Thanksgiving-inspired Turkey-herb Meatballs

By on November 1, 2013

By Jenna Helwig for Completely You

These easy-to-make meatballs are irresistible — and perfect for Thanksgiving or any time of year. The secret ingredient: a bit of ketchup mixed into the meat and then brushed on top before baking. They come together in minutes and freeze well to boot. You may never defrost a pre-packaged meatball again!

fall scents for your home

Meatball trick of the trade: Wet your hands with cold water first to keep the meat from sticking to your fingers when you form the balls.

Makes 8 meatballs


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pound ground turkey, preferably dark meat
  • 1/3 cup panko or other dried breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup ketchup, plus 1 tablespoon for glazing
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste


1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

3. Heat the oil in medium pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, reduce the heat to medium-low and saute until soft, about eight minutes. Add the garlic and continue to saute for another minute. Remove the pan from the heat and let the onion mixture cool for 10 minutes.

4. In a medium-size bowl, crack the egg and beat it with a fork. Add the turkey, panko, 1/4 cup ketchup, salt, oregano and pepper. Add onions and garlic. Mix with your hands until just combined. Do not overmix.

5. Form meat mixture into eight balls and place them on the baking sheet. Brush them evenly with the remaining tablespoon of ketchup. Bake until the meatballs reach an internal temperature of 165 F on an instant-read thermometer. Begin checking after 35 minutes.



Jenna Helwig is a food writer, recipe developer, personal chef, culinary instructor and founder of Rosaberry. She holds a culinary arts degree from the Institute of Culinary Education and lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. This is her first recipe to appear on Completely You.

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Thanksgiving-inspired Turkey-herb Meatballs