Turkey Meatballs


Are you looking for a hearty appetizer to add to your New Year’s Eve party or even your upcoming Superbowl Party? I made an appetizer twice this Holiday Season and it was a hit both times. I made it once for my annual Christmas Party and then yesterday to bring to a friend’s house. These meatballs were a huge hit! The first time I made them, I used 3 pounds of ground turkey, and that was for my annual Christmas bookclub party. Almost all of the meatballs were gone. They were so popular! The second time, I made 2 pounds. I will give the recipe I made using 3 pounds of the ground turkey since these are great for a party or larger gathering. When I made the second version using only 2 pounds, the only thing I changed was using 1/2 teaspoon less of kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon less of pepper. All the other ingredients remained the same.

I started with 3 pounds of lean (93%) ground turkey. To the turkey, I added 1 red onion, grated into the bowl, and 1 clove of garlic, also grated into the bowl. I didn’t want large chunks of anything in the meatballs, which was my reason for grating the onion and garlic. You can also use a small food processor, which I did the second time I made this.

Once the onion and garlic had been grated onto the meat, I added kosher salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, dried orange peel and fresh, minced Italian parsley.


I mixed everything gently with a fork.


Once the turkey mixture was combined, I used a small cookie scoop to form my meatballs.


I placed all the meatballs into a slow cooker before covering them with the sauce, which was made up of 2 bottles of barbecue sauce and one jar of raspberry preserves that I whisked together.

I poured the barbecue sauce and jam mixture over the meatballs in my slow cooker, placed the lid on and set it to cook on low for 8 hours. This was not only easy, but made the house smell amazing!


As I mentioned, these are great as an appetizer, but would also be wonderful for dinner with a salad and crusty bread.


3 pounds lean ground turkey
1 red onion, grated
1 head of garlic, grated
2-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1-1/2 teaspoons pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried orange peel
5 tablespoons minced Italian parsley
2 jars barbecue sauce
1 jar raspberry preserves
1 orange, (the juice of)


  1. Place turkey into a large bowl. Grate the onion and garlic onto the meat.
  2. Add kosher salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, dried orange peel and parsley and combine with a fork.
  3. Mix barbecue sauce and preserves together with a whisk. Set aside.
  4. Using a small cookie scoop, form meatballs and place into your slow cooker in a single layer.
  5. Add enough barbecue sauce mixture to cover meatballs.
  6. Add another layer of meatballs and repeat with the sauce mixture one or two more times until all meatballs are in the slow cooker and covered with sauce.
  7. Set the slow cooker to cook on low for 8 hours.
  8. Before serving, add the juice of one orange.


Until next time, Kris


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