Recipe: Turkey Meatballs with Parmesan and Sage

Recipe: Turkey Meatballs with Parmesan and Sage

Kelli Foster
Nov 1, 2017
(Image credit: Diana Yen)

Want an easier solution to the main course for your Friendsgiving feast this year? Me too! That's why I'm saying no to roasting a whole bird, and yes to a big batch of juicy turkey meatballs stuffed with lots of nutty Parmesan and all the earthy, herby flavors you expect from a Thanksgiving turkey, like fresh sage. Partner them with cranberry sauce or gravy for dipping, a slew of sides, and you'll have an impressive meal to remember.

(Image credit: Diana Yen)

Get Your Fill of Turkey Without Roasting the Bird

Sure, turkey meatballs aren't totally traditional fare, but Friendsgiving is the meal made to go beyond the classics your family usually cooks up. Not only are meatballs the easiest way to get your fill of turkey at Friendsgiving and your office Thanksgiving, but they're also quicker cooking, cheaper, and can be made well in advance.

(Image credit: Diana Yen)

Turkey Meatballs with Parmesan and Sage

Makes about 48 meatballs; serves 8 to 10

  • 3/4 cup

    unseasoned dried breadcrumbs

  • 1/2 cup

    whole or 2% milk

  • 1 cup

    finely grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1

    large egg, lightly beaten

  • 3

    cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/4 cup

    finely chopped fresh sage leaves

  • 2 tablespoons

    finely chopped fresh parsley leaves

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 pounds

    ground turkey

  • Cranberry sauce or chutney, for serving (optional)

Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat to 375°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine the breadcrumbs and milk in a large bowl. Add the Parmesan, egg, garlic, sage, parsley, salt, and pepper, and whisk to combine. Add the ground turkey and mix with your fingertips until just combined. Do not mash the meat or overwork the mixture, or else the meatballs will be dry and tough.

Form the mixture into 1 1/2-inch meatballs (about 2 tablespoons each) and place on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake until the meatballs are browned and an instant-read thermometer registers 165°F, 15 to 18 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Make ahead and freezing: Make the meat mixture the day before, form into meatballs, and place on the parchment-lined baking sheets. Cover and refrigerate until ready to bake. Alternatively, freeze until solid, then transfer to a resealable freezer bag and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost in the refrigerator and cook according to recipe instructions.

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