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Thanksgiving Turkey Meatballs


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Thanksgiving is still over a month away (Canadian Thanksgiving) but if I'm being honest, I love anything that reminds me of Thanksgiving/Christmas food anytime of the year! It's just always so comforting. 

I like to think of these meatballs like the bubble gum from Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. All the flavours of a turkey dinner packed into a meatball. Buttery leeks, celery, sweet potato, sage, thyme, cinnamon.. all the flavours! I like to eat mine with mashed potatoes and the quick pan gravy (recipe below), but you can also do mashed cauliflower for a lighter option. 

For the pan gravy, I found that cassava flour or tapioca flour worked best.  Gluten free 1:1 all purpose would also work great. Arrowroot can still be used, but I found the texture to be almost gooey if you know what I mean. 

Pro tip: For the real deal turkey dinner experience, add a spoon full of cranberry sauce on the side. 



Thanksgiving Turkey Meatballs


Makes 20 meatballs


For the meatballs:

  • 2 tablespoons butter or ghee
  • 1 large leek, white part only, very finely diced
  • 1 celery rib, very finely diced
  • ½ cup shredded sweet potato
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

For the Quick Pan Gravy:

  • 1¾ cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter or ghee
  • 2 tablespoons cassava flour or tapioca starch
  • ½-1 teaspoon poultry seasoning (adjust to taste)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For serving:

  • Mashed potatoes or cauliflower
  • Fresh chopped parsley



For the Turkey Meatballs:

  1. Preheat oven to 375℉ and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter or ghee in a pan over medium heat. Add the leeks, celery, and shredded sweet potato. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, and sage and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the ground turkey, egg, almond flour, cinnamon, salt,and pepper (reserve the pan to make the gravy in). Mix to combine well. Shape the mixture into 20 equal sized meatballs (about 1 heaping tablespoon per meatball). Place the meatballs on the parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until completely cooked through.


For the quick pan gravy:

  1. In a small sauce pan, bring the chicken broth to a simmer.
  2. In the same pan the leeks were cooked in, heat the butter  over medium-low heat. Sprinkle cassava flour or  tapioca starch over the butter one tablespoon at a time, constantly whisking, until smooth. Cook for 1 minute, and continue whisking. The mixture should be thick and bubbling.
  3. Slowly pour in the hot stock while whisking. The mixture will start to clump, just keep whisking and it will smooth out. Allow the gravy to cook for a few minutes longer to thicken.  Add the poultry seasoning, and season with salt and pepper to taste.


Drizzle over turkey meatballs and mashed potatoes or cauliflower and sprinkle with fresh parsley to serve


  • Danielle |

    Ok I just made these and they were crazy good! Only adjustment I made was to 1/2 the cinnamon due to personal preference. I honestly think I will make these for Christmas dinner to get my turkey fix – my husband and daughter aren’t fans of turkey anyway. Oh and the cranberry sauce on the side is a must!

  • Kristina |

    Can’t wait to try these! Could regular flour be used instead of almond flour? Tree nut allergy family 🤷‍♀️

  • Gen |

    Made these yesterday as a trial for Thanks giving.. YUM!!!!!! So moist we gobbled them up. I’m going to try them with FRESH sage and thyme for T-giving!

  • Lisa |

    These were AMAZING! Adding these to the regular rotation. My husband and 10-month-old son couldn’t get enough. Thanks for the recipe!!

  • Debbie |

    Oh my goodness. This was supper tonight and hubby and I enjoyed them so much. Followed the recipe exactly as written and it was pure genius! Who would’ve thought to put sweet potatoes in meatballs.
    Also, most of my family are vegetarians so I’m breaking this out for thanksgiving. A big old turkey is a waste here.
    Thanks Kirsten!

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