Turkey Meatballs

Turkey Meatballs

Sausage, herbs, and cheese make the juiciest turkey meatballs.


  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 pound ground turkey (preferably not lean)
  • 1/2 pound sweet Italian turkey sausage
  • 2 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh chives, plus more for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 large garlic clove, grated
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
  • Fresh small basil leaves
  • Hot cooked rice or orzo
  • Lemon wedges


  1. Place panko in a large bowl. Pour milk over panko, and stir to combine. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until panko absorbs milk, about 2 minutes. Add ground turkey, sausage, cheese, egg, basil, chives, lemon zest, garlic, pepper, and salt. Stir gently using a fork or clean hands until combined, being sure not to overwork meat.
  2. Line a small baking sheet using parchment paper. Roll turkey mixture into about 16 (2-ounce) balls. Place on prepared baking sheet, and cover using plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator until firm and cold, at least 15 minutes or up to 12 hours.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F. Line a small baking sheet with aluminum foil, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil; set aside.
  4. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add meatballs in an even layer; cook, undisturbed, until browned on 1 side, about 2 minutes. Carefully turn using tongs; cook, turning often, until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Place meatballs on prepared baking sheet. (Do not wipe out the skillet.) Bake the meatballs in preheated oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of meatballs registers 155°F, about 7 minutes. (Temperature will continue to rise to 165°F.)
  5. While meatballs bake, add wine to cast-iron skillet; bring to a boil over medium-high, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from bottom of skillet. Cook over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until wine is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Whisk in broth and mustard; bring to a simmer over medium-high, stirring occasionally. Cook, stirring constantly, until mustard is smooth and sauce is slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and whisk in butter until combined.
  6. Divide meatballs evenly among plates, and spoon about 2 tablespoons pan sauce over meatballs. Garnish with basil leaves and additional chives. Serve over cooked rice or orzo with lemon wedges.

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