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These Sweet Potato Turkey Meatballs feature an interesting combination of ingredients that gives you the most superb, soft and delicious meatballs served with a creamy maple dipping sauce. Perfect for an appetizer and a total crowd pleaser!
It’s that time of year again, when images of roast turkey and stuffing dances in our heads. After so many years of holiday dinners I find myself wanting to experiment with creating new and delicious ways to combine these seasonal flavors. So if you’re like me and want a new twist on some old favorites, keep on scrolling!
Turkey meatballs have a tendency of being a little dry – this I’ve learned first hand. Luckily cooked and mashed sweet potato packs tons of moisture, flavor, and fiber into our little meaty morsels! Served alongside some Creamy Maple Dipping Sauce these are about to be your new favorite appetizer.
Today’s meatball recipe is perfect for this time of the year. Sweet Potato Turkey Meatballs! I have to say that these are the softest and most tender meatballs ever and the flavors are divine! Maple syrup and sweet potatoes? You know that’s a combination made in heaven!
- Meat – We’re using ground turkey today for super lean meatballs. Don’t worry about them drying out, our next ingredients gives tons of moisture.
- Sweet potato – Cooked and mashed up, turkey and sweet potato were made to be served together!
- Breadcrumbs – I used panko but you can substitute it for any breadcrumbs you have on hand.
- Hot sauce – We want a little bit of heat in our meatballs as well as acidity, feel free to use whichever brand you prefer.
- Garlic – Use as much or little as you like.
- Onion – Either white or yellow chopped up fine.
- Egg – The binder in our meatballs. If you’re egg free you can use 1/4 cup of ricotta per egg.
- Herbs – Fresh parsley chopped up. If dried is all you have on hand just keep in mind that 1 teaspoon dried equals 1 tablespoon fresh.
- Maple syrup – To give our meatballs a bit of sweetness which will perk up the sweet potato nicely.
- Seasoning – Salt and pepper.
- Olive oil – For frying up our meatballs.
Creamy maple dipping sauce
- Maple syrup – The main flavor component of our dipping sauce! Try to get your hands on the real stuff if it’s available to you!
- Mayo – Whichever brand is your favorite works just fine, this will add creaminess to our dip.
- Dairy – Feel free to use either sour cream or Greek yogurt, this will give us some more creaminess and some needed tang and acidity.
- Seasoning – Salt and pepper.
How To Make Sweet Potato Turkey Meatballs
- Make the meatballs: In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the meatballs except for the oil. Make sure the mixture is combined well. Form the meatballs into small 1 inch balls.
- Fry the balls: Heat about 2 tbsp of the oil in a large skillet. Add the meatballs and fry until golden all around, about 7 minutes. You will have to do this in 2 batches, so do not overcrowd the meatballs. Fry the meatballs in the skillet, a few at a time, turning them around so that they fully brown on all sides about 7 minutes. Transfer onto a plate and repeat with all meatballs.
- Create the dipping sauce: In a small bowl whisk together all the dipping sauce ingredients and serve with meatballs.
How To Cook Sweet Potatoes
There are multiple ways to cook your sweet potatoes. First of all you should clean the sweet potatoes, scrub them then pat them dry.
- Microwave: Pierce the potatoes with a fork 5 or 6 times then place them on a microwave-safe plate and microwave for 5 to 10 min per potato. Add 2 minutes for each additional potato. Make sure to rotate them halfway through. Sweet potatoes are cooked when a fork spears into them easily. If you feel they are too firm, continue cooking them in one-minute increments.
- Boil: Peel and cut up the sweet potatoes in cubes and add them to a large pot of boiling water. Cook them over medium-high heat for about 20 minutes.
- Bake: Preheat your oven to 375 F degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil then rub each potato with some vegetable oil. Prick the potatoes 5 or 6 times with a fork, then place them on the baking sheet. Depending on the size of your sweet potatoes it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour until they’re done.
How To Serve
I like to serve these all on their own as little appetizers, with a toothpick speared into each. But these also make a perfectly filling meal!
- Make sure you don’t over cook the meatballs because this can also result in tough meatballs
- Don’t be afraid to use a blend of different kinds of ground meat, for great flavor and lots of moisture
- Grate your onion up with a cheese grater before incorporating it into your meatballs to get a super moist and flavorful morsel
- When forming meatballs, it’s easier to form them if your hands are wet. Better yet, use a small ice cream scoop, this way all your meatballs will be uniformly-sized and no dirty hands.
Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 or 4 days. Make the dipping sauce before serving.
To freeze the meatballs, let them cool completely at room temperature. Transfer them to a freezer safe container and place them in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Craving More Meatballs?
- Pomegranate Cocktail Meatballs
- Salisbury Steak Meatballs
- Porcupine Meatballs
- Stout Meatballs
- Chimichurri Meatballs
- Sweet and Spicy Korean Meatballs
- Crockpot Sweet and Tangy Asian Meatballs
- Turkey Meatballs
- 1 small onion (finely chopped or grated)
- 1 pound ground turkey (lean )
- 2 cups sweet potatoes (cooked and mashed)
- 1 large egg
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
- ½ cup breadcrumbs (I used Panko, but regular breadcrumbs would work just as well)
- ½ cup parsley (fresh or dried, chopped is using fresh)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
- 4 tablespoon olive oil
- In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the meatballs except for the oil. Make sure the mixture is combined well.
- Form the meatballs into small 1 inch balls.
- Heat about 2 tbsp of the oil in a large skillet. Add the meatballs and fry until golden all around, about 7 minutes. You will have to do this in 2 batches, so do not overcrowd the meatballs.
- Fry the meatballs in the skillet, a few at a time, turning them around so that they fully brown on all sides about 7 minutes. Transfer onto a plate and repeat with all meatballs.
- In a small bowl whisk together all the dipping sauce ingredients and serve with meatballs.
- This recipe yields approximately 30 meatballs.
- Sweet potatoes: I have used both white sweet potatoes or the red skinned sweet potatoes for this recipe and they both yield the same result. You will need about 3 to 4 sweet potatoes to yield 2 cups mashed.
- How to cook sweet potatoes: I cooked mine in the microwave. Before placing them in the microwave, wash them then pierce them 5 to 6 times with a fork. Wrap each sweet potato in a paper towel then place them in a microwave safe plate. Cook for about 20 minutes in the microwave at full power. To check for doneness, stick a fork in the center of the potatoes, and if the fork goes in easily , but the center is still a bit firm, the potato is ready.
- Baking directions: Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray, or use a baking rack. Bake at 375 F for 30 minutes until golden brown.
- Freezing: To freeze the meatballs, let them cool completely at room temperature. Transfer them to a freezer safe container and place them in the freezer for up to 2 months.
- Leftovers: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 or 4 days. Make the dipping sauce before serving.
- Nutrition: Nutrition information is based per meatball plus dipping sauce. Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.
Originally shared May 2013.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.