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Raspberry glazed meatballs are a fun variation on the ever popular grape jelly meatball. Turkey meatballs with oats instead of breadcrumbs are baked in a fresh raspberry sauce and make a fantastic appetizer or entree.
This summer is all about fresh summer fruit. Seasonal eating has always kept our menu at home delicious and varied and I’m letting the fruits I crave all winter inspire a menu this year. But most often, delicious fruits, especially the berries lend themselves to desserts and baked goods. Instead I set out to create a savory berry entree, and these raspberry glazed meatballs were the delicious, oh so scrumptious result.
Raspberry Sauce for Meatballs
Raspberries are easily one of my favorite berries when it comes to sauces, they’re tart, sweet, and the color is gorgeous. They’re also super delicate, which means they break down when cooked, making them ideal for whipping up a raspberry sauce for meatballs.. (Learn more about raspberries in Summer Berries: A Complete Guide).
- Raspberries – The key component obviously in raspberry glazed meatballs, fresh raspberries are ideal.
- Brown sugar – In addition to making berries delicious, as it dissolves into the liquid it makes it syrupy, and as it reduces, that syrup thickens.
- Soy sauce – Salt and umami, soy sauce was the perfect choice to bring the sugar and berries from sweet sauce to savory glaze.
- Lemon juice – Just like sugar amplifies and smooths the sweetness of berries, lemon juice helps intensify the tartness of the berries, and helps cut through the intensity of the soy sauce.
- Dijon mustard – Mustard provides that tang without the sourness of lemon.
- Sriracha – A teeny tiny bit of pepper sauce goes a long way in boosting this glaze to the next level. Peppers are complex, far beyond spicy, and compliment the natural sweetness in the sauce in a rich way. Sriracha is my ideal choice here, but you can use your favorite.
Meatballs with Oatmeal
Meatballs are a discovery of my adult life. They weren’t something we ate growing up but I always wanted that iconic plate of spaghetti and meatballs, and it’s led to many experiments as an adult. What I love about them is that they actually are way more diverse than just a topping for pasta!
- Ground Turkey – Ground turkey is a healthy, blank canvas for tons of different flavor combinations and I felt that it would let the more delicate notes of raspberry shine through. I used 93% lean – 7% fat ground turkey.
- Quick Cook Oats – Maybe an unpopular opinion, but the texture breadcrumbs give meatballs has always been unpleasant to me. So instead quick cook oats help bind, but virtually disappear into the meatball without getting spongy.
- Egg – one lightly beaten egg plays the same role here as it does in your baked goods, it helps all the ingredients stick together, then retain structure when baked.
- Butter – Possibly the strangest ingredient for you, this is the ‘ace’ up my sleeve so to speak. It keeps the low-fat turkey moist, rich, and juicy. Plus when the butter is cold, it helps bind the meatballs. By the time it melts, the meatballs have baked long enough to retain their shape.
- Ground mustard – I chose seasonings here I felt would truly compliment the sauce. This helps highlight the mild tang in the glaze.
- Garlic powder – I don’t think there are many things I make that don’t have either garlic or onion, or both. It really makes the meatball, glazed or not, delicious.
- Salt – I’m gonna keep saying it and saying it, salt is essential in literally everything you make. When used appropriately, salt enhances food without making things ‘salty’.
- Pepper – I like the bite! Fresh cracked pepper is a mild spicy addition that’s delicious here.
Process – Making Glazed Meatballs
While making raspberry glazed meatballs isn’t particularly difficult, there are several different steps and stages for the both the meatballs and the glaze to go through.
- Place the turkey in a wide bowl, sprinkle over the salt, pepper, garlic powder, mustard powder, and oats. Beat the egg and pour over everything.
- Grate the COLD butter over the top of everything, spreading it out as you grate so it covers the surface of the meat.
- Gently mix the meat together by folding and pressing your fingers through the meat, trying to avoid pressing the butter into clumps. When everything feels well mixed, cover the bowl and refrigerate.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Then in a medium saucepan, add all your glaze ingredients and place over medium heat.
- As it heats use the back of your spoon to crush the raspberries. Let the mixture come to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened. About 20 minutes.
Combine and Bake
- While your sauce is simmering, pull the meatballs from the fridge and form them. I use a cookie scoop to keep a consistent size.
- Place meatballs into a shallow rimmed 8 x 12 baking dish.
- Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, finishing up your sauce as they bake.
- When the sauce is thickened (coats a spoon), strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds.
- When the meatballs have baked for 15 minutes, pour strained sauce over the top and return to the oven for another 10 to 15 more minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 170°F.
- Remove from the oven and spoon the sauce that’s on the bottom of the pan over the meatballs again.
- Serve and enjoy!
Serve & Enjoy Raspberry Glazed Meatballs
That’s it! Now it’s up to you how to eat them. Here are a few of my personal faves…
- Spooned over a grain like farro, barley, or rice.
- As an appetizer (I usually make them half sized for this!).
- Over a salad dressed with lemon and olive oil.
- As a slider with goat cheese and spinach.
Yes, but I found them to be lacking the sweetness and punchy flavor of fresh ones. The sauce was also thinner with frozen raspberries unless cooked for much longer. I recommend reducing the soy sauce by 1 tablespoon, and tasting it before adding another. Also use a teaspoon of cornstarch mixed with 2 tsp of cool water to thicken if needed.
Absolutely. Beef, pork, even chicken would be interesting but equally delicious options. Be wary of the fat content in the beef and pork, anything fattier than the 7% fat of turkey may not require butter or it will be oily.
I also love cooked rice. But of course breadcrumbs will work too, just be sure to use unseasoned ones.
I don’t recommend cooking and glazing them ahead of time. The longer the glaze sits on the meatballs the more the color and sheen dissipate. Instead, cook the meatballs entirely and keep the glaze separate. Reheat with the glaze in a saucepan until coated and hot.
Cook the meatballs entirely, freeze on a baking sheet until solid. Make the glaze and freeze separately. (I like using ice cube trays to freeze sauces). When ready to cook, allow the meatballs to thaw overnight, then heat in saucepan with sauce until thickened and coated.
I sincerely hope you enjoy this savory take on raspberries. Glazed meatballs are a delicious, sweet but savory meal that I’m sure you’ll enjoy. I’d love to hear what you think, and don’t forget to pin or save the recipe for later! Have a question I didn’t answer? Ask! If not, until next time, happy eating!
Other Recipes you Might Enjoy
- 1 lb ground turkey 93% lean
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup quick cook oats
- 1 tsp salt kosher
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard
- 2 Tbs cold butter, unsalted
- 12 ounces fresh raspberries*
- 3 Tbs soy sauce
- 4 Tbs brown sugar
- 2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp sriracha
Place ground turkey in a bowl, sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, dry mustard, and oats. Pour over beaten egg and grate cold butter over the top.
Carefully mix the meatballs. Use your fingers to mix and fold to keep oats and butter evenly dispersed. Cover and place in fridge.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Add all the glaze ingredients into a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, and let cook 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Use the back of your spoon to ensure berries are broken down.
While glaze is cooking, portion 15 meatballs into a medium casserole dish. The meatballs should be touching or close together. Place in preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes.
While meatballs are baking, return to the glaze. When it's cooked down and thickened to a syrup that coats the spoon thickly, strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds. Should yield between 1 to 1 1/4 cups.
After 20 minutes, remove meatballs from oven and pour over strained glaze. Return to oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through to 170°F (will continue to cook for a few minutes out of the oven).
Remove from oven and carefully spoon sauce from bottom of pan over the top of meatballs. Serve immediately.
Originally published 5/26/2019, Updated 2/24/2020