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If you’re searching for a Thanksgiving recipe that’s both quick and easy to prepare, these turkey mozzarella meatballs are the perfect choice. They offer a delightful twist to your festive feast, without all the fuss.
Each succulent meatball is generously stuffed with a baby mozzarella ball and cranberry sauce, then encased in seasoned turkey mince, gluten-free breadcrumbs, and fresh sage.
Gently oven-baked in a cast-iron pan, these meatballs are then finished off with a glaze of homemade cranberry compote and garnished with fragrant sage leaves.
As you take a bite, the cranberry-coated mozzarella ball delicately moistens the meatball from the inside out, creating a tender and subtly sweet sensation.
These meatballs are not only guaranteed to satisfy your cravings, but they also bring a festive flair to the table, with their vibrant flavours and gentle cooking method. I hope you enjoy this wholesome and delicious holiday dish this season!
All the natural gravy and cranberry compôte make a delicious sauce that is perfect to be soaked up with mashed potatoes. If you are after a fluffy and decadent mashed potato recipe, head to my Swedish Meatballs post for the recipe.
Serve any of your favourite vegetables, but if you are looking for ideas: Steam some tender broccolini, carrots and/or green beans. Stir fry some red cabbage with shredded apples and red onions.
For a festive note, make a generous portion of gluten-free Cornbread and sausage stuffing. The stuffing can be made ahead of time and is suitable to freeze if you want to save some to serve at Christmas time.
Finish off this Thanksgiving dish with the super-quick homemade cranberry compôte or if you prefer a smoother consistency, then head to my homemade sauce or blitz the compôte until smooth.
Turkey Mozzarella Meatballs
Turkey Meatball Mixture
- 800 g turkey mince
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 12 medium fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
- 1 egg white, whisked lightly
- 40 g store-bought or homemade gluten-free breadcrumbs
- 3 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp white pepper
- Pinch of salt
- 13 baby mozzarella balls
- 2 tbsp store-bought or homemade cranberry sauce or puree some of the compôte (recipe below)
- olive oil & some butter, to grease the cast iron pan
- Dijon mustard, to serve (optional)
- Mix the turkey mince with the onion, fresh sage, egg white/s, breadcrumbs and milk in a medium bowl using your hands or a spatula until thoroughly incorporated.
- Add the meatball seasoning. Mix in well.
- Chill the mince mixture for 30 mins.
- Drain and pat dry the baby mozzarella balls with a sheet of kitchen paper towel.
- Roll each mozzarella ball in the cranberry sauce to coat them. Set aside.
- Roll the turkey mince mixture into 6 cm balls.
- After each ball has been rolled, flatten the ball with your fingers.
- Place the cranberry-coated mozzarella ball in the centre of the flattened ball.
- Wrap the mince around the ball and seal the opening with the mince to then reshape it back into a ball.
- Once all the meatballs have been assembled and rolled, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
- In a large cast iron or oven-proof pan, add some olive oil and a small piece of butter to grease the bottom.
- Transfer the meatballs to the pan a few centimetres apart. Cover with foil.
- Bake on the middle shelf for 25 mins. Some meat juices will leak into the pan but this will evaporate during the next cooking step.
- Remove the foil and bake for a further 15 mins. * This is a good time to prepare the cranberry compôte, see recipe below.
- Using a spoon, top and coat each meatball with the cranberry compôte.
- Scatter some whole fresh sage leaves over the meatballs. Return the pan to the oven for a final 5 mins.
- *Prepare the compôte by combining all the ingredients in a small pot.
- Cover with a lid and simmer over a med-low heat for 10 mins.
- Remove the lid and increase the heat to medium. Mix occasionally until the compôte is thick and syrupy, yet leaving some cranberries intact.
- Serve the meatballs on a large platter or directly in the pan with any remaining compôte served in a bowl for dipping. Additionally, serve them with a side of Dijon mustard. Garnish with shredded fresh or roasted crispy sage leaves.
- These turkey meatballs go well with mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables such as broccolini, red cabbage and cornbread and sausage stuffing.
- Keeps chilled for 3 days.
- Suitable to freeze.
- Reheat in a moderate oven or microwave.
- Delicious eaten cold or as a sandwich filling