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A close up of a pan of barbecue meatballs with a wooden spoon ready to serve
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Turkey BBQ Meatballs

Deliciously flavorfully spiced, tender and moist turkey BBQ Meatballs are glazed with the ultimate homemade barbecue sauce with hints of spice, pineapple and molasses! 
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Southern
Keyword meatballs, turkey

Ingredients

For the Meatballs

  • 2 lbs 85% lean ground turkey chilled
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated sweet potato firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped spinach firmly packed
  • 1 tbsp dried chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp worchestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chili pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 large egg
  • More grated parmesan cheese for serving
  • freshly chopped parsley for garnish

For the BBQ Sauce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 29 oz tomato sauce can
  • 8 oz crushed pineapple can
  • 3 tbsp dark molasses
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dry mustard
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

For the Meatballs

  • First, gather all your ingredients before you start. This will help save you time and help you maintain your focus and momentum as you begin to make this recipe or any recipe.
  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Next, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. A standard 18 x 13 inch baking sheet works well.
  • In a large, chilled mixing bowl, add chilled ground turkey. Break up the meat and spread it over the bottom surface of the bowl.
  • One by one, evenly distribute each listed ingredient over the meat. Add the crack egg last.
  • Using your hands, gently mix until all the ingredients are incorporated. This takes about 1 minute. Make sure not to over mix.
  • Divide the mixture in half. Form each half into 12 meatballs, for a total of 24 meatballs. Place the meatballs on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  • Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven.

To Make the BBQ Sauce

  • First, gather all your ingredients before you start. This will help you save time and help you maintain your focus and momentum as you begin to make this recipe or any recipe.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a 2.5 or 3 quart, non-stick saucepan set on medium heat. Once the oil is heated, add the chopped bell pepper and onion to the saucepan.
  • Next, sauté the bell pepper and onion for 4 minutes - stirring constantly with a wooden or silicone spoon/spatula - until they are lightly brown. Add chopped garlic to mixture and sauté 30 seconds or until the garlic is fragrant.
  • Add all of the remaining ingredients, and mix well.
  • Bring the sauce to a gentle boil, and then cover the saucepan with the lid.
  • Simmer the sauce for 15 minutes, covered; stir at least twice. After 15 minutes, remove the saucepan from the heat.
  • Add the baked meatballs to the sauce and gently stir them through. Cover the saucepan for 5 minutes, and then serve as appetizers, as sliders or pour over a pound of cooked spaghetti. Finish with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh chopped parsley.

Notes

If serving for a gathering or event, the sauce and meatballs can also be kept warm by placing them in a Crockpot set on the warm setting.