Recipe Re-visit: Turkey Meatballs with Butternut and Cranberry Cream Sauce

All the holiday flavours with little effort.

I came up with this recipe back in 2012 as an holiday alternative for people who might not want to roast a whole turkey. You could also make a variation using left-overs rather than turkey mince (ground turkey).

This would also be delicious if you want to substitute zucchini noodles for the spaghetti.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ingredients – serves 4:

  • 500g/1 lb turkey mince (ground)
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs (I used packaged)
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • black pepper, to season
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • approx 350g/12 oz butternut squash, peeled and diced into small cubes
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock (I used salt-reduced)
  • 1/2 cup cranberry relish (from a jar is fine), plus additional to serve
  • 250g/9 oz dried spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup thickened (heavy) cream
  • finely grated parmesan, to serve
  • fresh basil leaves, optional, to serve


  • Put the turkey, onion, breadcrumbs, garlic and a good seasoning of black pepper in a large bowl and use your clean hands to mix.
  • Form the turkey mixture into meatballs. You will get about 24 meatballs (slightly smaller than golf balls).
  • Put the meatballs on a plate, cover with cling wrap and refrigerate, ideally for at least 30 minutes (or overnight if you are making in advance).
  • Heat the olive oil in a large deep frying (or saute) pan for which you have a lid. Add the diced butternut. Cook over a medium heat for 2 minutes or until the butternut just starts to soften around the edges. Remove the butternut to a plate.
  • Add the meatballs to the pan and cook for 6-8 minutes, turning often until browned all over.
  • Return the butternut to the pan and then add the chicken stock and cranberry relish. Stir to mix the relish into the stock.
  • Bring to the boil, then lower the heat, cover with the lid and simmer for 8 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pan of salted boiling water according to the packet instructions (about 7-8 minutes).
  • Remove the lid from the meatball pan and simmer for another couple of minutes. The butternut should be starting to break up a little – don’t worry, this will help thicken the sauce.
  • Stir in the cream, season with a little extra black pepper and then remove from the heat.
  • Serve the spaghetti topped with meatballs and sauce, plus finely grated parmesan and a teaspoon of extra cranberry relish. Add a couple of fresh basil leaves if you have them.
  • Enjoy!

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2 Responses to Recipe Re-visit: Turkey Meatballs with Butternut and Cranberry Cream Sauce

  1. mistimaan says:

    Nice and tasty recipe……….will try it 🙂

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