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Turkey Cranberry Meatballs with Cranberry, Orange and Maple Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com
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5 from 1 vote

Turkey Cranberry Meatballs with Cranberry, Orange and Maple Glaze

Perfectly moist, cheese-y meatballs studded with dried cranberries and topped with a tangy cranberry, orange and maple glaze. The perfect appetizer or main dish for entertaining!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 18 meatballs


For the meatballs:

  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot, peeled and minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup panko (or breadcrumbs)
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fennel pollen
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

For the glaze:

  • 3 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Zest of one orange
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons butter


  • Place dried cranberries in a small bowl and cover with warm water. Let sit for 10-15 minutes, until cranberries become plump. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Add the olive oil to a small saute pan over medium heat. Once olive oil is heated, add the shallot and garlic, and saute for about 3 minutes, or until mixture becomes fragrant. Remove from heat.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground turkey, milk, egg, Parmesan, panko, ricotta, thyme, fennel pollen, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Drain the cranberries from their water and add them as well, stirring the whole mixture until all ingredients are well combined. 
  • Coat a large baking dish (I used one that was 8 ½” x 12”) with nonstick cooking spray. Take approximately 1/3 cups’ worth of the meatball mixture at a time and mold it into a ball. Place in baking dish and repeat with rest of mixture. It’s okay if you have to pack them in tight to fit them all.
  • Bake meatballs in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. 
  • In the meantime, start making your glaze. Combine all glaze ingredients in a medium saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and cook until cranberries break down and a loose glaze forms. 
  • When time is up for the meatballs, remove them from the oven and turn it down to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. If the glaze isn’t quite ready yet, just leave the meatballs out until it is (it shouldn’t be too long.)
  • When the glaze is ready, pour it over the meatballs and return them to the now 325 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through. Serve warm.