Become a Better Cook in 4 Days!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Carton Smart for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Turkey Meatballs with Cranberry Sweet & Sour Sauce - a delicious twist on traditional Thanksgiving flavors! Tender meatballs in an Asian-inspired cranberry sweet & sour sauce!

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, holiday menu-planning at our house is in full swing – not only for recipes you’ll see here on A Family Feast, but also for our own family gatherings!  My husband Jack is always looking for creative and interesting twists on traditional holiday classics – and these Turkey Meatballs with Cranberry Sweet & Sour Sauce are a delicious appetizer for any family gathering!

These tender and flavorful meatballs are made with a mix of ground turkey and Italian sausage that has been seasoned with a hint of Chinese five-spice powder.  Then they are served in a sweet and tangy sauce made with cranberry sauce, pineapple juice, sweet chili sauce and balsamic vinegar that is the perfect complement to the flavors in the meatballs!

Turkey Meatballs with Cranberry Sweet & Sour Sauce - a delicious twist on traditional Thanksgiving flavors! Tender meatballs in an Asian-inspired cranberry sweet & sour sauce!

With all of the entertaining that we do around the holidays, Jack and I are very aware of all of the food we’re buying – and we try to make smart choices at the market.  Lately, those choices are to Become Carton Smart by purchasing foods that come in environmentally-friendly cartons just like these:


Just take a look around your supermarket and, once you start searching for it, you’ll be amazed at all of the great food products that are now packaged in Tetra Pak cartons!  From traditional holiday classics like pumpkin puree, cranberry sauce, chicken stock, soups, milk, juices and many other foods – cartons are a smart choice!

Not only are cartons a smart choice for the environment, but they are a smart choice for your family.  The unique carton packaging process preserves the flavor and nutrients of food without the use of preservatives – and I love that the cartons are re-closeable so you can use what you need and save the rest for later.

Tweet @CartonSmart                                                  Follow #CartonSmart on Pinterest

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Turkey Meatballs with Cranberry Sweet & Sour Sauce - A Family Feast

Turkey Meatballs with Cranberry Sweet & Sour Sauce

  • Prep Time: 45 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 75 1-ounce meatballs


  • 1 8-ounce demi-loaf (white or wheat bread)
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 whole eggs, beaten
  • ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup sweet chili sauce (the sweet tomato-based kind such as Heinz; not the hot chili sauce made from peppers)
  • ¼ teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground turkey (dark, or white/dark mix)
  • 1 pound Italian sausage, removed from casings
  • ¼ cup finely minced onions
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, pressed through a garlic press, or very finely minced
  • ½ cup finely shredded carrots

For the Sauce

  • 1 cup chili sauce (same as above)
  • 2 cups Pacific brand Jellied Cranberry Sauce
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 6-ounce can of pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoon corn starch


  1. Remove the crust from the bread and place it in large bowl and cover with the half cup of milk. Turn the bread several times so all of the milk gets absorbed. Let sit at room temperature while you prepare the sauce.
  2. In a medium Dutch oven (three quart size), place chili sauce, Pacific cranberry sauce, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. In a small bowl mix pineapple juice and corn starch and add to mixture. Heat and stir until the ingredients have blended and the sauce is thick. Remove from heat, cover and set aside.
  3. Once the bread has soaked for the full 30 minutes, wring out the bread with your hands, squeezing out as much of the milk as possible. What remains should be a good full cup of wet bread. With your hands or a spoon, break up and mix the wet bread until it is really mashed. Add eggs and with a fork, mix well. Add Worcestershire sauce, chili sauce, five-spice powder, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly again until very well blended. This step can be done in a stand mixer however the meat must be mixed by hand.
  4. Add ground turkey, Italian sausage, onion, garlic and carrots and gently work the mixture with your hands until mixed. Try not to over mix.
  5. With a scoop, measure out 75 meatballs about one ounce each and place on a tray that will fit in your refrigerator. (They will be rolled later so don’t worry about getting them perfectly round at this point.) Place the meatballs in the refrigerator to set up for about 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  7. Remove meatballs from the refrigerator, and with a bowl of water for wetting your hands, roll the balls into rounds. As you roll each meatball, place on a parchment lined sheet pan.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes, remove from the oven and add the cooked meatballs to the sauce. Cover the Dutch oven and place back in the oven for 15 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven, pour into a serving container and serve, or skewer cooked meatballs and serve on a platter.


  • Share
  • Pin
  • Tweet
  • Email
  • Meet The Author: Martha

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Recipe rating

    What type of comment do you have?

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  • MaryB wrote:

    My charity is The American Cancer Society.

    My tip is to plan meals ahead of time for the leftovers so everything gets used.

  • Jessie C. wrote:

    We like using carton miso broth to make quick noodle tofu soup.

  • Kim wrote:

    Restore the Shore is a great charity helping to rebuild the Jersey Shore since Hurrican Sandy hit and ruined so many of our beaches.

    One big way my whole family prevents waste is that we all bring our tupperware containers and take home leftovers. As a single 30something, its nice to have leftovers to eat all week!!

  • Lisa Brown wrote:

    One favorite charity: The Oasis Sanctuary in AZ. For an entertaining tip, just make foods that are well liked, fun to eat, and festive and there will be virtually no waste.
    jslbrown_03 at yahoo dot com

  • wrote:

    Heck forgot to post the charity and tip…

    Any Food Banks

    And my tip is ….be organized and make as many lists as necessary, my list usually have lists but I stay focused and on track. I make as many side dishes and do prep work that can be done weeks ahead.

  • Petra Hennek wrote:

    My favorite charity is to one of the Animal Rescue organizations – especially the ones that find forever homes for pets that deserve to be loved, rather than abandoned or euthanized. My entertaining tip is to buy bulk nuts and make up your own spiced nuts recipe over the packaged, canned, tinned varieties. The customization is endless, depending on your personal taste for heat or spice. And in my kitchen, I have completely abandoned convenience storage for glasslock products. No more plastics for me and I try my best to minimize use of plastic storage bags too.

  • Mary Ann wrote:

    My favorite charity would be the Food Bank of Monmouth county. The Jersey Shore is still suffering from the effects of Sandy and the money is needed to help the families still not in their homes. My favorite tip is to do as much as possible in advance and freeze. Desserts and mashed potatoes come to mind.

  • Mami2jcn wrote:

    My charity would be the American Cancer Society.

    We always make turkey sandwiches with the leftover Thanksgiving turkey, so nothing is wasted.

  • wrote:

    I am so happy to see things like jelled cranberry sauce now coming in cartons. Whenever possible I buy in cartons and not cans and with “convenience” products being so much better than back in tha day… I don’t mind using them and coming in a carton it’s a win win!

  • Stefanie wrote:

    Mission share is a great charity and my entertaining tip is have the kids do as much preparation as possible!

    • teresa sulyok wrote:

      susan koman breast cancer research is a favorite charity. my best entertaining tip is to prep ahead as much as possible, by buying groceries in advance, buying & wrapping gifts in advance, decorating the home in advance. add the fresh greens and fruits & veggies later as needed.

  • A Family Feast ® is a registered trademark of A Family Feast, Inc. All content, including recipes, text, visual elements, and photographs are copyright © A Family Feast, Inc. 2012-2020, unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.