DJ Foodielow-carb, low carb, sugar free, sugar-free, gluten-free, gluten free, primal, paleo

Cranberry BBQ Turkey Meatballs

Prep: 30 min | Cook: 30 min | Total: 1 hr | Servings:6


Cranberry BBQ Turkey Meatballs
Cranberry BBQ Turkey Meatballs
Cranberry BBQ Turkey Meatballs
This recipe stems from my mothers own quintessential holiday recipe. I remember as a kid, that she’d always cook up these sweet and sour meatballs and bring them along to the company holiday, picnic, gathering, etc. I don’t really know what it’s called, but she’d bring along a large rectangular electric wok-like pan. She’d fill it with her saucy meatballs and plug it in. She’d then plunk down a bunch of thick wooden toothpicks and wait for the meaty little orbs to heat back up!

I remember sitting next to the pan, bored and dreading the holiday company gathering, and I’d quietly eat all the meatballs, while no one was looking. To this day, I don’t really know what she did, but they were juicy and sweet! I’m assuming they were meatballs floating in a mixture of ketchup and grape jelly, but I cannot recall. Whatever they were, they were delicious!

My own version of this recipe tries to achieve a similar thing, a sweet and tart sauce, but rather than using a can of grape jelly, I’ve gone a slight step further, creating something like a sweet and smoky Cranberry BBQ Sauce. These, were also delicious!

The moment after I took these photos, I set the meatballs on the counter and quietly ate them all, while no one was looking.

I might suggest making a double batch, when you DO make these. Half for you and half for the party people.

Happy Holidays!

. .
Turkey MeatballsCaloriesFatProteinCarbsFiberSA'sNet Carbs
2 tbsp (28g)  fresh whole butter, softened2002200000
1 small (70g)  onion, peeled and finely diced28017106
4 each (12g)  garlic clove, minced16004004
1 lb (454g)  ground turkey67637790000
1 large (50g)  egg7256.5.5000.5
1 tbsp (2g)  fresh sage, chopped2.
salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste0000000
Cranberry BBQ SauceCaloriesFatProteinCarbsFiberSA'sNet Carbs
1 each (140g)  orange6900183015
12 oz (336g)  fresh cranberries155.780039.7115.27024.44
1 tbsp (2g)  fresh sage, chopped2.
1/2 cup (128g)  reduced sugar ketchup (Buy Now) 40008008
1/2 cup (119.5g)  sugar free maple syrup (Buy Now) 0000000
1/2 cup (119.5g)  apple cider vinegar (Buy Now) 0000000
2 tbsp (30g)  liquid smoke (Buy Now) 0000000
salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste0000000
Totals (of 6 Servings):1262.0264.24g86.62g78.05g19.83g0g58.22g
Per Serving:210.3410.71g14.44g13.01g3.31g0g9.7g *


  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 F.
  2. For the meatballs ...
  3. Sauté the onions and garlic, in butter, over medium-high heat. Add a little salt and pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes. A little brown color is fine. Once this is done, set aside.
  4. Mix together the turkey, egg, fresh sage, salt, pepper and onion mixture. Combine well with your hands.
  5. Roll small meatballs with your hands. 1/2 to 3/4 oz. per ball (about 15 to 20 grams).
  6. Set your meatballs on a greased tray and bake for about 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  7. For the sauce ...
  8. Use a zester or the fine side of a cheese grater to zest the outside of the orange (just remove the orange part, not the white part). Place the grated orange skin (zest) into a wide sauté pan.
  9. Juice the orange, removing the seeds, and add the juice to the pan.
  10. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until the cranberries begin to break down and the sauce thickens, about 30 minutes.
  11. Add your meatballs to the sauce and season with salt and pepper, to adjust seasoning.
  12. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Serve!

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* Learn More: More about this recipe and nutrition ...


I loved this barbeque sauce! Great idea! This will be a staple in the fridge from now on.  I dropped the OJ and substituted some water and OJ extract to make it a little less carbs. Thanks so much for the recipe. 

 Dee Gee  2/6/2018