Well friends, I am back with yet another meatball recipe; and, like those that came before it, it is crazy, stupid delicious. It was one of the best dinners we’ve had in a while, and I can definitely see these meatballs making their way onto our table a lot, in the near future.
I had seen a couple recipes around the internet for honey chipotle turkey meatballs; and because you all know I cannot just read a recipe and USE it, I decided to just take the idea and make my own meatballs! Per usual, I just got to throwin’ stuff in a bowl, mixed it all together, and crossed my fingers… and wouldn’t you know it, it WORKED. I did my best to approximate the amounts of each ingredient I used so that I could give you a more accurate recipe than “Just use some of this, and then a little of that.” Because I’m nice like that.
Honey Chipotle Turkey Meatballs
For the meatballs:
1 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup sweet onion, diced fine (I used 1/4 of a GIANT onion)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T minced fresh parsley
2 T heavy cream
1/2 t kosher salt
1/4 t black pepper
1 T honey
1 chipotle pepper, minced
2/3 cup plain breadcrumbs
For the glaze:
1 T apple cider vinegar
2 T honey
2-3 chipotle peppers minced
1-2 T adobo sauce, from the chipotles
1 T sweet bbq sauce
pinch each of salt and pepper
1.) Start by preheating your oven to 375°. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all the meatball components EXCEPT the turkey and breadcrumbs. Once everything is well-combined, add your turkey, and use your hands to gently mix everything into the turkey (being careful not to overmix).
2.) Begin by adding 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs to the meatball mixture; gently mix that in and see how wet it is. If it’s still too wet and gloppy, you can add more breadcrumbs. If it seems like it’s still moist, but not too wet, leave it as is.
3.) Roll your turkey mixture into 1.5-2″ meatballs. I got 20 meatballs out of my mixture. Set them to the side to rest for a minute.
4.) Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and add about 2 T of canola oil to it. While that is heating, go ahead and whisk together all the ingredients for your glaze.
5.) When the skillet is hot, add your meatballs to it (I ended up doing mine in two batches, so as not to crowd the pan, which would result in them not browning). Brown them for about 2 minutes, then flip to another side to brown for 2 more minutes, and then flip to another side to brown for a final 2 minutes. As the meatballs are done browning, remove them to a foil-lined baking dish.
6.) When all your meatballs are browned, go ahead and brush them with the glaze, and then pop them into the 375° oven for about 10 minutes, until they’re cooked through.
7.) When you pull the meatballs out of the oven, give them a final brush with your glaze, and they’re done!
(Side note: if you don’t want to mess with browning them on a stovetop, you can skip that step – just line the meatballs up on a foil-lined baking sheet, and bake for 25 minutes, or until they’re cooked through. Personally, I prefer to brown them first, because I love the little crunchy/caramelized bits you get from browning, but it’s not necessary.)
If you haven’t figured it out by now, I LOVE the combination of anything sweet and spicy – and this recipe is PERFECT for me. The chipotles deliver just a slight edge of heat, and the honey thickens the glaze up and gives the outside of the meatballs a sweet crunch. You can serve them on their own (with a side of some garlicky snap peas, and maybe some brown rice or mac and cheese) – but I decided to make mini open-face meatball subs out of them. I halved a ciabatta roll (I buy the 8-packs at Sam’s Club, then wrap them individually and freeze them, which makes them perfect for meals like this), covered the surface of the bread with halved meatballs and extra glaze, and then topped that with some muenster cheese. A few minutes under the broiler to melt and brown the cheese, and we were all set! I served them with a small salad of cherry tomatoes and sliced cucumbers, and it was the perfect meal.
It should be noted that my husband was so enamored by these meatballs that he actually requested I make him a SECOND sub, once he had finished his first. So, I think that was a good sign.
Apparently I will never tire of making new varieties of meatballs,