Healthy turkey meatballs covered in a sweet and spicy cranberry horseradish glaze. A delicious, light app perfect before the big Thanksgiving dinner.
Happy thanksgiving eve! I cannot believe the big day is tomorrow. I don’t know about you, but I am ready for turkey, stuffing, and pie.
Dinner is the star of the show tomorrow, but let’s not forget about the supporting actors: the appetizers.
In my family, we typically don’t eat thanksgiving dinner until 6 or 7 at night. That leaves the entire day to enjoy delicious appetizers. I love this set up as I am a huge appetizer fan and it really builds the excitement for the actual thanksgiving meal. But the goal is to refrain from eating too much so you do not spoil your appetite for the much-anticipated meal. This can be very tricky – especially when there are so many yummy appetizers around and you have been enjoying a few pre-dinner cocktails.
I created the perfect appetizer to solve this dilemma. It is light and healthy, so it will not spoil your appetite, plus it incorporates familiar thanksgiving flavors:
Turkey meatballs with cranberry horseradish glaze.
Let’s get to cooking
The first step is to make the meatballs. Combine the ground turkey, 2 beaten eggs, ½ cup greek yogurt, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 2 teaspoons onion powder, chopped parsley, 2 tablespoons horseradish, and ¼ cup ground flaxseed. My secret ingredient in any turkey meatball is greek yogurt. The biggest complaint I hear about ground turkey meatballs/burgers is they tend to be dry. Adding the greek yogurt cures that problem – it makes the meatballs light, moist, and airy. I also use flaxseed instead of breadcrumbs. The flaxseed works as the binder to keep the meatballs together. It also packs the meatball with fiber and make them gluten free (so your gluten free relative also has an app to enjoy!)
Make sure to gently mix all the meatball ingredients so you do not overwork the meat. If you handle the meat too much it will lead to a dense meatball (which is not what you want!). You just need to mix the meat until all the ingredients are well-combined. I recommend using your hands to mix the ingredients as you can control the amount of pressure you are using to stir the meatballs.
Next, you need to form the meatballs. I use a small ice cream scoop to ensure I get even sized meatballs (you can also use a spoon or tablespoon). You want even sized meatballs so they all cook evenly. Once you get a small scoop of the meat, use your hands to roll it into a small ball (about the size of a golf ball). Place all of the meatballs on a baking sheet.
A great thing about this recipe is you can make it a few days in advance. Once the meatballs are formed, tightly wrap foil around them or store them in an airtight container for up to 3 days in advance.
When you are ready to cook the meatball, make sure to take them out of the fridge 30 minutes in advance so they reach room temperature. Tip: you always want to cook meat at room temperature as it will ensure the outside gets nice and golden brown and the inside will cook through. At 400 degrees, bake the meatballs for 15 minutes, flipping half way through.
While the meatballs cook in the oven, you can make the sauce. The sauce only takes 3 ingredients to make: a jar of stonewall kitchen cranberry horseradish sauce, extra horseradish to pump up that spicy flavor, and a little water to thin out the sauce. I am a huge fan of stonewall kitchen jams – they always have fun unique flavor combinations, are made with wholesome, real ingredients, and taste delicious. Plus, by using an already prepared jam, it saves you a lot of time, which is needed on a day like thanksgiving.
Add all of the ingredients to a large skillet and whisk together. Allow the sauce to simmer until it starts to thicken. Once the meatballs are done in the oven, add them to the skillet and coat them with the sauce. Cook the meatballs for another 5 minutes in the sauce at a medium low temperature. The sauce will continue to thicken and cling to the meatballs so each meatball is well-coated in the delicious jammy goodness.
The meatballs are sweet from the cranberry but also a little spicy from the horseradish – it truly is a delectable bite. They almost melt in your mouth because they are so moist and airy (thank you greek yogurt). They are a definite crown pleaser and sure to go quickly at your holiday get together. The best part about them is they are light and not over filling so you will still have plenty of room for all the deliciousness that will be at the thanksgiving table.
Turkey meatballs with cranberry horseradish glaze
Turkey meatballs with cranberry horseradish glaze
- 3 pounds ground turkey
- 2 beaten eggs
- ½ cup greek yogurt
- 1 ½ tsps. Salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 2 tsps. Garlic powder
- 2 tsps. Onion powder
- ½ cup chopped parsley
- 2 T horseradish
- ¼ cup ground flaxseed
- 1 jar stonewall kitchen cranberry horseradish sauce
- 1 ½ T horseradish
- ¼ cup water
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
- In a bowl, the ingredients from ground turkey to flaxseed. Gently mix the ingredients with your hands or a spatula until well-combined. Before careful not to overwork the meat or it will create a dense meatball.
- Scoot out the meat with a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon and roll the meat in your hands to create a little ball. I use the ice cream scoop or tablespoon to achieve equal size meatball. Place the meatballs on a baking sheet. (You can refrigerate the meatballs if not making right away for up to 2 days. Just make sure to take them out a half hour before baking so they get to room temperature).
- Bake the meatballs for 15 minutes, flipping half way through.
- While the meatball are baking, add the jar of jam, additional horseradish, and ¼ cup water to a sauce pan. Bring to a simmer on medium high heat while the meatball baking. The sauce will slowly start to thicken.
- After meatballs are done baking, toss them in the sauce (if meatballs ooze a little while baking, scrap that off before putting meatballs in sauce).
- Let the meatballs and sauce simmer with a lid on for about 5-8 minutes or until sauce has thickened and meatballs are cooked through.
- Let rest for 10 minutes before eating.
- Serve and enjoy!