Shhh. Don’t tell the meatballs, but the sauce is the star of this recipe.
Cranberry Sauced Meatballs
- 1-1/2 cups cranberries*
- 1/2 cup water*
- 1/4 cup sugar*
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Hot sauce optional
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- 1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- Salt & pepper
To make the sauce:
Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan over high heat.
Stir occasionally until sugar is dissolved.
Add cranberries; stirring until it returns to boiling.
Reduce heat to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally until cranberries begin to burst, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat to cool.
Using an immersion blender, purée until the sauce is mainly smooth.
Add tomato paste, chili powder, and salt, stirring to combine over low heat.
If desired, add hot sauce for extra heat.
Remove from heat while waiting for meatballs.
To make the meatballs:
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Combine turkey, bread crumbs, egg, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl.
Stir or mix with your hands until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
Shape mixture into walnut-sized balls, and place on a greased, rimmed baking sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Add cooked meatballs to sauce, and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
Meatballs play a recurring role in my Tapas Monday menus. Why? Because I can change the meats (or veggies) that are the base of the meatballs and switch the spices used to season them and end up with very different dishes.
With Thanksgiving drawing near and cranberries available in the produce department (YAY!), I decided that it was time to make a meatball that could be served with cranberries at our weekly dinner for two.
While I could have taken the easy route and simply placed meatballs in cranberry sauce, I wanted the dish to have more depth. The sweet and tart of cranberry sauce wasn’t enough. Thus, there were the additions of tomato paste, chili powder, and hot sauce, which made a sauce that was rich and a bit spicy.
I served the first test batch of these meatballs on an early October Tapas Monday in our new home of Gulf Breeze, Florida. While it was in the upper 70s and humid as we dined on our patio, the meatballs provided the flavors of fall.
These meatballs made a fabulous part of a candlelit dinner for two, but they also could work quite nicely as an appetizer. Whether you’re seeking a way to get rid of leftover cranberry sauce or want a different snack for football watching, this meatball recipe is a great choice.
Once you’ve tried it you’ll soon discover that the cranberry sauce is the star of this recipe. Not that the meatballs aren’t tasty in their own right, but the sauce is key. In fact, you may want to double the amount of sauce, so that you can double coat each meatball.