These Slow Cooker Cranberry Turkey Meatballs are the perfect holiday appetizer. They are easy to make festive, healthy and Weight Watchers friendly @ 2WW points on the blue plan (if you use all the sauce.)
I love a good appetizer that’s both easy to make and healthy. And these slow cooker turkey meatballs are the ultimate in easy – just set it and forget it easy, with very little prep and the crock-pot does all the cooking for you.
Turkey Meatball Appetizer
The holidays are all about appetizers! When else can you justify eating only appetizers for dinner? And when we do get together with family, we like to have a few appetizer nights over the holidays. Our tradition is to have a big spread of finger foods, including food on sticks/skewered foods for our New Year’s eve celebration. This turkey meatball appetizer fits perfectly in that spread. I also like to have a variety of hot and cold appetizers, like my Easy Layered Nacho Dip (Gluten-free), Greek-style Veggie Phyllo Pizza as well as several healthy and Weight Watchers friendly options for grazing like this recipe (and see below the recipe card for even more healthy Christmas appetizers!)
Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs
Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs are a great way to enjoy meatball appetizers because they are a set it and forget it recipe! The turkey meatballs are added to the crock-pot, then you pour the sauce on top of the meatballs and walk away. 3 hours later you have perfectly cooked turkey meatballs with cranberry sauce – easy peasy!
Turkey meatballs can often be dry, but I’ve learned the secret to moist turkey meatballs is in the slow cooking. Oh and the smothering them in this delicious Cranberry BBQ sauce also helps 🙂 A little orange zest added to the mix also lends the turkey meatballs a savory flavor that screams holiday pleasure!
Cranberry Sauce for Meatballs
This particular cranberry sauce for meatballs is about as easy as you’re going to get! You simply mix your favorite BBQ sauce with a can of cranberry sauce, pour it on and it does its magic in the slow cooker! I like to use President’s Choice Gourmet BBQ sauce, but you could use any type. I just don’t recommend using anything that has a strong hickory taste.
Cranberry Turkey Meatballs
These easy Slow Cooker Cranberry Turkey Meatballs are the perfect healthy holiday appetizer. They are quick to make, festive, and Weight Watchers friendly @ 2WW points on the blue plan (if you use all the sauce.)
However, these meatballs aren’t only for the holidays; meatballs are always popular at game day get togethers, family gatherings or any party for that matter! The great thing about these meatballs is that you cook them up, then place on the warm setting until ready. They are the ultimate low maintenance party recipe!
The original recipe required pre-cooking of the meatballs on a skillet. But if you’ve been following along with me for a while, you know how I feel about pre-cooking in my slow cooker recipes; it defeats the entire purpose of the slow cooker! Unless it’s absolutely necessary, I will not do it. So obviously I eliminated that step, as it really wasn’t necessary.
My Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Meatballs is another delicious meatball appetizer recipe and also a traditional holiday side dish for my family!
So, if you’re looking for healthy Christmas appetizers, this Slow Cooker Cranberry Turkey Meatball Appetizer will check all your holiday boxes!
Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs with Cranberry BBQ Sauce
- 1 ½ cups canned cranberry sauce 348 ml can
- ⅔ cup Your favorite BBQ sauce * I use President's Choice Gourmet BBQ sauce (from Superstore)
- 1 egg white
- 2 lb lean ground turkey (900 g) )
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
- 2 tsp orange zest
- 1 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 cup fine bread crumbs
- additional crushed red pepper flakes
- additional chopped green onion
- Spray slow cooker with non stick spray.
- Place egg white in bowl, beat lightly and add ground turkey, bread crumbs, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, green onion, orange zest, and soy sauce. Mix well and shape into 30 balls.
- Add meatballs to bottom of slow cooker.
- Combine canned cranberry sauce in a bowl with BBQ sauce and pour over meatballs.
- Cook on low in slow cooker for 3- 3.5 hours until meatballs are cooked through.
- Keep warm until ready to serve. Can be reheated prior to serving.
- Garnish with additional chopped green onions and crushed red pepper flakes, as desired.
More Healthy Christmas Appetizers!