Turkey Meatball Appetizer

Make this Turkey Meatball Appetizer recipe for your next party or holiday! A simple to make, make ahead appetizer that everyone will love. These turkey meatballs have a secret ingredient that makes them irresistible!


Addicting Turkey Meatball Appetizer

Meatball appetizers are some of the best appetizers you can make. Meatballs are a perfect one-bite appetizer that everyone loves. No messing with a fork to cut it, no awkward bites that leave food hanging out of your mouth at a party. Just a toothpick and you’re good to go.

These turkey meatballs also use my favorite whiskey glaze recipe that we’ve used on so many different things, like Whiskey Fried Ribs, or Chicken Wings…you can put this glaze on almost anything and it’s going to be amazing.

What’s the secret ingredient, you ask? Thinly grated, tart granny smith apples. The apples melt away in the meatballs as they cook, so there’s not a lot of texture. Just a sweet, tart flavor that gives these meatballs an extra pop of flavor!

How to Make Baked Turkey Meatballs

Start by adding all the meatball ingredients to a bowl and mix together until combined. Don’t over mix the meatballs or they’ll turn out tough. Just enough to get everything blended nicely.


Use a 1 1/2 tablespoon scooper to portion out the meatballs on a baking sheet. Spray the baking sheet with non stick cooking spray first or line it with parchment paper.

Bake the meatballs at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes until firm and coked through. You can make these turkey meatballs smaller or larger, just adjust the cooking time according to the size.


While the meatballs are in the oven, you can make the whiskey glaze by adding all the ingredients for the glaze (except the cornstarch) into a small pot.

Bring the glaze to a boil, then whisk in the cornstarch mixture, bring to a boil again and then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.

Toss the meatballs in the whiskey glaze and serve. You can add the meatballs and glaze to a slow cooker at this point to keep warm while serving.


Can You Make This Turkey Meatball Appetizer Ahead Of Time?

Absolutely! You can make these a day ahead of time, even. Warm them back up in the oven or a slow cooker and then serve.

We like using a slow cooker for this because then we can keep them warm all night for parties and holidays!

Looking For More Appetizer Recipes?


Turkey Meatball Appetizer

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 38 Meatballs 1x

Make this Turkey Meatball Appetizer for your next party or holiday! A simple to make, make ahead appetizer that everyone will love!



For The Meatballs:

  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion, grated or finely diced
  • 1 cup apple, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs

For the Whiskey Glaze:

  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable  oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 1/2 cup whiskey
  • 1/21 teaspoon cayenne pepper (depending on how spicy you like the glaze)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch mixed with 1 1/2 tablespoons of water


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Add the ingredients for the meatballs into a large bowl and mix together until just combined.
  3. Using a 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop, portion out the meatballs onto a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes, until firm and cooked through.
  5. While the meatballs are in the oven, start the whiskey glaze by adding all the ingredients to a medium saucepan (except for the cornstarch mixture).
  6. Bring the glaze to a boil, then whisk in the cornstarch mixture and bring back to a boil again.
  7. Turn the heat down and simmer for 10 minutes until the glaze reduces and thickens.
  8. When the meatballs are done, place in a large bowl and toss with the whiskey glaze.
  9. At this point, you can also put the meatballs tossed with the glaze into a crock pot and set on low or the keep warm setting until ready to eat.
  • Category: Appetizers
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

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