This recipe for turkey meatballs features the Habanero Apricot Jelly from Ball® Canning. This sweet and spicy jelly is the perfect condiment for all manner of holiday cheese boards, relish trays, and buffets.
Sweet and spicy glazed meatballs are a classic component of a holiday party spread. They’re reliable, easy to prepare, and are generally a crowd favorite. They’re also an excellent recipe to keep in mind if you’re a home canner. A half pint of pepper jelly, a couple tablespoons of butter, and a little lime juice is all you need to make a killer meatball glaze.
I often bring homemade party meatballs to gatherings when I’m asked to bring a dish. I know that they’ll typically be well-received and they satisfy one of my mother’s essential rules of potlucking*. That rule states that you should always bring a dish that can serve as the backbone of your own meal, just in case everyone else defaulted to bread, wine, and dessert. On more than one occasion, I have made a very pleasant meal out of these meatballs.
In general meatballs aren’t hard to make, but they do take a bit of time. I sometimes make a double batch on a weekend afternoon, bake them off, and freeze some for the busy holiday season. With a jar of homemade sauce and a big salad, they also make a terrific meal for new parents and neighbors who need a little extra care.
Now, for a equipment plug. If you make meatballs in any kind of quantity, get yourself a one tablespoon meatball scoop. I’ve had this one for the last decade (Amazon tells me I ordered it in 2007) and it is still going strong. It has scooped many thousands of meatballs with it and I believe it will continue to do so for many more years to come.
One thing that all meatballs need is a good sauce or glaze. It can be a simple dish of ketchup set alongside your platter or slow cooker, a jar of smoky tomato jam, a tasty oven-roasted tomato sauce, or a sweet, spicy, and sticky homemade glaze.
Lately, one of my favorite glaze builders has been the Habanero-Apricot Jelly from Ball® Canning. It’s a sweet, tangy, spicy jelly that is made with dried apricots, so it can be made any time of year (it’s also a good one for holiday gift baskets for just that reason).
I first encountered this jelly last summer while in Fishers, Indiana for the Ball® Can-It Forward festivities (you can see me making it here). In that demo, we shared how the jelly can be transformed into a glaze for wings, but I’ve kept it in the back of my head for meatball dressing ever since.
Whatever else you’re making for holiday gatherings, I bet these turkey party meatballs with the habanero-apricot glaze will charm your guests!
*My mother’s other potlucking rules are that you should always bring a serving utensil and your dish should be able to stand at room temperature for at least an hour without food safety concerns.