Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs

$4.70 recipe / $0.24 per meatball
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.75 from 28 votes
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Raise your hand if you have multiple Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving gatherings to attend this year. 👋 Well you can’t make a turkey for all of them, so how about bringing these fun Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs instead? They make a really fun appetizer, addition to a Friendsgiving potluck spread, or if you’re a million miles away from home and still need those Thanksgiving vibes, these Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs got your back. They’re super easy, have all that Thanksgiving flavor, and make great leftovers (I speak from experience).

Thanksgiving appetizer spread with Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs, cranberry sauce, and gravy.

What Kind of Stuffing Should I Use?

There are many kinds of stuffing mixes on the market, but the most common variety comes in a 6oz. box and basically just contains dried bread, dehydrated vegetables, and bouillon powder. The bread absorbs some of the moisture from the turkey and egg, and helps keep the meatballs moist, while the dehydrated vegetables and bouillon powder flavor the meatballs, and provide all the salt and seasoning necessary.

You can use any flavor, whether it be herb, turkey, pork, or any other variety. I have not tested this recipe with cornbread style stuffings, but I expect it would work just the same.

NOTE: If the directions on your stuffing mix say to add chicken broth instead of water, it is likely that bouillon powder is not included in the mix and you should use chicken broth in place of the water when making the meatballs.

Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs being dipped into turkey gravy.

What to Serve with Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs

These tasty little meatballs make a great appetizer served with mushroom herb gravy and cranberry sauce for dipping, but you can also make it a meal! Serve the meatballs on a bed of mashed potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes, steamed green beans on the side, and either gravy or cranberry sauce on top. 

Can’t Find 19oz. Ground Turkey? No Problem.

I don’t know why, but some brands sell ground turkey in 19oz. packages, while others sell it in one pound (16oz.) packages. I’ve made this recipe using both amounts of ground turkey, with no additional adjustments, and it works great either way! 

Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs dipped in cranberry sauce and gravy.

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Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs

4.75 from 28 votes
Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs make an easy and delicious addition to your Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving spread. Serve as an appetizer or main dish! 
Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs dipped in cranberry sauce and gravy.
Servings 20 meatballs
Prep 10 mins
Cook 30 mins
Total 40 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 6oz. box stuffing mix ($0.69)
  • 1 cup hot water* ($0.00)
  • 19 oz. ground turkey (93% lean) ($3.49)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten ($0.26)
  • 2 Tbsp butter ($0.26)

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Place the dry stuffing mix in a large bowl, add the hot water, and stir until no more water pools on the bottom of the bowl. Let the stuffing sit for another 5 minutes to further soften. (Less water is added to the stuffing mix than is listed on the box in order to leave room for the absorption of moisture from the turkey and egg.)
  • Add the ground turkey and beaten egg to the bowl with the partially hydrated stuffing mix. Combine these ingredients by hand until they are evenly mixed. Form the mixture into 20 meatballs, slightly larger than ping pong balls, or about 3 Tbsp each.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then place the meatballs on the parchment. Bake the meatballs for 20 minutes in the preheated oven.
  • Melt 1 Tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add half of the baked meatballs and allow them to cook in the butter until browned on most sides (about 5 minutes). Transfer the browned meatballs to a serving dish, add a second tablespoon of butter to the skillet, and repeat with the second batch of meatballs. 
  • Serve warm over a bed of mashed potatoes or with gravy or cranberry sauce for dipping.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Video

Notes

*If your stuffing mix calls for chicken broth instead of water in the cooking instructions, use chicken broth for the meatballs as well.

Nutrition

Serving: 1meatballCalories: 101.46kcalCarbohydrates: 6.24gProtein: 5.73gFat: 5.81gSodium: 160.56mgFiber: 0.22g
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Scroll down for the step by step photos!

A Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs dipped in cranberry sauce.

How to Make Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs – Step by Step Photos

Moistened Stuffing Mix

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Place the contents of one 6oz. box of stuffing mix in a large bowl, add 1 cup hot water, and stir until no more water pools on the bottom of the bowl. Let the stuffing sit for five minutes more to continue to soften. You’ll be using less water than the instructions on the box list because you want to leave room for the stuffing to absorb moisture from the turkey and egg.

Turkey Stuffing Mix and Egg

Add 19oz. ground turkey (93% lean) and one lightly beaten large egg. Mix these ingredients together with your hands until they are evenly combined.

Raw Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs

Shape the mixture into 20 meatballs, each slightly larger than a ping pong ball in size (about 3 Tbsp each). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and place the meatballs on the parchment. 

Baked Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs

Bake the meatballs in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Browned Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs

Next, melt 1 Tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the baked meatballs and sauté in the butter until they’re browned on most sides (about 5 minutes). Transfer the browned meatballs to a serving dish, add a second tablespoon butter to the skillet, and repeat with the second batch of meatballs.

Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs served as a main dish with mashed potatoes

You can serve these Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs as a mini-Thanksgiving style dinner, or as a party or Friendsgiving appetizer.

Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs served as appetizers and dipped in cranberry sauce.

They’re awesome for dipping into cranberry sauce or gravy, and make great leftovers!

TRY THESE OTHER MEATBALL RECIPES:

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  1. Made these for a post-thanksgiving potluck at work today. I can’t get stove top stuffing where I live so bought some ready-made stuffing from a grocery store. It was already moist so I didn’t add water but maybe I should have bc they were a bit dry. I kept them warm in a crockpot on low and had them in gravy. They were a HUGE hit! People of a variety of backgrounds/ethnicities loved them! Another colleague brought in mashed potatoes and they went beautifully with them.

  2. Nope, not for me. Not inedible, but I will not be making these again. Just meh. Stuffing has always been my favorite part of Thanksgiving, but then again, I make my own stuffing. This was just totally blah.

  3. Very thankful for this turkey and stuffing recipe and the links to accompanying mushroom herb gravy. Did a low-key Thanksgiving dinner with those budgetbytes recipes and the following: easy roasted brussels sprouts, garlic mashed potatoes, riff on apple walnut stuffing [no nuts and added mushroom stems, celery, onion, and rosemary.], and zhuzhed up canned whole cranberry sauce (added ground ginger and orange zest). All of this after work on Friday, since I live outside of the US and don’t have days off for Thanksgiving.

  4. I just made this for dinner bc I was craving a little pre-thanksgiving celebration :) So good! My turkey was 16 oz. and I was roasting cremini mushrooms on the side so I chopped up the mushroom stems and added them to the mix. Great touch! Next time I think I would add an extra pinch of salt and fresh herbs to the mix…I used Stovetop and thought it needed to be amped up just a touch.

  5. LOVE this recipe. I make sliders using biscuits, mashed potatoes, meatballs, gravy and cranberry sauce. Fantastic!

  6. I would like to make these for my office potluck luncheon, but not sure what would be the best way to not only make ahead, but cook ahead (night before). Anyone have any ideas? Would I be able to cook them in an air fryer? Or cook day before and warm up in a crockpot somehow? Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

  7. These look delicious! Is the egg necessary or can I substitute for something else? My kids are allergic to eggs. Thanks!

    1. The egg is used as a binder, it’s what keeps the meatballs from falling apart. You can substitute the eggs with the following:
      2 tablespoons buttermilk per egg
      3 tablespoons of plain yogurt per egg
      1/4 cup ricotta cheese per egg
      3 tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce per egg

      XOXO -Monti

  8. Made these tonight for dinner and they were a huge hit! Served them with mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans and crescent rolls and it was like a mini thanksgiving! Super easy and absolutely delicious, we will be making these over and over.

  9. I’ve made this twice and recommend. It is soul satisfying, almost like a big Thanksgiving bird feast, without the big bird and the labor.. It has a similar vibe, which we clearly have enjoyed! Thanks Beth

  10. I’d like to make these ahead of time.  Should I make and bake them and then reheat them Thanksgiving day?  Or, can I mix and roll the day before, and bake them Thanksgiving day?

    1. I think they’ll probably taste the best if you mix and roll the day before, then cook on the day of. I wouldn’t prepare them any further ahead than one day, though. :)

      1. Thank you for getting back to me! The recipe was so easy, I had plenty of time to make them Thanksgiving morning.  Everyone loved them!

  11. I made these last night and they were excellent! Next time I probably won’t bother browning them in the skillet, though. I served them with mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans and cranberry sauce and it was the perfect meal. Great recipe as always!

  12. I made these tonight – the meatballs came out very fluffy (that is a good thing!!). They were pretty enough and were cooked through so they did not require browning in the skillet once they were done in the oven. I served them with Beth’s cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes. Very very easy and very very delicious. Absolute winner in my house. Thank you Beth!!

  13. Thank you so much for always coming to my rescue with your recipes! You put so much work and love into doing this for the benefit of all of your readers and it is so appreciated. I have not made one recipe from your blog that was not delicious so I know this one will be good also. I was trying to think of a meal to bring to a needy family and I think this will be the perfect one. Thank you again!