Want the holiday flavors of a traditional turkey but not the hassle?
Enter: Herbed Turkey Meatballs With Gravy.
All of the festivity. None of the “I forgot to thaw the turkey” panic.
Turkey meatballs are seasoned with classic Thanksgiving herbs and spices, lightly seared, and then simmered in a homemade gravy. They’re savory and tender, with a perfectly smooth sauce you’ll want to smother over mashed potatoes.
Make these meatballs part of your Thanksgiving menu or for an easy weeknight meal.
It’s a super easy way to get turkey on the table in less time.
After all — you wouldn’t want to miss out on that traditional turkey-induced nap. 😴
Why KJ Loves
Herbed Turkey Meatballs with Gravy
Want all the wonderful, nostalgic flavors of Thanksgiving in one little bite? These herbed turkey meatballs are for you! I love how easily these meatballs come together and deliver so much flavor. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!
If you’re making these meatballs for a weeknight meal, you could even make them out of ground chicken instead.
Salt & pepper
Spices & herbs
We’re making this an easy turkey meatball recipe with dried herbs (no need to de-stem or chop fresh herbs!). Use dried thyme, dried rosemary, dried sage, garlic powder, and onion powder.
Extra virgin olive oil
You can use dried or fresh!
How To Make Herbed Turkey Meatballs
Make the meatballs.
In a large bowl, mix the egg, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, sage, garlic powder, and onion powder. Then add the ground turkey and gently mix together until just combined, being careful not to overmix.
Roll each meatball into a 2 tablespoon-size ball.
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Working in batches, sear the meatballs until golden brown on all sides. Set them aside on a plate.
Whisk the sauce.
Reduce the heat to low and add the butter to melt.
Once the butter is melted, whisk in the flour until smooth, cooking for 30 seconds to a minute or until lightly golden brown.
Whisk in the chicken stock until smooth. Then, add in the thyme and salt.
Simmer the meatballs and gravy.
Nestle the meatballs back into the gravy, gently spooning some of the gravy over the top of the meatballs.
Bring the gravy and turkey meatballs to a simmer, uncovered for 5-10 minutes.
Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the meatballs reach an internal temperature of at least 165°F.
Toss to coat the meatballs in the gravy and serve immediately. Or, transfer them to a slow cooker to keep them warm for serving.
Wash the dishes. How sad.
Turkey Meatball Tips
Use a large cookie scoop.
Ground turkey can get a little messy. Make it easier on yourself by using a 2 tablespoon-size cookie or ice cream scoop.
Don’t overwork the meatballs!
Overworking meatballs can result in dry or tough meatballs. Not what we’re going for here!
Pre-mix the meatball fillers.
Before adding the ground turkey, mix the other meatball ingredients together. This allows you to get a good distribution of the ingredients without overmixing the turkey. Which leads me to…
What To Serve with Turkey Meatballs
If you’re serving these turkey meatballs for Thanksgiving, here’s a full holiday menu you can use!
- Sour Cream & Onion Mashed Potatoes — OG mashed potatoes with a little extra creaminess and tang.
- Easy Cornbread Stuffing — Simple, traditional, and packed with classic herbs and flavors.
- Apple Pecan Salad — A little green for your menu. But you won’t believe how easy it is to turn kale from a health food into a scrumptious holiday side.
- Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie — It’s a cookie. It’s a pie. It’s both, and it’s to die for.
Ideas For Leftovers
Turkey Cranberry Sliders: Try the turkey meatballs on a roll or bun with brie, arugula, and cranberry sauce!
Turkey Meatball Salad: Serve the meatballs over fresh greens with dried cranberries, pecans, and vinaigrette.
Turkey Meatball Wraps: Fill a lettuce wrap with stuffing, cranberry sauce, and meatballs.
Turkey Meatball Bowls: Serve over rice with the gravy and any other toppings you desire!
Freezing Turkey Meatballs
Homemade turkey meatballs can be made ahead and frozen.
However, with this recipe, they need to be cooked in the sauce. So you’ll need to remember to take these out to defrost in the refrigerator the day before you want to cook and serve them.
Make the meatball mixture and form the raw meatballs. Then, freeze them in an airtight container or freezer bag.
The night before you want to cook and serve them, defrost the meatballs in the refrigerator. Sear the turkey meatballs and follow the rest of the directions in the recipe to whisk up the gravy and simmer the meatballs in the sauce.
Make sure the internal temperature of the turkey meatballs reaches at least 165°F.
The Archive: Explore Other Thanksgiving Menus
- Thanksgiving 2022 – The theme in 2022 was “twists on classics.” From a buttery, golden brown turkey to a fluffy pumpkin mousse pie, this Thanksgiving Menu will easily impress your friends and family!
- Thanksgiving 2021 – This menu features a simple turkey recipe, a perfectly glazed ham, fresh twists on classic sides, and a warm, cinnamon-speckled apple pie.
- Thanksgiving 2020 – Try this beautiful glazed turkey, vibrant side dishes, and a scrumptious pumpkin dessert.
For more inspiration, see all our Thanksgiving recipe ideas here.
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