Spiced Cranberry Turkey Meatballs


I was recently asked to start writing for a local digital magazine, Love of Food NC. I jumped at the chance to write a little bit about food and discover a different outlet. In the current times, where classes and information are more digital – not only because of a global pandemic – but because it is in fact the 21st century – why not catch up with everyone!

I decided it appropriate to write about staying healthy but also making the holiday season seem a bit like NORMAL. We all want a little bit of normal these days and food helps us remember what that can feel like. Whether we are eating with our small family at home or whether we venture to meet others in small gatherings, FOOD is always on the table and apart of the equation.

Below I have linked my article in the December holiday issue of Love of Food NC Magazine. In this issue, I include my Spiced Cranberry Turkey Meatballs recipe. I have also included it for everyone below.

I will be writing for each issue this year as well! Keep a lookout for some fun new recipes and tips!

Spiced Cranberry Turkey Meatballs

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Recipe by Chelsea Course: MainCuisine: SouthernDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time




  • Meatballs
  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey

  • 3/4 cup almond flour

  • 1 small shallot, minced

  • 1 egg

  • 1/4 cup shredded Granny Smith Apple

  • 1.5 tsp allspice

  • 2 tbsp garlic powder

  • 1 tbsp onion powder

  • 1 tbsp dried sage

  • 1 tsp pepper

  • 1.5 tsp salt

  • Sauce
  • 14 can can jellied cranberry sauce

  • 1/2 cup ketchup

  • 3 tbsp maple syrup

  • zest from half an orange

  • juice from half an orange

  • pinch of red pepper flakes (optional for heat)


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix all meatball ingredients in a large bowl until well combined.
  • Place a baking rack on top of a baking sheet and spray generously with cooking spray.
  • Spoon out 1 tbsp of meatball mix and roll into a small ball. Place onto the baking rack.
  • Bake for 12-14 minutes until slightly browned and no longer pink on the inside.
    While the meatballs are baking, make your sauce!
  • Add all sauce ingredients to a small saucepan on low heat. Whisk ingredients together until you have a smooth sauce. Simmer on low heat for about 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally as not to burn the fruit.
  • Add as much spice as you would like! I added a whole teaspoon of red pepper flakes and my kids still enjoyed them. Red pepper flakes go a long way. Add a little and taste before adding more!
  • Once meatballs are done, add your sauce to the bottom of a large bowl. Add in the meatballs and toss together. Serve immediately. You can also make them ahead of time and transport them in a slow cooker set on WARM.


  • Allergy note: if you have Celiac or severe gluten allergies, be sure to purchase Gluten Free versions of any spices or sauces needed.

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