Sicilian Turkey Meatballs

Sicilian Turkey Meatballs, inspired by my recent culinary tours in Sicily. We had the pleasure of visiting a really great cooking school in Palermo. The Sicilian Pantry run by Chef Michael, it begins with meeting in the outdoor food market in Palermo, picking up some special items for our class. This recipe is inspired by ingredients that Chef Michael used in one of his recipes. If you are planning a trip to Sicily I highly recommend a cooking class at The Sicilian Pantry. The flavors where just so amazing and reminded me of the holidays in the states. So on one of those evenings when I could not sleep, this new recipe was buzzing around in my head. I think you will love it.

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Sicilian Turkey Meatballs

A great holiday meatball, the flavor of orange is just amazing. The pumpkin butter sauce just really elevates the flavor.




1 jar Blake Hill Pumpkin Butter

3/4 cup dry white wine

34 tablespoons Thai Red Chili Sauce


1 pound ground turkey

1 cup yellow onion chopped finely

3 tablespoons currants ( or golden raisins roughly chopped)

3 tablespoons toasted pinenuts

zest of 1 orange

2 tablespoons fresh parsley minced

salt, pepper, red chili flakes

1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

1 egg beaten



In a small sauce pan add the pumpkin butter, wine and chili sauce. Over medium heat cook 5 – 10 minutes until flavors and products are combined.


In a preheated dry saute pan toast the pine nuts, then set them aside. Add olive oil to the pan and add the onions. Saute about 15 minutes achieving a light caramel color and developing flavor. Seasom with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper.

While onions are cooking in a small bowl add the currants or golden raisins, orange zest, parsley, panko bread crumbs, pinenuts once they are cooled and onions when they are cooled.

In a medium size bowl add the ground turkey meat, beaten egg and bowl of seasoning ingredients. Stir until well combined and shape into 22 small meatballs. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat, add olive oil. When the oil is hot add half the meatballs, brown all sides and remove to a casserole dish. Finish browning the rest of the meatballs and add to the casserole dish. Pour the pumpkin butter sauce over the top, cover with a lid or with foil.

Bake in a pre heated oven 350* for 20 minutes until sauce is nice and bubbly and meatballs are cooked through.

Serve as an entree over whipped potatoes, rice or quinoa and garnish with sliced green onions. Or serve with toothpicks as an appetizer.



In the photograph I served my Sicilian Meatballs with whipped potatoes, and a vegetable saute of zucchini ribbons, spinach and peas. The veggies give a nice pop of color and crunch to an entree.

  • Author: Chef Shelly