Pesto & Cranberry Turkey Meatballs with Pesto Yogurt Dipping Sauce

by Kristine on February 27, 2014

in Appetizers, Dinner in a Dash, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Recipes

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Salty and sweet. Can you ever really go wrong with that combo?!  This recipe came to fruition as I had a package of turkey thawing and I had no idea what to do with it, but wanted to try something new. I’ve done the pesto and cranberry combo before, in quesadillas (DELICIOUS!), so I figured why not try it in a meatball. That’s when these Pesto & Cranberry Turkey Meatballs were born. Complete with a pesto yogurt dip…which, let me tell you is really only 2 ingredients, and I bet you can guess what they are.

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This isn’t my first turkey meatball recipe, I also have my Sweet n’ Sour Turkey Meatballs that were recently posted. Those are delicious as well, but I decided to do a little different method with these. Even though its an extra step, with these I chose to pan fry them a little first, so they could get a beautiful golden crust on them. Then put them in the oven to finish cooking.

After having them this way, I do feel like the extra step is worth it, as they came out amazing. With doing the browning on the stove beforehand, they really only took another 10 minutes in the oven, so it didn’t take much extra time to do it.

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I felt like these would be even better with a dipping sauce. Something that could bring out the pesto flavor even more. I always have greek yogurt on hand, so I simply mixed some pesto with that, and BOOM! Dip! It really hit the spot.

I love that this recipe doubles as a dinner, as well as an appetizer. Poke in some toothpicks, make it a double batch as least (cause trust me, they will go fast), and there you have a gluten-free meatball appetizer. To date, I’ve never come across a gluten-free frozen meatball, they all use some sort of flour or breadcrumbs. In all honesty, these taste way better than what you’d get with any frozen turkey meatball anyway. They aren’t dry whatsoever, and I really like the hint of melty goat cheese you get in each one.

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I hope you try this recipe next time you have a pack of ground turkey around, as I’m pretty sure they’ll be a hit. My 1 year old devoured them…she especially loved the dip 😉


Pesto & Cranberry Turkey Meatballs with Pesto Yogurt Dipping Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These Pesto & Cranberry Turkey Meatballs make a great dinner or appetizer. Complete with pesto yogurt dip, this recipe is gluten-free and family friendly.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Yield: 20
Ingredients
For the Meatballs
  • 454 g (1 pound) ground lean turkey
  • 43 g (about 3 Tbsp) soft goat cheese (I used Kirkland goat cheese)
  • 2 Tbsp pesto (store bought or homemade. I used Kirkland pesto)
  • 2 Tbsp dried cranberries (I used reduced sugar Craisins)
  • ¼ cup egg whites (or 2 egg whites)
  • ½ cup quick cooking oats
  • Pepper (to taste)
For the Pesto Yogurt Dip (will make 2 servings)
  • ¼ cup non-fat greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp pesto
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Also, warm a skillet over medium heat on the stove
  3. In a large bowl, mix together all the meatball ingredients. Clean hands work best
  4. The meatballs will be quite wet, so from here drop meatballs onto your skillet (sprayed or misted with oil). I was able to fit all 20 meatballs in my large skillet pan. If not, do a couple batches
  5. Once the meatballs have cooked until golden on one side, flip and cook another 4-5 minutes
  6. Once they are browned on both sides, transfer to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or sprayed to prevent sticking
  7. Place meatballs in oven and cook until meat is fully cooked (I put mine in for 10 minutes and they came out perfect)
  8. Meanwhile, while the meatballs are in the oven, mix together the yogurt dip in a small bowl.
  9. Remove meatballs from oven. Serve with a side for dinner, or put on a plate with toothpicks for an appetizer.
Nutrition
Serving size: 1 meatball Calories: 46 Fat: 1.9 g Carbs: 2.4 g Sugar: 0.4 g Sodium: 46 mg Fiber: 0.5 g Protein: 5 g

 

Kristine
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Kristine

I'm Kristine Fretwell, busy mom of 2 little girls, author, blogger, and former pro fitness competitor. I love almost any kind of cookie, anything coconut or pumpkin flavored, and Thai food. A perfect day for me is enjoying my family, getting to the gym, and whipping up a new healthy recipe. I've got a collection of over 300 healthy recipes, and other tidbits like fitness and health tips. My recipes have been featured on websites such as Huffington Post, Savvy Mom, Shape and Skinny Scoop.
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  • Priscila

    I loved this recipe ! The little sweet kick from the cranberries is the best part!

    • http://www.busybuthealthy.com Kristine Fretwell

      Thanks for writing! So glad you like it 🙂

  • Ashley

    Do you use ground turkey breast or just regular ground turkey?

    • http://www.busybuthealthy.com Kristine Fretwell

      I use Lilydale lean ground turkey. It doesn’t specify on the package whether it’s turkey breast or a combo of breast and thigh. I can give the nutritional info of just the turkey itself if you like?

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