Thanksgiving Dinner Turkey Meatballs

Recipe adapted from

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YIELD: 4 Servings

2 Tbsp. butter, unsalted
1 Tbsp. olive oil, plus extra for brushing the meatballs
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, plus leaves, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 slices of white or whole wheat bread
1/2 cup milk
1 lb ground turkey
1 large egg
3/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1/2 tsp. ground dried sage
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup cranberry relish, plus more for garnish

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment, spray with non-stick spray and set aside. In a medium skillet over medium heat, add the butter and olive oil. When the butter starts to foam, add in the onion and celery. Sauté, stirring often, until the onions and celery start to soften, about 10 minutes. When softened, add in the garlic and stir and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, put in a small bowl or plate and allow to cool to room temperature, about 15-30 minutes.

In a bowl, tear 3 slices of bread and add in the milk. Press the bread pieces down into the milk. The bread will soak up all/most of the milk. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. In a mixing bowl, add in turkey, cooled onion, celery and garlic mixture, “milk bread”, egg, seasonings and cranberry relish. Take the remaining dry piece of bread and tear up into small pieces and put that into the bowl as well.

Without overworking the mixture, gently mix just to combine. The mixture should be wet but hold its shape when you form it into a ball. If it doesn’t, you can add 1-2 tablespoons of regular bread crumbs and combine. Wet your hands and shape meat mixture into 2″ round balls and place each on the parchment lined baking sheet. Spray the meatballs with an olive oil mister or use a pastry brush to brush each meatball lightly with olive oil.

Bake for 20-23 minutes or when the internal temperature of the meatballs reads 165˚F. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. Serve on a bed of mashed potatoes with extra cranberry sauce on the side for garnish.