These tender and flavorful turkey meatballs glazed with a sweet savory sauce will be a winner at your next holiday gathering.
Through the years, I’ve tried a lot of different meatball recipes. Some used beef, some used turkey, some used pork, and some used a combination. I keep coming back to these turkey meatballs because I think that they are the absolute best!
Years ago, I went to a cocktail party where the guests were given recipes to make and to bring. My recipe was for cocktail meatballs with a grape jelly/chili sauce glaze. I was absolutely horrified when I saw the recipe. How can this possibly be good? I put my feelings aside and made the recipe according to the directions. Boy was I surprised at how good the glaze was! Over the years, I’ve experimented with using different glazes for the meatballs. I keep coming back to the grape jelly/chili sauce glaze. So what you have here, is a tried and true combination that produces perfect results every time. As an added bonus, you can make this ahead of time, and reheat it in time for your party!
I adapted the meatball recipe from Julia Child’s Bifteck Haché à la Lyonnaise (Ground Beef with Onions and Herbs) on page 301 in Volume 1 of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. In my adaptation, I used ground turkey in place of ground beef, added some bread crumbs, and used a food processor to mix everything together.
I used the following ingredients for the turkey meatballs: Onion, unsalted butter, ground turkey, salt, pepper, thyme, egg, plain bread crumbs, and all purpose flour. For the glaze I used a mixture of grape jelly and chili sauce.
For the first step, I cooked the minced onion slowly in 2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter for about 15 minutes. Per the Julia’s recipe, I wanted to produce very tender cooked onions that were not browned.
Once the onions were cooked, I transferred them to a bowl to cool. I then added the cooled onions, turkey, some additional unsalted butter, seasonings, bread crumbs, and egg to a food processor. I processed the mixture for about 20 seconds, scraped down the sides, and processed an additional 10 seconds until everything was thoroughly blended.
Next, I shaped the turkey mixture into 1-inch meatballs. I lightly dusted each meatball with some all purpose flour.
Then, I browned the meatballs in a mixture of butter and oil over medium high heat. I didn’t want to crowd them, so I cooked about 15 at a time for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, I drained the meatballs on paper towels. At this point, they were only partially cooked.
Then, I put the meatballs on a large baking sheet lined with non-stick aluminum foil, and baked them for 20 minutes at 350° F to make sure that they were fully cooked.
While the meatballs were baking, I combined the grape jelly and chili sauce in a medium saucepan. I heated it over medium heat for about 10 minutes until the jelly was fully melted.
When the meatballs were fully cooked, I added them to the grape jelly/chili sauce glaze, and carefully stirred to fully coat. I let them heat over medium heat for about 10 minutes to ensure that the meatballs were thoroughly heated.
I ended up with around 4 dozen perfectly delicious Holiday Glazed Turkey Meatballs. They were tender and flavorful, and glazed with an incredible sweet savory sauce. Yum!