Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Meatballs

Ever wonder what to do with that leftover Turkey meat from Thanksgiving? You could make a pie or a soup, which are classic methods of "recycling" that extra meat, or you could try something completely new! I decided to turn them into my all-time favorite thing- meatballs!


  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into small dice
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into small dice
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 medium yellow onion, small diced
  • 3 cups shredded, cooked turkey (light and dark meat; about 12 oz)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning


  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the carrot, celery, onion, and garlic, then season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions and carrots have softened- about 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a plate to cool and wipe the pan clean with a dry, clean towel. Set the pan aside.
  • Grind the turkey and cooled vegetables through a hand crank meat grinder into a bowl. (Alternatively use a food processor) Add the remaining measured ingredients to the bowl (except for the oil) and stir to combine. Using your hands, form the mixture into 6-8 balls.
  • Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the reserved frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add 3 of the patties and cook undisturbed until the bottoms are dark golden brown- about 8 minutes. Using a tong, carefully flip the balls over and cook until they're dark golden brown on the other side, about 8 minutes more. Transfer to a large plate and repeat. Serve immediately alone or with a red sauce.

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