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Turkey Meatballs with Fennel, Golden Raisins and Pinenuts

Serves 6-8 as an appetizer

Make extra, as these tasty meatballs won’t last long! They have all your favorite fall and winter spices. Serve with gravy or cranberry sauce, for dipping.


  • 3 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup apple brandy (Calvados) or brandy or apple juice
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey (a mix of white and dark meat)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons thyme, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sage leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seed
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs or panko – moistened with a splash of milk
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • A fat drizzle of olive oil


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Soak the raisins in apple brandy to plump.
  3. Place the turkey in a bowl and season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and allspice; add the zest, thyme, sage, parsley, rosemary, fennel seed, pine nuts, breadcrumbs and egg to the bowl along with the plumbed raisins. Drizzle with oil and mix with your hands to combine. Roll balls with moistened hands or use a small scoop to the size of a large walnut and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast until golden and cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.

Cooking with alcohol enhances the flavors of certain dishes. Some of the alcohol burns off in the process of cooking. If you are concerned about using alcohol when you cook, you may use the appropriate substitute listed in the ingredients.