Turkey Cranberry Bourbon Meatballs – #Thanksgiving Appetizer

Turkey Cranberry Bourbon Meatballs: mini homemade turkey meatballs, sauteed in zesty cranberry-bourbon sauce is a perfect appetizer for #Thanksgiving party.

 These can be made 2-3 days in advance and simply heat and serve on the day of the event.

Turkey Cranberry Bourbon Meatballs

Turkey Cranberry Bourbon Meatballs

Thanksgiving is around the corner and these Turkey Cranberry Bourbon Meatballs are a perfect bite-size nosh for your parties.

The meatballs are extremely juicy, delicious, and filled with your favorite Holiday flavors.

I always get asked a lot about quick appetizers and I feel meatballs are just such a versatile dish.

They go from appetizer to full-on entree dish in minutes.

Hence, every festive season, I always make tons of mini meatballs (depending on the occasion I use chicken, turkey or even veggies) and freeze them for later use. 

Turkey Cranberry Bourbon Meatballs Ingredients

For Turkey Meatballs

  • Ground Turkey
  • Egg
  • Breadcrumbs – use glutenfree if need be
  • Onion – thinly chopped
  • Ginger Paste
  • Garlic Paste
  • Cilantro for Garnish
  • Oil

Sauce Ingredients:

  • Bourbon
  • Onion – thinly chopped
  • Orange Juice – fresh or store-bought
  • Orange Zest – optional
  • Fresh Cranberries – deseeded & chopped (you may use frozen too)
  • Hot Sauce – use as per choice
  • Pinch of Cinnamon
  • Ginger Powder
  • Salt – as per choice
  • Pepper


As our parties approach and depending on everyone’s demand, I make a fresh sauce and these meatballs.

Just thinking about all these ingredients together makes me hungry!!!


So, all I did was combine all the above ingredients together and create this absolutely luscious ‘Cranberry-Bourbon Sauce’!!

I so wanted to call it a ‘Zesty Cranberry Orange Bourbon Sauce’ but then that’s quite a mouthful and just gives away all the flavors.


Instead, keep the name simple and let the flavors do most of the talking 🙂

The moment you bit into these Turkey Cranberry Bourbon Meatballs, the zesty, warm, and kinda spicy-sweet flavors wake up your taste buds.

Definitely leaving you CRAVING more and more.





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Turkey Cranberry Bourbon Meatballs: #meatballs #cranberry #turkey #bourbon #thanksgiving



Yield: 10 people

Turkey Cranberry Bourbon Meatballs


mini homemade turkey meatballs, sauteed in zesty cranberry-bourbon sauce is a perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving party.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


For Turkey Meatballs

  • 1 lb Ground Turkey
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 Cup Breadcrumbs - use glutenfree if need be
  • 1 Large Onion - thinly chopped
  • 1 Tsp Ginger Paste
  • 1 Tsp Garlic Paste
  • Cilantro for Garnish
  • 4 Tbsp Oil

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1/4 Cup Bourbon
  • 1 Onion - thinly chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Orange Juice - fresh or store-bought
  • 1 Tsp Orange Zest - optional
  • 3 Tbsp Fresh Cranberries - deseeded & chopped (you may use frozen too)
  • 1 Tbsp Hot Sauce - use as per choice
  • Pinch of Cinnamon
  • 1/8 Tsp Ginger Powder
  • Salt - as per choice
  • 1/2 Tsp Pepper


Make the Meatballs:

  1. In a large bowl, add the meatball ingredients and mix evenly to form a smooth dough.
  2. Make 30 small balls (or depending on the size you want to make) and then keep them aside.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large non-stick pan.
  4. Now, add the meatballs and evenly cook on both sides (it takes 3 minutes to cook 10 balls over medium heat).
  5. Follow the step above till all meatballs are cooked and place the cooked meatballs separately.

Make the Cranberry Bourbon Sauce:

  1. In the same pan, heat the remaining oil.
  2. Now add chopped onion and saute till golden brown.
  3. Add cranberries, cinnamon, ginger, and saute for a minute.
  4. Now add all the remaining ingredients (except bourbon), saute, and cover cook the sauce for 4 minutes (or till the sauce starts to thicken).
  5. Remove the cover and add the bourbon.
  6. Now add the cooked turkey meatballs and saute everything lightly.
  7. Let this cook for 5 minutes over low heat.
  8. Once the sauce is thickened nicely and coated the meatballs, turn off the heat.
  9. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle cilantro on top.
  10. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 227Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 199mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 13g


2 Replies to "Turkey Cranberry Bourbon Meatballs - #Thanksgiving Appetizer"

  • Sanj November 16, 2018 (5:02 pm)

    That color looks amazing and they are so juicy.

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