Spice up Your Meal with Jalapeno Cranberry Turkey Burgers

Looking for a recipe that combines sweet and spicy flavors? Look no further than these Cranberry Jalapeno Turkey Burgers or Meatballs. This recipe is perfect for any occasion whether you are hosting a party, grilling with friends, or just looking for something new to try.

With a flavorful blend of dried cranberries, chili sauce, and jalapeno pepper, these burgers or meatballs are sure to please. The ground turkey base adds a healthy twist to this classic dish without sacrificing flavor.

One of the best things about this recipe is how versatile it is. Serve the burgers as a sandwich with pepper jack cheese and cranberry relish or add the meatballs to a slow cooker with wild rice for an easy dinner.

Plus, this recipe is easy to customize based on your preferences. Add more or less jalapeno depending on your desired level of heat, or swap out the ground turkey for beef or chicken. No matter how you choose to make this dish, it is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

In this article, I will provide step-by-step instructions on how to make these delicious Cranberry Jalapeno Turkey Burgers or Meatballs. So why not give it a try and see for yourself why this recipe has become a new favorite among home cooks everywhere.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Cranberry Jalapeno Turkey Burgers or Meatballs
Cranberry Jalapeno Turkey Burgers or Meatballs

Looking for a unique and flavorful twist to your usual burger or meatball recipe? Look no further than this cranberry jalapeno turkey burger or meatball recipe. From the juicy ground turkey to the sweet-spicy combination of dried cranberries and diced jalapeño, this recipe is sure to be a crowdpleaser.

But why else will you love this recipe? Well, let me tell you. Firstly, it’s a healthier alternative to traditional beef burgers with ground turkey as the base. Plus, the addition of dried cranberries provides an excellent source of antioxidants and adds a satisfying sweetness to every bite.

The jalapeno pepper adds a kick of heat that isn’t too overpowering, but rather enhances the flavors of the turkey and cranberries. Trust me; it’s the perfect balance of sweet and spicy.

What’s even better is that this recipe works for both burgers and meatballs, so you can mix things up at your next party or family dinner. You can serve them alongside some savory sides or on their own as finger food!

And if you’re someone who enjoys meal preparation ahead of time, these turkey burgers/meatballs are easy to make-ahead, storing in the fridge or freezer for later use. They’ll make excellent appetizers, snacks or even entrees for a quick and easy dinner.

Overall, this recipe is simply delicious and packed with flavor while keeping things healthy. So why not give it a try? Trust me; you won’t regret it!

Ingredient List

 A mouth-watering burger/meatball alternative for your next barbecue
A mouth-watering burger/meatball alternative for your next barbecue

Get the ingredients you need for this recipe!

Before starting any recipe, it’s essential to have all the ingredients in hand. Here’s what you’ll need to make Cranberry Jalapeno Turkey Burgers or Meatballs:

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup chili sauce
  • 1/4 cup finely diced jalapeno pepper (remove seeds for less heat)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Pepper jack cheese, sliced (optional)
  • Cranberry sauce or relish

Most of these are probably already in your pantry or fridge. If you don’t have some of the ingredients, make sure to grab them before starting. Trust me; it’ll save time and a run to the store mid-cook.

The Recipe How-To

 Sweet meets spicy in these Cranberry Jalapeno Turkey Burgers or Meatballs
Sweet meets spicy in these Cranberry Jalapeno Turkey Burgers or Meatballs

To start making the cranberry jalapeño turkey burgers or meatballs, gather all the ingredients needed. Combine in a large mixing bowl, 1 pound of ground turkey, finely diced jalapeño pepper, and 1/2 cup of dried cranberries. To add flavor and dimension, put in some minced garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon of paprika and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Mix these ingredients thoroughly.

After mixing, put in 3 cups of breadcrumbs, 1 cup of chili sauce, and the essential condiments: 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Knead well to make sure that everything is well combined. Let it sit for 10 minutes to absorb all the flavors.

Preheat the oven to 375°F or preheat a grill to medium heat. While waiting for the oven or grill to heat up, start forming the mixture into small meatballs or burgers using a cookie scoop or your hands. For burgers, form mixture into desired burger shapes.

Cook on the grill for about 5 to 7 minutes per side or bake in the oven for around 15-20 minutes, depending on the size you made. If making meatballs, take note that they will cook quicker than burgers so adjust accordingly. For best result, check internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer — it should reach at least 165°F.

To add more oomph to your cranberry jalapeño turkey burger or meatball servings, consider adding slices of cheese. Cheddar works well with this recipe but feel free to use your favorite melted cheese such as pepper jack or even brie!

Serve them hot and sweet spicy!

Substitutions and Variations

 Perfectly juicy and tender, every bite is a flavor explosion
Perfectly juicy and tender, every bite is a flavor explosion

This recipe is quite versatile, offering an array of substitutions and variations. Here are a few options to try:

– Ground chicken: For a lighter option, swap ground turkey with ground chicken. You’ll still get the same sweet and spicy flavor with a slightly different texture.

– Beef: If you’re not a fan of poultry, you can sub in ground beef instead. Keep in mind the flavors may be slightly different from the original recipe but they will still be delicious.

– Vegetarian: This recipe can also be made vegetarian by using a meat substitute like Beyond Meat or Impossible meat crumbles. Follow the same steps as you would with ground turkey, adding breadcrumbs as needed for consistency.


– Cranberry Wild Rice Meatballs: Add cooked wild rice to the mixture to give your meatballs a fun twist. Makes for an ideal side dish at Thanksgiving.

– BBQ Meatballs: Swap out jalapeños for BBQ sauce and serve them as appetizers. Cocktail meatballs are always a hit at parties!

– Cranberry Brie Turkey Burger: Top your burgers with brie cheese and cranberry relish for a sweet and savory sensation that is simply sensational!

– Slow Cooker Jalapeno Chicken Meatballs: These slow cooker meatballs have all of the sweet and spicy flavors you crave, without having to watch them so closely. Just place everything in the slow cooker and let it go until it’s time to serve!

With so many options, there’s no excuse not to get creative with this recipe!

Serving and Pairing

 Who said turkey can't be exciting? These burgers/meatballs prove otherwise
Who said turkey can’t be exciting? These burgers/meatballs prove otherwise

When it comes to serving and pairing these Cranberry Jalapeno Turkey Burgers or Meatballs, there are plenty of options to choose from. These sweet and spicy burgers or meatballs are perfect for any casual gathering or dinner party.

For burgers, I recommend serving on a toasted bun with a slice of pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, and avocado. Add some extra sweetness with a dollop of cranberry sauce or relish, and some heat with a drizzle of chili sauce.

If you are making meatballs, they are great as an appetizer. You can stick toothpicks in them and serve them alongside a dip like ranch or blue cheese dressing. You could also make cocktail meatballs by simmering them in cranberry sauce mixed with Worcestershire sauce for a tangy twist.

As for pairing, these burgers or meatballs go well with a variety of sides such as sweet potato fries, roasted vegetables, corn on the cob, green beans, or even cranberry wild rice for a Thanksgiving touch. And for drinks, try serving a cool glass of iced tea, lemonade or even beer to complement the bold flavors of the dish.

No matter how you serve or pair these Cranberry Jalapeno Turkey Burgers or Meatballs, your guests will leave satisfied and impressed with your culinary skills.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Trust me, one won't be enough
Trust me, one won’t be enough

One of the best things about these cranberry jalapeno turkey burgers or meatballs is their versatility. They can be made ahead of time and reheated when you’re ready to serve them, making them a perfect option for parties and gatherings.

To make ahead, prepare the turkey mixture according to the recipe instructions and shape into patties or balls. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, or freeze for up to one month. When ready to cook, simply remove from the fridge or freezer and continue with the cooking instructions.

If you have leftover turkey burgers or meatballs, they can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. To reheat, place them on a baking sheet and pop them in a preheated oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes, until heated through.

For a quick and easy meal, you can also reheat them in the microwave by placing them in a microwave-safe dish with a damp paper towel on top. Microwave on high for 30-second intervals until heated through.

With their bold and unique flavor combinations, these cranberry jalapeno turkey burgers or meatballs will certainly impress your guests. Whether you’re hosting a holiday event or just want an interesting twist on an everyday mealtime favorite, this recipe is sure to hit the spot.

Tips for Perfect Results

 The vibrant colors of the cranberries and jalapenos make for a stunning presentation
The vibrant colors of the cranberries and jalapenos make for a stunning presentation

Creating the perfect turkey burger or meatballs can be a bit tricky, but with these tips, you’ll be on your way to delicious results. Here are some helpful hints to ensure that your Cranberry Jalapeno Turkey Burgers or Meatballs Recipe turns out perfectly every time:

1. Use the Right Ratio of Ingredients: The combination of ground turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, and seasonings is important to creating the perfect texture for your burgers or meatballs. Make sure to follow the recipe closely and use the correct portions of each ingredient.

2. Don’t Overmix: Overmixing can cause your burgers or meatballs to become tough and dry. Mix just enough to combine all ingredients thoroughly, then stop.

3. Chill the Mixture: Chilling the mixture for at least 30 minutes before forming into balls or patties helps it firm up and makes them easier to shape.

4. Get Creative with Toppings: Experiment with different toppings to make your burgers or meatballs unique. Some ideas include sliced jalapenos, pepper jack cheese, cranberry relish or sauce, or even a sweet and spicy chili sauce.

5. Cook over Medium Heat: Cooking over medium heat prevents the meat from becoming too dry on the outside while staying raw on the inside.

6. Test for Doneness: Use a food thermometer to ensure that your burgers or meatballs have reached an internal temperature of 165°F.

7. Let Them Rest: After cooking, allow your burgers or meatballs to rest for a few minutes before serving. This will allow them to retain their juices and keep them moist.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to create flavorful and juicy Cranberry Jalapeno Turkey Burgers or Meatballs that are sure to be a hit at any party or gathering!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Cranberry Jalapeno Turkey Burgers or Meatballs recipe is a delicious and creative way to spice up your meals. With its unique combination of sweet, spicy and tangy flavors, this recipe is sure to impress your guests or add some excitement to your weekly meal rotation. By using fresh ingredients and following these simple steps, you’ll have a savory and satisfying dish that will leave everyone asking for seconds. So why settle for a boring burger or meatball when you can add some zest with this recipe? Give it a try and see for yourself how this flavorful twist on traditional turkey dishes can elevate your cooking game.

Cranberry Jalapeno Turkey Burgers or Meatballs

Cranberry Jalapeno Turkey Burgers or Meatballs Recipe

I usually grill these burgers but you can broil or panfry. I have also made this into meatballs and used as appetizers. I used Kittencal's Cranberry-Ginger Garlic Meatball Sauce for the sauce on these.But you can use whatever sauce you like. They were a big hit. Kind of a sweet/hot flavor.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 150.7 kcal


  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons chili sauce
  • 1/4 cup jalapeno pepper (very finely chopped and seeds and membrane removed)
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries (roughly chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • black pepper, to taste


  • Combine all ingredients in large bowl.
  • Shape into 6 patties or meatballs.
  • Grill or broil burgers until cooked through.
  • Meatballs can be baked or fied. I bake mine.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 104gCalories: 150.7kcalCarbohydrates: 7.2gProtein: 14.6gFat: 6.6gSaturated Fat: 1.8gCholesterol: 59.8mgSodium: 368.3mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1.5g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Meat, Poultry
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Recommended Recipes Just For You