Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs with Gravy is an anytime of the year, busy weeknight dinner recipe loaded with Thanksgiving flavor. Absolutely delicious and with easy prep time, you can have this meal on the table in under an hour.
What are Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs
Think of them as Thanksgiving meatballs. They’re a great way to enjoy some flavors of that big feast easily any time of the year. Roasted turkey dinner without all the fuss and muss.
Ground turkey and convenient box stuffing mix are mixed together to make a delicious savory meatball. Then as a bonus, they’re cooked in seasoned broth which not only keeps the meatballs moist, it is then turned into homemade gravy. You’ll get 18-24 meatballs for the recipe below, depending on how large you roll them.
During the holiday season, this recipe could be made into about 48 mini browned meatballs for a party. Serve them in the gravy with some cranberry sauce as a dip. Delicious.
And they best thing about these turkey meatballs is there’s no fighting over light or dark meat.
- Ground Turkey — there’s a few fat percentage options of ground turkey just like ground beef. 85%-90% lean is good.
- Stuffing Mix — Use your favorite brand and flavor.
- Eggs — these are the binder holding the meatballs together.
- Seasonings — thyme, granulated garlic, salt, black pepper, and onion. Use a hand grater or microplane zester for the onion.
- Chicken broth — we recommend using low sodium. Chicken stock is fine too.
- Roux — butter and flour
- Fat — Extra virgin olive oil not pictured, used to pan fry the meatballs along with some butter.
How to make Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs
Step 1 — Preheat the oven to 350°F. Crumble the ground turkey a large bowl.
Step 2 — Add the two eggs.
Pro Tip: If you’re using medium eggs and 95% fat or leaner, use 3 eggs.
Step 3 — Add all the seasonings, including any liquid the grated onion has released.
Step 4 —Add the stuffing mix with its seasonings. Mix well. Form meatballs.
Pro Tip: To make sure the meatballs cook evenly, they need to be the same size. Use an ice cream or cookie scoop to keep their size uniform. If you’re making this for a party appetizer, use a large melon baller. Coat the utensil in olive oil for easy release.
Step 5 — Heat the skillet over medium high heat. Add a tablespoon of butter and olive oil. Place a batch of meatballs in the skillet that will comfortably fit with room around them.
Pro Tip: Ground turkey is very tender, less firm than beef. You’ll need space not just to get them nicely browned, but to make turning them over easier without ruining their form.
Step 6 — Flip the meatballs to continue browning. Continue searing all the meatballs in batches. Flip the meatballs to continue browning. Continue searing all the meatballs in batches until golden brown.
Step 7 — Once all the meatballs have been seared, return all of them to the skillet. Pour in the broth and add the remaining tablespoon of butter and thyme. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until fully cooked and a meat thermometer reads 165°F.
Step 8 — Remove the meatballs from the skillet and put them in a large bowl, cover to keep them warm. Scrape up any stuck on bits from the bottom of the skillet and pour the remaining liquid into at least a two-cup measuring cup.
Pro Tip: Place the meatballs on a rimmed baking sheet with a cooking rack, covered to keep warm. Then when making the gravy, retrieve the baking sheet pan and pour any juices released while resting into the gravy for an additional flavor boost.
How to make pan gravy from cooking liquid
Pan drippings make the best gravy and technically, this isn’t true pan drippings, as it’s mostly broth, but this liquid will make a delicious gravy.
From removing the pan liquid, you should have nearly two cups. Add additional liquid to get to two cups, then you’ll need an additional two cups to get started.
Get the full directions on making Easy Skillet Pan Gravy (it will open in a new tab) for all the tips, tricks, and flavor enhancer info.
Step 1 — Make a roux by melting butter in the skillet and whisking in the flour to make a smooth paste.
Step 2 — Pour the cooking liquid slowly into the roux paste. Once all incorporated, bring to a boil.
Step 3 — Reduce to a low simmer (medium heat) and allow the gravy to thicken to desired consistency.
Pro Tip: Fat from pan frying the meatballs will rise to the surface while it’s in the measuring cup. The risen fat can be used to deduct how much butter you add to make the gravy OR you can add up to a tablespoon MORE flour when making the roux to compensate for this additional fat. You’ll have a thicker gravy that can be thinned with more broth, water, or milk.
Step 4 — OPTIONAL. If you want smooth gravy without any extra bits (small pieces of meat from searing), pass the cooked gravy through a mesh strainer to collect and discard them. Then serve.
How to serve Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs with Gravy
- In a bed of mashed potatoes.
- Cranberry sauce, canned or homemade, as a topping or dip.
- Over steamed rice.
- With egg noodles. Make the gravy slightly thicker to coat the noodles better.
- Serve with a side green salad.
- Add side dish vegetables like green beans, asparagus, roasted carrots, sweet corn, or any favorite vegetable.
- If serving as a party appetizer, transfer the mini meatballs to a crock pot / slow cooker set on the warm setting and pour the gravy in. This will keep them warm during the party.
Yes, use your favorite packaged stuffing mix.
We’ve not made it this way, but suggest using approximately 2 cups of small dried bread cubes. Then in a small bowl, add the following: a teaspoon of salt (if using kosher salt, start with 1/2 teaspoon, then add more if necessary), and a mixture of dried or finely chopped fresh herbs. Herbs could be: dried or fresh sage, dried or fresh thyme, dried or fresh parsley, dried or fresh rosemary, for use poultry seasoning blend. Add about a teaspoon of dried chicken bouillon granules. Add 1/2 teaspoon of both onion powder and garlic powder. Add the bread cubes and seasoning blend to the turkey mixture.
Absolutely. Ground chicken is even more tender than ground turkey, so take heed of the pro tips in the cooking step one through four above.
You can rewarm them quickly in the microwave. Or slowly on the stove top or oven. If they’ve been stored in the gravy, you may need to thin the gravy out a bit with some broth, water, or milk.
Yes, freeze any cooked meatballs in a freezer bag or similar airtight container. Make sure they are fully cooled before freezing as to not condensate and create freezer burn.
Store any leftover meatballs (in or separate from the gravy,) for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
No, frozen meatballs are pre-made and cooked and this recipe is for making them homemade.
Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs with Gravy
- 12-inch cast iron skillet
- 2 lbs ground turkey
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tbsp granulated garlic
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 3 tbsp onion finely grated or minced
- 1 boxed stuffing mix turkey or chicken flavor
- 2 tbsp butter divided
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Crumble the ground turkey a large bowl and add the eggs, salt, pepper, garlic, onion, and stuffing mix. Mix well until combined.
- Form the meatballs. Make them as uniform in size for even cooking.
- Heat the skillet over medium high heat. Add the butter and olive oil.
- Cook the meatballs in batches so that they will comfortably fit with room around them and allow them to get a good sear, 1-2 minutes
- Carefully flip the meatballs to continue browning.
- Return all of the meatballs to the skillet and pour in the broth, thyme, and butter.
- Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until fully cooked and a meat thermometer reads 165°F.
- Remove the meatballs from the skillet to a large bowl or baking sheet. Cover to keep them warm.
- Scrape up any stuck on bits from the bottom of the skillet and pour the remaining liquid into at least a two-cup measuring cup.
- Top off the measuring cup of cooking liquid to equal two cups.
- Make a roux by melting butter in the skillet and whisking in the flour to make a smooth paste.
- Slowly pour the cooking liquid into the roux paste. Once all incorporated, bring to a boil.
- Reduce to a low simmer and allow the gravy to thicken to desired consistency.
- OPTIONAL. If you want smooth gravy without any extra bits (small pieces of meat from searing), pass the cooked gravy through a mesh strainer to collect and discard them. Then serve.
Dutch Oven Daddy is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.