use Pacific Organic Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce. You also want to make sure that the ground turkey you buy is anti-biotics free and hormone free.

80/20 sugar alert! If you’ve read my book, you know I follow an 80/20 rule where 80% of the time my family and I eat healthy and clean and 20% of the time, we allow ourselves to splurge. This dish as prepared falls into 20% due to its high sugar content. To make this fit more into the 80% rule of thumb, omit coconut palm sugar and raisins. It is still delicious and my kids still think it tastes sweet.

Bon Appetit!

Yield: 12 meatballs

[ingredients title=”Ingredients”]

  • 1 lb. ground turkey (anti-biotic & hormone free)
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 can whole berry cranberry sauce (preferably organic)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with onions & garlic (preferably organic)
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 package shredded cabbage (5 oz.)


[directions title=”Directions”]

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients into a bowl and mix to combine meat mixture.
  3. Form into meatballs and brown both sides on skillet lined with olive oil to hold shape.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the next 5 ingredients for the sauce.
  5. Line a casserole dish with shredded cabbage.
  6. Add browned meatballs on top of the shredded cabbage.
  7. Pour the sauce on top of the meatballs.
  8. Bake for 2 hours
  9. Slow cooker option: If you have time to wait, the slow cooker option is a great way to make sure all the flavors meld together. Line slow cooker with shredded cabbage, meatballs, then sauce and cook on low for 7 hours.


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