Holiday turkey meatballs will never be the same once you top them with a bold, pomegranate sauce. A perfect twist on the classic savory meatballs., these turkey and pork meatballs are light but still filling!
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Around the holidays, you can count on there being meatballs on the appetizer table. It makes sense though. They’re quick to mix and make and they make a ton!
I wanted my holiday turkey meatballs to reflect the flavors found at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, making these the appetizer that everyone will love. Paired with a robust pomegranate glaze, these meatballs are unlike anything anyone has ever tasted before.
The Challenge with Turkey Meatballs
While meatballs, in general, are easy to put together and eat, turkey meatballs seem to throw everyone for a loop.
We mostly want to eat turkey meatballs because they’re healthier than straight pork or beef meatballs. However, turkey is so lean that the meatballs are often dry and have a weird texture.
With just a few adjustments, my turkey meatballs are still incredibly moist and have a great texture.
How to Keep Turkey Meatballs Moist
As a homage to the holidays, I really wanted to play up the flavor and texture that turkey meat offers that beef just doesn’t have. Though, I know how fickle ground turkey meat can be with its tendency to be super dry once cooked.
To remedy this problem, I wanted to add some ground pork because of the meatiness and fatty content that pork meat inherently has.
Nothing like a play on the classic ham and turkey as stars of holiday meals to be the star of these meatballs. Because I used these two types of meat, I find that these meatballs are lighter in texture and won’t weigh down the stomach so much as beef meatballs do.
While these baked turkey meatballs do have pork mixed within them, they are healthier than straight pork meatballs, and they have a much better texture to them because of the additional fat.
What Seasonings to Use for Holiday Turkey Meatballs
I really wanted these turkey meatballs to shine along with the pomegranate glaze, so I didn’t want the seasonings to overpower the meatballs.
I went for a simple mix of:
- Red chile flake
The earthiness of the herbs really helps there be a holiday taste to these meatballs which makes them perfect for the holiday season.
I opted to not add breadcrumbs in my meatballs as they often just act as a filler which isn’t needed with these. So these easy turkey meatballs make a great gluten-free addition to an appetizer spread.
Why Are My Turkey Meatballs Rubbery
You won’t be able to tell there’s a texture issue with meatballs until they’re cooked. However, as you’re mixing the meat together, be sure to not over mix. Just like with bread making, you can over mix meat which leads to a rubbery and tough tasting meatball.
Mix the meat and seasonings until everything comes together and then stop mixing.
Pomegranate Glaze for Turkey Meatballs
I am so in love with this sauce, ya’ll. It’s unapologetic and it is in your face! It really packs a ton of flavor and I find that it’s something that not a lot of Americans have experienced.
I love the flavor of pomegranates! It’s sweet yet bold and super unique; there isn’t a fruit that tastes quite like it. I find that this fruit makes such a stand during the winter because it is one of the few foods that are bright and vibrant amongst a sea of warm and homey flavors.
But you turn pomegranates into pomegranate molasses and glaze them over these baked turkey meatballs, holy cow, your world will change for the better!
I love pomegranate molasses as an ingredient because it truly is one of a kind. I love the sweet and astringent taste it carries that seems to transform whatever it is added to.
I bake these turkey meatballs with a small amount of glaze on top just to set in the flavor but then I let these babies swim in the glaze before serving because they can really take on the flavor being fresh from the oven.
What Temperature to Bake Turkey Meatballs
Since turkey is poultry, you do need to make sure that these are completely baked through. I bake mine at 350 degrees until they reach 160 degrees or about 20 minutes. The result are delicious, full cooked, and safe to eat holiday turkey meatballs.
How Long are Turkey Meatballs Good For
This recipe makes a good bit of meatballs so you can feel free to freeze the shaped meatballs and bake as many as you feel you need. Once baked, though, the meatballs are good in the fridge for 7 days.
Please enjoy this recipe as part of your holiday spread for your next party! Let me know how you and your guests love it! For more tips on how to throw a successful holiday party, check out this post!
Happy eating everyone!
These Holiday Turkey Meatballs would go great with these other holiday appetizers:
For a full holiday dinner, be sure to check out these posts:
- 18+ Easy and Gourmet Holiday Party Appetizers
- 15+ Main Dishes for a Non-Traditional Holiday Dinner
- 35+ Must-Have Holiday Dessert Recipes
- 20+ Unique and Gourmet Holiday Side Dishes
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- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1/4 teaspoon chile flake
- 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/2 tablespoon dried basil
- 2 Egg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup pomegranate molasses
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 ounce ginger
- 1 each cinnamon stick
- 2 each bay leafs
- 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns
- Combine all of the meatball ingredients together until well mixed. To test the seasoning of the meatballs, cook a bit of the mix in a frying pan. Adjust seasonings.
- Combine glaze ingredients in a saucepot and boil until thick.
- Preheat oven to 350 and on parchment-lined baking sheets. Scoop meatball mix onto baking sheets, making sure to keep some space in between the meatballs so there is even cooking.
- Glaze meatballs with about a teaspoon of glaze before placing into the heated oven. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Pull meatballs from oven, place on to serving platter, pouring glaze through a strainer, over the meatballs. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and sliced scallions.
To help ease the stress of party planning, make the meatball mix a day or two in advance; store in an air tight container with plastic wrap covering the top.
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases
Amount Per ServingCalories 63Total Fat 3gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 23mgSodium 37mgCarbohydrates 4gFiber 0gSugar 3gProtein 4g