My Turkey Meatballs and Gravy Casserole is a fabulous idea for a Thanksgiving casserole or Christmas one pan dinner. This dish has comfort food written all over it! With fresh herbs and tender meatballs cooked with ‘from scratch’ gravy along with celery and carrots, how could anything go wrong? If waiting 8 hours for a roast turkey to cook isn’t your thing, ditch the bird and make this instead!!!

Turkey meatball and gravy casserole in a cast iron pan

How many times have you had a craving for the flavors of a roast turkey dinner with all the fixin’s during other seasons of the year? Well, I do all the time and this Thanksgiving Casserole is just what the Turkey Dr. ordered to satisfy the craving.

Using a spoon to pour gravy over meatballs

This dish is inspired by my Herb Butter Roast Turkey Breast with Gravy for Two and all you need is my delicious and Quick Cranberry Orange Sauce and my seriously Mashed Potatoes (see the picture below). The meatballs are quite simple with only necessary ingredients added and are made with ground turkey with herb butter added for a truly amazing and comforting flavor.

Mashed potato, cranberry sauce and a meatball casserole

This dish is made casserole style – all in one pan so it couldn’t be easier. The meatballs are cooked in oil, then removed. Carrots, celery, onions and garlic are cooked in the same pan in butter with chicken stock added and the pan drippings are thickened with flour. Then… those lovely meatballs are added back into the pan, then simmered on low so they cook through and the gravy thickens.

How to know when the meatballs are cooked

The best way is to use a meat thermometer, they should read 165°F/73°C. If you have browned them evenly and cooked them for the 15 minutes in the oven, this should be sufficient time for golf ball sized meatball.

Tips for the making the best meatballs

Turkey meatballs cooking in a cast iron pan
  • Don’t be heavy handed with the meat; mix it gently. Mix it only until all the ingredients are incorporated or they could turn out tough and chewy.
  • Refrigerate them before cooking. This gives helps them keep their shape while cooking. You want your meatballs to stay ball shaped, after all!
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan when cooking. Space these little guys out in an even layer. If they touch each other they will steam and not brown. (see picture above).
  • Add melted butter along with milk. Because turkey is lean, the added fat makes them very tender and soft and the milk adds moisture.

This recipe yields 20 golf ball sized turkey meatballs.

A white plate of mashed potatoes topped with turkey meatballs, gravy and a little cranberry sauce
Yield: 20 meatballs

Turkey Meatball and Gravy Casserole

Turkey meatballs cooking in vegetables and gravy

Turkey meatballs with fresh herbs are cooked in a delicious from scratch gravy.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • For the meatballs:
  • 4 tablespoons (55 grams) butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1  teaspoon onion powder
  • 1  teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1  teaspoon fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, whisked
  • 1 pound (453 grams) ground turkey
  • ½ cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil (or enough to cover the bottom of your pan)
  • For the gravy:
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 1 cup (100 grams) about ½ a medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose/plain flour
  • 3 cups (708 ml) low sodium chicken stock, warm
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/°180°C.
  2. To a large bowl add the butter, onion powder, rosemary, sage and salt, mix well. Add the turkey, breadcrumbs and egg. Use a fork or your hands to lightly mix, just until evenly combined (don’t over mix or they will be too dense).
  3. Shape the meat into 18 golf ball size meatballs. The meat will be sticky, wetting your hands will prevent them from sticking.
  4. To a large oven-proof pan over medium heat add the vegetable oil, enough to cover the bottom of your pan. When hot, add the meatballs in an even layer (leaving room in between each ball) and brown evenlyYou may have to work in batches as to not crowd the pan to ensure they are lightly brown all over.
  5. Once they are all browned, remove and set aside (they don’t have to be cooked all the way through).
  6. To the same pan, over medium heat add the butter. When melted and bubbly, add the carrots, celery and onions. Cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes until slightly softened. Stir in the garlic and sprinkle in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring to cook the flour, don’t brown or burn. Slowly add the chicken stock while whisking until it starts to thicken. Taste for salt (the amount will depend on how salt your stock is). Add the meatballs and stir to coat well. Transfer to the oven and bake uncovered for 15 minutes until the gravy is thick and the meatballs are cooked all the way through. Using a meat thermometer, they meatballs should have an internal temperature of 165°F/73°C.

Nutrition Information

Yield

4

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 403Total Fat 30gSaturated Fat 10gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 18gCholesterol 90mgSodium 1046mgCarbohydrates 23gFiber 2gSugar 6gProtein 11g

This nutrition calculation is provided by Nutronix that is only a guideline and not intended for any particular diet.