Thanksgiving Turkey Meatballs

Thanksgiving Turkey Meatballs – all the flavors of Thanksgiving in a meatball! This is an easy entertaining recipe to serve a crowd this holiday season!

Thanksgiving turkey meatballs on a plate served over mashed potatoes with gravy on top

This is the best Friendsgiving main dish…

This recipe is great if you’re hosting Friendsgiving or Thanksgiving dinner and you don’t want to make a full turkey!

The meatballs are made with ground turkey and have all the Thanksgiving flavors loaded in them. So you can still have a turkey dinner without making a full Thanksgiving turkey.

It’s like a thanksgiving turkey and stuffing merged into one bite. Almost like turkey stuffing meatballs? Plus they are glazed with gravy. And they can be made in 30 minutes from start to finish. Win, win, win!

Or a great way to bulk up the meat on Thanksgiving…

If you are hosting a lot of people for Thanksgiving and don’t want to make two turkeys… this is what you should make! You can make one turkey + a batch of these meatballs. And you won’t have to worry about not having enough meat!

The meatball mixture is supposed to be very wet!

When you mix together the meatball ingreidnets, the mixture will be very wet. That is okay! I wanted the meatballs super tender and easy to cut into with a fork. So that means the meatball mixture has to be very wet.

Use a cookie scoop to form the meatballs into balls.

Recipe modifications:

The gravy – I prefer storebought chicken gravy for this recipe! I use store bought gravy because it’s easier. And I like the flavor profile of the chicken gravy over the turkey gravy. You can use either depending on your preference. You could even use homemade gravy!

The meat – I used ground turkey in these meatballs to stay on the Thanksgiving theme. But the recipe would also work with ground chicken!

Close up of the thanksgiving turkey meatballs with gravy and fresh parsley on top

What to serve with these meatballs?

I like mashed potatoes and extra gravy on top. Some cranberry sauce on the side would be delicious! Plus this fall harvest salad if you’re looking for a vegetable dish!

Can you make this ahead of time?

Yes! Fully bake and glaze the meatballs the day before or the morning of. Cover with foil and refrigerate on a microwave safe plate or platter until you are ready to serve. When you’re ready to serve, microwave the meatballs until the warmed through!

Can I freeze these Thanksgiving turkey meatballs?

Yes! You can definitely freeze these meatballs. Place the meatballs on a baking sheet in a single layer and transfer to the freezer. Once the meatballs are frozen, put them in a freezer bag.

To reheat, place the frozen meatballs in an ovenproof pan or baking dish and cover with foil. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes, or until hot all the way through. Not required, but I recommend brushing with a little more gravy once they are warmed.

Thanksgiving Turkey Meatballs

All the delicious savory flavors of Thanksgiving in a meatball! This is an easy entertaining recipe!
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Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 20 meatballs


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot, diced very small
  • 1 celery stalk, diced very small
  • 1 whole carrot, peeled + diced very small (or 5 baby carrots)
  • 1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs (or 1/3 cup crushed gluten free pretzels, about 1 cup pretzels blended into crumbs in the blender)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon mayo
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound ground turkey (85% lean)

For finishing:

  • 1 (12 oz) containers store bought chicken gravy
  • fresh parsley (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  • Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Stir in the shallot, celery, and carrots. Cook until fully softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • In a medium bowl, add the cooked vegetables and all of the other meatball ingredients. Use your hands to bring the mixture together, until just combined and the ingredients are evenly distributed. (The meatball mixture will be very wet! That's okay!)
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Use a 2 Tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop out the meatballs. Place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through (165 internal temperature)
  • Add the gravy to a microwave safe mug and microwave for 30 seconds to warm it up.
  • Once the meatballs come out of the oven, brush the gravy on top. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley. Serve with extra gravy on the side!


Serving: 1 meatball with gravy | Calories: 79kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 5g