Chef’s Corner: Apple Cider Glazed Turkey & Cranberry Meatballs

By Michael McEwen, Dunkin’ Donuts Culinary Team

As a chef on the Dunkin’ Donuts Culinary team, I’m tasked with developing new menu items that keep our busy guests running. In addition to developing new menu items for Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants, I’m always looking for ways that Dunkin’ Donuts’ food and beverages can be used to whip up an easy recipe at home. With Fall in full swing, my team recently developed a great appetizer recipe for Apple Cider Glazed Turkey & Cranberry Meatballs. Our trick? Instead of breadcrumbs, we flavor the ground turkey meatball base with a Dunkin’ Donuts corn muffin. We also up the flavor ante with frozen cranberries, sage, thyme and a seasonal glaze. Designed to be easy to prepare at home, simply pick up a corn muffin during your morning Dunkin’ Donuts run and prepare these delicious meatballs for your next gathering!                                                                                                                                                                                                              

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Apple Cider Glazed Turkey & Cranberry Meatballs Ingredients:

Serves 8-10

Meatballs

  • 1 pound Ground Turkey Meat (we used 99% fat free) 
  • 8 oz diced frozen cranberries 
  • 1 Dunkin’ Donuts Corn Muffin
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons (couple sprigs) fresh sage, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons (couple sprigs) fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Canola Oil or Cooking Spray

Glaze

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 medium Apple Cider (Dunkin’ Donuts offers Apple Cider in participating U.S. markets)
  • 4 oz heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Whole Grain Mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil or cooking spray

Preparation:

  • Preheat Oven to 350F.     
  • Remove the paper liner from the Corn Muffin, and break up the Corn Muffin into small pieces using your hands.  Place the pieces onto a lined baking sheet.  Toast the muffin pieces in the oven for approximately 10 minutes, it’s golden brown.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the toasted Corn Muffin and the whole milk. Mix well!
  • In a medium sized bowl, combine the ground turkey, cranberries, salt, pepper, sage and thyme.  Add the Corn Muffin/milk mixture.  Mix well.   
  • Shape the Turkey Cranberry mixture into small meatballs, approximately 1- ½” in size.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet on medium heat.  Add approximately half of the meatballs to the pan and brown on all sides.  Once browned, transfer meatballs to a plate and brown the remaining meatballs in the skillet. 
  • In a separate saute pan (at least 2 inches deep) heat the 2 teaspoons of oil on medium heat.  Add the diced onion and thyme.  Cook the onions until they have softened and become slightly golden brown, approximately 10 minutes. Add the Apple Cider, heavy cream, whole grain mustard and salt to the sauteed onions, and mix together with a spoon.  
  • Add the browned meatballs to the Apple Cider sauce and allow to cook on medium heat for approximately 1 hour until the sauce has reduced and the meatballs are golden brown.  

Serve your finished product on a plate with toothpicks or small forks for everyone to enjoy!

Have you given this recipe a try? What do you think? For more tips on cooking with Dunkin’ products, check out our recipes here.