These savory and slightly sweet Turkey Cranberry Meatballs are a festive American take on Swedish Meatballs with gravy! They are gluten-free and dairy-free.
Note that this recipe uses only 11 ingredients in total -- some ingredients are listed twice in different categories.
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cashew milk
- 1/4 cup onion, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons dried cranberries, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons rubbed sage
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup butter (I used dairy-free)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons tapioca starch
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cashew milk
- If pan-frying the meatballs: 1-2 tablespoons butter for frying
- Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves to garnish
- extra dried cranberries to garnish
- Preheat the oven (if baking): If baking the meatballs, Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (215 degrees C).
- Make the meatball mixture: Mix all meatball ingredients and meatball spices together in a medium mixing bowl with your hands, until well-mixed.
- Roll into balls: Roll the meatball mixture into 1-inch balls (or 1 1/2 inch balls if baking -- about the size of a ping-pong ball) and place on a baking sheet.
- If Baking: Bake for 15-20 minutes or until firm when pressed.
- If Pan-Frying: Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of butter and push it around with a spatula to evenly coat the pan. Start by searing the meatballs on the outsides as evenly as possible by browning a new side every 2-3 minutes. I do this in two batches so there is room to roll the meatballs around. Once seared, drop the heat to medium and continue to roll them around every 2-3 minutes to cook through. Cook until the meatballs are firm when pressed and a meat thermometer shows a temperature of 165 degrees F (74 degrees C) in the center of a meatball. When finished cooking, place the meatballs on a clean plate or baking sheet and set aside.
Note: If you have a hard time reaching this temperature, add a cover and drop the heat to medium-low to allow them to cook through without burning on the outsides.
- Make the gravy: Melt coconut butter in a large skillet on medium heat. Add spices and tapioca starch, mixing until smooth (without clumps) with a spatula or whisk. Add broth in ~¼ cup increments and stir briskly or whisk well with each addition to make smooth. Add cashew milk in the same fashion. Bring to a low boil for 3-5 minutes to thicken. Add extra broth as needed to get your desired gravy consistency.
- Putting it together: Place the cooked meatballs in gravy. Push them around gently to get them nice and saucy! For a little extra flavor, simmer together for 5 minutes before removing from heat. Garnish with extra dried cranberries and parsley (optional). Then serve and enjoy!
Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
- Panko (or gluten-free panko) - instead of instant mashed potato flakes, you can use regular or gluten-free panko in equal amount.
- Vegetarian - the lean ground turkey can be replaced with a plant-based ground meat substitute to make this recipe vegetarian.
This recipe is naturally gluten-free and dairy-free!
If pan-frying, use a meat thermometer. Not only does cooking the meatballs through to 165 degrees F (75 C) make the meat safe to eat, it also helps to prevent overcooking so the meatballs stay nice and juicy on the inside!
Mind the meatball size. If pan-frying, make 1-inch meatballs. If baking, you can make larger meatballs -- about 1 1/2 inches or the size of a ping pong ball.
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 35
- Category: Dinner, Meal, Skillet
- Method: Skillet
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: thanksgiving turkey meatballs, turkey meatballs recipe, turkey sage meatballs