Home Dinner Honey and Chipotle Turkey Meatballs

Honey and Chipotle Turkey Meatballs

Krista S

Have you ever found yourself craving a dish that is not only succulent but also healthy? Welcome to my kitchen, where we whip up honey and chipotle turkey meatballs that satisfy the palate and keep you feeling fit and healthy.

What’s the Shelf Life of Raw Meatballs in the Fridge?

As an experienced home cook, I know that planning is key when working with perishable ingredients. So, how long can raw meatballs stay in the fridge? Well, they can comfortably stay in there for one to two days. Beyond that, the quality starts to diminish, and the risk of food-borne illness increases. I find it best to prepare them within this window for the freshest flavor.

Why Are Turkey Meatballs Good for You?

Why, you might ask, are we opting for turkey meatballs instead of the traditional beef? Well, the answer lies in the health benefits. Turkey is lower in saturated fat and calories compared to beef, making it a better choice for those who are health conscious. Plus, it’s a fantastic source of lean protein that helps build and repair our bodies’ tissues.

The Secret to Moist Meatballs

A common hurdle when preparing turkey meatballs is keeping them from drying out. Turkey is leaner than beef, so it can sometimes turn out dry if not handled carefully. The secret? I like to use a panade, a mixture of bread and milk. The milk keeps the meatballs moist, while the bread lends a tender texture. It’s a game-changer, trust me!

Preserving Your Perfectly Cooked Meatballs

For those who love to plan meals ahead or want a ready-to-eat snack, you might be wondering, “Can I freeze cooked meatballs?” Absolutely! After letting them cool down, simply place them in a freezer-safe bag, squeeze out the air, and they’ll keep well for up to four months. Reheat them in the oven or on the stovetop when you’re ready to enjoy.

Turkey Meatballs Vs. Beef Meatballs: The Health Debate

We’ve established that turkey meatballs are great for your health, but how do they stack up against beef meatballs? While I love a good beef meatball, the truth is that turkey meatballs come out on top in terms of nutritional value. They contain fewer calories and less saturated fat, making them a more heart-healthy choice.

What Is the Healthiest Meat to Eat?

If you’re a health enthusiast like me, you might be asking, “What’s the healthiest meat to eat?” The answer largely depends on your dietary needs, but generally, lean meats are healthier options. Turkey, chicken, fish, and lean cuts of pork and beef typically contain less saturated fat and cholesterol. Among them, turkey stands out due to its high protein content and low calorie count.

Delightful Sides for Your Turkey Meatballs

If you’re after a comforting, homely feel, why not serve your meatballs on top of a bed of creamy mashed potatoes? The soft, velvety texture of the potatoes pairs incredibly well with the bold flavors of the meatballs. Sprinkle some fresh herbs, like parsley or chives, on top to add a pop of color and a burst of freshness.

Craving for something lighter? A crisp, green salad would be my go-to. A mix of lettuce, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and a light vinaigrette complements the rich, smoky flavor of the honey and chipotle turkey meatballs wonderfully. It’s a great way to balance the meal and introduce some crunchiness.

For an Italian-inspired take, consider spaghetti tossed in garlic and olive oil, known as Spaghetti Aglio e Olio. The simplicity of this pasta dish makes it a perfect accompaniment to our star turkey meatballs. Finish off the pasta with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and fresh basil leaves.

How about a Mexican twist? Serve your turkey meatballs with a side of Mexican-style rice or cilantro-lime rice. Even better, use them as a filling in soft tacos or burritos, adding some pico de gallo, guacamole, and a squeeze of lime.

Last but not least, don’t underestimate the power of a good old loaf of crusty bread. It’s great for soaking up the spicy, sweet sauce of the meatballs and keeps you full and satisfied.

Remember, the best side dish is the one that suits your taste buds the most. Feel free to experiment and find your favorite pairing for these delectable honey and chipotle turkey meatballs. Bon appétit!

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Honey and Chipotle Turkey Meatballs

  • Author: Cher
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Honey-Chipotle Meatball is a healthy twist on your lunch options. The sweet and sour flavor with meaty soft meatballs is a perfect treat if you are looking for healthy lunch ideas.


Units Scale

For Meatballs:

1 pound ground turkey (lean meat)

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1 egg

1 tsp soya sauce

1/2 tsp salt

For Glaze:

1/2 cup chicken stock

1/2 cup honey

1 tsp corn starch

2 tbsp lemon juice

4 tbsp adobo sauce

1 chipotle pepper, whole

1/2 tsp salt


  1. In a bowl, add ground turkey, soya sauce, salt, breadcrumbs, egg and mix well until everything Is combined.
  2. Line the baking tray with parchment paper.
  3. Shape the meat mixture into small balls and place them on the baking tray.
  4. Place the baking tray in a preheated oven at 350-degree F for 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. Once they are cooked, remove from the oven and set aside to cool down.
  6. in a saucepan add chicken stock, honey, lemon juice, adobo sauce, chipotle pepper, and salt and place on medium heat.
  7. Stir until everything is combined well.
  8. Mix water and cornstarch together and pour it into the saucepan.
  9. Stir until the mixture thickens.
  10. Add baked meatballs and mix well until they are covered in the glaze.

For serving:

You can serve this dish with boiled white rice, brown rice, or roasted vegetables.


You can use ground chicken, pork, or beef instead of turkey.

You can also freeze baked or raw meatballs for up to a month so that you can use them to prepare a meal quickly.

You can skip adding chipotle pepper if you don’t want it to be spicy.

  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins

This dish complements several sides. Whether it’s mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, rice, or even couscous. The flavors can turn on everything for you.

Lastly, honey and chipotle meatballs are a perfect lunch option for working people. You can prepare meatballs and freeze them so when you need to prepare your lunch, you just have to work on the sauce. It’s a quick and easy fix that will satisfy your hunger.


1. What kind of honey should I use for this recipe?

Any pure, natural honey will do. However, for a more robust flavor, consider using a darker honey like buckwheat or wildflower. Each type of honey will give a subtle difference in taste, so you can experiment to see which one you prefer.

2. Can I use ground chicken instead of turkey for this recipe?

Yes, ground chicken can be a suitable alternative to turkey. However, keep in mind that the flavor and texture may slightly vary. Ground chicken might have a milder flavor compared to turkey.

3. Is there a substitute for chipotle in this recipe?

If you can’t find chipotle, you can substitute it with other types of hot chili peppers like jalapenos, or even a pinch of cayenne pepper or smoked paprika. Do note that the flavor won’t be exactly the same, but it will still provide that smoky heat we’re looking for.

4. Can I bake these meatballs instead of pan-frying them?

Absolutely! Baking is a healthier and equally delicious method to cook these meatballs. Simply place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in a preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) for about 20-25 minutes or until they’re fully cooked.

5. How do I know when the meatballs are done cooking?

The best way to know if your meatballs are done is to use a meat thermometer. The internal temperature should reach 165°F (74°C) for turkey. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can cut into one; the inside should be white with no pink remaining.

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