Diabetes-Friendly RecipesTurkey & Cranberry Meatballs

Mini Turkey & Cranberry Meatballs

So good you might want to double the batch!

Rochelle Bilow

All the season’s best savory flavors, in one bite. Choose lean ground turkey and low-sugar dried cranberries to keep these irresistible meatballs diabetes-friendly.

Serving Size




  • For the meatballs:
  • 1 lb. 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ⅓ cup whole-wheat panko bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp. low-sugar dried cranberries, chopped
  • 2 tsp. fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • For cooking the meatballs & the gravy:
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • ½ small shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
  • 2 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ cups no-sodium chicken stock
  • Zest of ½ lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Nutrition Information

Per serving: 138.8 calories; 8.64g fat; 3.4g saturated fat; 61.4mg cholesterol; 296.5mg sodium; 5.4g carbohydrate; 0.7g fiber; 10.4g protein; 0.8g sugar; 15.5mg calcium


Step 1In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the meatballs. Use a spoon or clean hands to mix well. Divide mixture into small balls, a little less than a tablespoon in size. Pack together with your hands and set on a baking sheet or piece of parchment while you work.

Step 2Once you have formed all of the meatballs, heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium. Add the vegetable oil and cook the meatballs in batches (do not crowd the pan) using tongs to turn them as they brown. Once cooked through, transfer to a plate or platter and continue until all of the meatballs are cooked. Add a splash of water and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan and cook until evaporated.

Step 3Add the butter, keeping the heat over medium, and melt. Add the shallot, garlic, and rosemary, and sauté until shallot is translucent and fragrant. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon, cooking for 2 minutes to lightly toast and remove the raw flavor. Add the vinegar and stir, scraping up any additional brown bits.

Step 4Continue adding the chicken stock in a slow stream, stirring or whisking as you go, to thin out the flour-butter mixture. Continue whisking until all the stock has been added. If the gravy is very thin, continue cooking over medium-low until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Once the gravy has thickened, add the lemon zest and add salt and pepper to taste.

Step 5Add the meatballs back in to gently warm through.

Step 6Serve on a bed of greens, such as arugula.

Rochelle Bilow

Rochelle Bilow

Rochelle Bilow is a recipe developer and food writer who splits her time between New York and Vermont. She is the author of the food and farming memoir, The Call of the Farm, a former New York City line cook, and the former social media manager at Bon Appétit and Cooking Light magazines. She also appeared on season one of Beat Bobby Flay. Connect with Rochelle online at @rochellebilow

More Diabetes-Friendly Party Recipes


Winter Spice Eggnog

Our recipe swaps the dairy for almond milk and a dash of coconut cream!


Cranberry-Rosemary Sparkler

Alcohol-free and oh so fancy! You can switch up the sweetness for each guest.


Smoky & Sweet Party Mix

Serve this tasty mix in small ramekins or cups to keep portions small and social-distancing rules simple.


Butternut Soup Shooters

This soup is so creamy and luscious you won't believe it's dairy-free!


2-Bite Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Just sweet enough to feel like a treat, these teeny-tiny cupcakes make portion control simple.


Coconut-Almond Cookies

This gluten-free dessert recipe easily doubles (and triples). You may want to plan on it!


Festive Dark Chocolate Bark

You can customize this no-sugar-added treat with your family's favorite toppings.