Roasted Turkey with Turkey Meatballs

  • prep time30 min
  • total time 360 min
  • serves 12

Delicious brined turkey with easy to manage turkey meatballs on the side!

190 Ratings
Directions for: Roasted Turkey with Turkey Meatballs



1 turkey, about 8 kg (16 lb)


2 cup salt

2 cup of hot water

2 cup brown sugar

2 cup molasses

2 lemons, sliced

2 onions, quartered

1 heads of garlic, smashed

1 large bunch of rosemary

1 Tbsp black peppercorns

8 L cold water


4 lb(s) ground turkey

1 lb(s) bacon, diced

1 large onion, chopped

2 leeks, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp smoked paprika

A pinch of cayenne

1 cup day-old bread, cubed about 2 slices

½ cup milk

2 green onions, chopped

½ cup parsley, chopped

½ cup chive, chopped

½ cup dill, chopped

1 cup grated Reggiano Parmigiano or Peccorino cheese

Salt and pepper


4 leeks, halved lengthwise

4 cup chicken broth

½ cup butter, room temperature

2 cup garlic cloves, minced

Salt and pepper


Turkey Brine

1. For the brine, pour the hot water in a large and deep non-reactive pan, bucket or large cooler with ice, stir in the salt, brown sugar and molasses until fully dissolved. Then add the lemons, onions, garlic, rosemary and peppercorns.

2. Add the cold water and let cool to room temperature or put in the refrigerator. Place the turkey in the brine. Using a syringe, inject the turkey with some of the brine. Cover and leave in the brine for 48 hours.


1. For the stuffing, in a skillet, on high heat, cook the bacon until almost crispy, about 5 minutes. Add onions, leeks, celery and garlic. Continue cooking until translucent. Add paprika and cayenne. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool.

2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, soak the bread in milk.

3. In a large bowl, combine the soaked breadcrumbs, the bacon mixture and all the remaining ingredients of the stuffing. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside part of the stuffing to stuff the turkey and using 1 tablespoon of the remaining stuffing, form meatballs. Reserve on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, cover with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator until ready to cook.

4. With the rack in the lowest position, preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F).


1. Remove the turkey from the brine and dry thoroughly.

2. For roasting the turkey, in a bowl mix together the butter and garlic. Set aside.

3. Fill the turkey cavity with the reserved stuffing. Tie the drumsticks together with kitchen string to help the turkey keep its shape. Rub the turkey in between the skin and the flesh with the garlic butter. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Scatter the leeks on the bottom of a large roasting pan and pour in the chicken or turkey broth. Place the turkey on the leeks. Add the meatballs to the pan. Roast for approximately 5 ½ hours, basting the turkey with broth every 20 minutes until a meat thermometer inserted in the thigh without touching the bone reads 82°C (180°F). If necessary, add broth so there is always about 1 l (4 cups) of liquid in the bottom of the roasting pan. If any parts of the turkey begin to scorch during cooking, cover them with aluminum foil.

5. Place the turkey and meatballs on a serving platter. Cover and let rest 20 minutes. Strain the liquid from the roasting pan into a saucepan and skim the fat at the surface. Adjust the seasoning. Reduce the sauce until the desired consistency. Keep warm.

6. Serve the turkey with the roasting sauce and the turkey meatballs.

See more: Turkey, Christmas, Thanksgiving, North American


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