Healthy Turkey Rissoles With Cranberry Pesto

Learn how to make delicious and healthy turkey patties with cranberry pesto, which can be served with any side dish you like from a lovely green salad to roasted vegetables or mash. Whether you want something a little different for Christmas or Thanksgiving or you’re simply looking for some new and creative ground turkey recipes, this recipe is a definite must-try! These turkey rissoles are gluten-free and paleo-friendly.

Ground turkey patties with cranberry pesto

Turkey Rissoles With Cranberry Pesto

This turkey rissoles recipe is inspired by flavours of Thanksgiving – roast turkey, cranberry sources and nuts – but you don’t need to wait till November to enjoy these yummy patties.

When I developed this recipe, I wanted to create a simple dish using up ground turkey meat that can be enjoyed both during the festive season and any time of the year. The turkey mince patties are served with tart and flavoursome cranberry and pine nut pesto – it has that perfect combination of savoury and sweet.

What I Love About This Turkey Patties Recipe

Turkey is a great source of protein, B vitamins and selenium, while cranberries are full of vitamin C and antioxidants. The pesto also contains pine nuts, which are full of manganese, vitamin E and vitamin K and healthy olive oil. To complete the meal, all you need are some green veggies on the side.

Whether you call ’em patties or rissoles, these are quick and easy to make so you’ll have a healthy dinner on the table in no time. And, if you want something fuss-free yet festive for Thanksgiving or Christmas this year, I hardly recommend this recipe! You can make the patties mix and the pesto ahead of time and pan-fry them just before you need. 

I also love making extra as they keep well in the fridge and make for an excellent lunch or snack. 

Turkey patties recipe with cranberry pesto

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Ground Turkey Patties With Cranberry & Pine Nut Pesto

Healthy Turkey Patties With Cranberry Pesto

  • Author: Irena Macri
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 patties (or so) 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Pan-fried
  • Cuisine: Australia
  • Diet: Gluten Free
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Learn how to make delicious and healthy turkey patties (or rissoles in Australia) served with cranberry and nut pesto for that festive yet simple dish that can be enjoyed any time of the year but especially for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Gluten-free and paleo-friendly recipe.



For the pesto

  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (other nuts, see notes)
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (if you want it a little more tart)

For the patties

  • 800 g/1.7 lb ground turkey mince (from thighs & breast is best)
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds powder (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon or yellow mustard
  • Oil for cooking (coconut, ghee or olive oil can be used)
  • Fresh parsley, for garnish


  1. Soak cranberries in a small bowl of hot water for about 20-30 minutes.
  2. Add pine nuts to a medium-hot frying pan and cook for about two minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted and browned.
  3. Transfer most of them to a food processor (I like to reserve a few for garnish). Add the rest of ingredients and soaked cranberries. Add 2-3 tablespoons of the water, in which the cranberries were soaking. Process into a pesto-like paste, for about 30 seconds, scraping the sides a couple of times. Transfer to a ramekin.
  4. Combine ground turkey mince with the rest of ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Use your hands to work the meat and incorporate all the ingredients. Using wet hands, roll small batches of mince into balls and flatten into round patties.
  5. Heat about a tablespoon of oil or ghee in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the patties and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, adding a little more oil when flipping them over if needed.
  6. Serve patties with a side of cranberry pesto and your favourite veggies.


  • Other nuts or seeds such as sunflower or pumpkin could be used instead of pine nuts, especially if you’re on the budget. Pine nuts do give it that special touch if you can splurge out.
  • The meat mixture can be made into meatballs or even meatloaf.


  • Serving Size: 2 patties with 2 teaspoons pesto
  • Calories: 390
  • Sugar: 9.7 g
  • Sodium: 611.2 mg
  • Fat: 26.7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 13.1 g
  • Fiber: 1.4 g
  • Protein: 27.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 92 mg

Keywords: paleo, gluten-free, pesto, pine nuts, turkey, poultry

Irena Macri
By Irena Macri

About the author: Hi, I’m Irena Macri. I share easy, delicious recipes with a healthy twist. I’ve been food blogging for over 10 years and have a Diploma in Nutrition & Weight Management. I believe in a balanced diet with an occasional cookie and cheesy pasta. More about me here. Sign-up for my newsletter and subscriber freebies.

PS. Some posts contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission for purchases made through these links.

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