Pan-fried turkey meatballs with a flavorful honey-chipotle sauce. This simple recipe with just a few ingredients produces tender, flavorful meatballs that are perfect for a quick dinner.
As the weather turns warm, I am increasingly drawn to meals I can make on the stovetop. When summer gets into full swing, the last thing I want to do is make the air conditioner work even harder by turning on the oven. But I still want a delicious, comforting meal, and meatballs are definitely comfort food.
Ground Turkey: I use 90% lean ground turkey.
Onion & Garlic: Adds great flavor to the ground turkey.
Salt & Pepper: Enhances the flavor of the meatballs.
Olive Oil: Used to sauté the meatballs.
Honey: Honey adds the perfect amount of sweetness to contrast the spicy and tangy flavors.
Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce: Jalapeño peppers are dried and smoked, then rehydrated and marinated in a slightly sweet, tangy sauce. The result is smoky, spicy, and ultra-flavorful. You can find canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in the ethnic food section of the grocery store.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Adds a tangy element to contrast the spicy, sweet flavors.
Start by forming the meatballs. Add finely minced onions and garlic to the ground turkey. Gently stir until combined and start to form the mixture into meatballs. You don’t want to overwork the mixture, as this can make the meatballs tough. Using a tablespoon, gently form the mixture into about eight meatballs and place them on a plate.
Drizzle a skillet with olive oil over medium heat. Place the meatballs in the hot oil. Allow them to cook and brown on all sides. This process takes about 10 minutes.
While the meatballs are cooking, mince the chipotle pepper and stir in honey and apple cider vinegar. If I am opening a new jar of chipotle peppers, I give the leftovers a rough chop and freeze them in the Ziploc bag for later use. They will last a long time in the freezer and will be easy to chop for use in future recipes.
Once the meatballs are cooked through, pour the honey-chipotle sauce into the saucepan. Simmer, gently stir, and allow the mixture to coat the meatballs. Serve immediately.
Honey-chipotle turkey meatballs can be served with a wide variety of side dishes. They pair beautifully with Tex-Mex stuffed peppers for an easy, lighter dinner. I also love a creamy side dish like these parmesan Brussels sprouts. The flavors nicely contrast the tangy spice of the meatballs.
Honey Chipotle Turkey Meatballs
- ½ pound ground turkey
- 2 Tbsp onion finely diced
- 1 garlic cloves minced
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground pepper
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
Honey Chipotle Sauce
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp chipotle peppers in adobo sauce minced
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- In a medium bowl, mix together turkey, onion, garlic, salt, and ground pepper until combined (do not over-mix). Form into 7-8 meatballs.
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add meatballs and cook until browned on all sides, turning occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together honey, chipotle peppers, and apple cider vinegar.
- Pour honey mixture over meatballs, and stir to coat. Cook and let the mixture thoroughly coat the meatballs.