Easy Turkey Meatballs with Pumpkin Curry Sauce

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Whew! Wait. April is over? What? It’s been quite a whirlwind few weeks. I know I always say this, since I’m a broken record. But anywho…. unfortunately things will probably be slow around here for a bit since work is picking up for the foreseeable future AND I’m about to go on a big trip! We’re heading to Paris, France next week. And why is there so much to get ready before then? I mean, when did all these To-Do’s pile up? Why do I have to be an adult?

So anyhow, between trying to stay on top of work and contributing to the planning of our European vacation, which starts in only in a few short days, I haven’t been finding time to blog. I’ve been cooking though. I actually just made these same turkey meatballs today, for the second time this month. I just haven’t found time to share them here yet! However, if you have been following me on the Instagrams, you will have seen both instances of me making them [shameless plug for more social media followers, ha!].

I’m slightly obsessed with these meatballs. What’s funny is that I have shied away from making meatballs because I had it stuck in my head that it was a lot of work. How wrong could I be? Making meatballs is actually a pretty easy task. Prep all the ingredients and mix them together, then shape the meat into balls and bake or saute as necessary. That’s it. You’re done. Why haven’t I been making these for forever!? I made these with ground turkey, but that was only because I couldn’t find ground chicken in my grocery store. You can use either!

In this case, I paired these meatballs with a pumpkin curry sauce. This sauce can get crazy spicy, so be careful when making it! I absolutely love this sauce and I’ve spooned this over pasta and ravioli before too. It’s really the best. You already know that I have an obsession with pumpkin flavors, and if you didn’t know, I also really love curry. Put these two together and this is a no-brainer for me.

These meatballs make a delicious appetizer that you can serve individually, as I show in the pictures. You can also choose to serve a few of them over rice or pasta, drizzled with the sauce for a really tasty lunch or dinner.

Easy Turkey Meatballs with Pumpkin Curry Sauce
makes 18 meatballs

Print Recipe

For the meatballs:

  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs

  • 1/4 cup milk

  • 1 lb. ground turkey (or chicken)

  • 1 large egg

  • 3 tablespoons grated onion (or shredded in a food processor)

  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh basil

  • 2 tablespoons sour cream

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • olive oil for forming meatballs

For the pumpkin curry sauce:

  • 1/4 stick butter

  • 1 small diced yellow onion

  • 1 can diced tomatoes

  • 1-2 tablespoons your favorite hot-sauce

  • approximately 1 (~15 ounce) can pureed pure pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)

  • 3 tablespoons curry powder

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth

  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon powdered cayenne pepper

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

Make the turkey meatballs:

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. If using the foil, then lightly spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray.

2) In a large bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs and milk. Allow the mixture to sit for 2-3 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs absorb the milk.

3) Add in the chicken, egg, onions, basil, sour cream, salt, and black pepper. Use you hands to mix the ingredients together until just combined. Be careful not to over-mix, or your meatballs will be tough. Allow the mixture to rest for 10 minutes.

4) Pour a little olive oil into your palms, then form the chicken into 18 meatballs. Set the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet.

5) Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Make the pumpkin curry sauce:

1) While the meatballs are baking, melt the butter for the sauce in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add in the diced onion and saute until just translucent.

2) Pour in the can of diced tomatoes, including the liquid. Sprinkle in your favorite hot sauce. (I recommend to use it sparingly, as you can always add more heat after the sauce is finished. It’s much more difficult to remove the heat once it’s added.) Reduce the heat to medium-low.

3) Pour in the can of pureed pumpkin, the curry powder, garlic powder, and vegetable broth. Allow the sauce to cook uncovered for 20 minutes, or until it reaches a yogurt-like consistency. Sprinkle in the desired amount of cayenne pepper, as well as the salt and black pepper.

4) Drizzle the olive oil into the sauce and remove it from the heat. Allow to cool for a few minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree the sauce until it becomes as chunky or creamy as you like. Serve hot over the chicken meatballs.

**Note: It goes without saying that you can make each of these recipes separately and pair them with other proteins or sauces. This is just what I made and enjoyed.

— Turkey meatball recipe slightly adapted from Little Broken blog
— Pumpkin curry sauce recipe from Food Network

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