Barbecue Turkey Meatball Sliders Recipe

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Barbecue Turkey Meatball Sliders Recipe

The January/February issue of Everyday Food is dedicated to "Light Done Right" dishes: main course salads, puréed vegetable soups, even brownies that use applesauce in place of butter. Since I just spent weeks stuffing myself with high-fat holiday fare and guzzling festive cocktails, it couldn't have arrived in my mailbox at a better time. After perusing all the recipes, I decided to make the Light Turkey Meatballs from the issue and then turn them into Mini Barbeque Meatball Sliders.

The recipe came together fairly quickly—basically, you throw all the ingredients together in a bowl and mash them up with a fork—but I did find two discrepancies. First, the yield is listed as 35 meatballs, each about 2 tablespoons in size. My meatballs were about half as big, and I came out with only 34. Second, the procedure calls for freezing the meatballs on a cookie sheet for one hour to set their shape, but I found mine needed two hours to really firm up.

To make the sliders, I broiled the meatballs for 10 minutes. Even though I oiled the pan well, they still stuck a bit, but other than that, there were no major cooking issues. I didn't have the requisite potato rolls, so I improvised (that's what cooking's all about) and layered four meatballs into a hunk of baguette. Then I slathered them with a generous dose of my favorite barbecue sauce.

The result was terrific. The meatballs crisped up nicely on the outside yet remained tender and juicy throughout, and I thought the flavors were surprisingly complex given the minimal ingredients. They really held their own against the spiciness of the sauce. After dinner I felt like I had eaten a hearty, lick-your-fingers-and-use-your-bread-to-mop-the-plate meal, and if I hadn't made them myself I never would have guessed they were good for me. In all it was a successful start to my New Year's cooking resolution!

  • Yield:about 34 meatballs


  • 3 slices whole-wheat sandwich bread
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped
  • 2 small garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 large egg
  • Salt and pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for baking sheet
  • Light Turkey Meatballs (recipe above)
  • Party-size potato rolls (or bread of your choice)
  • Barbecue sauce (your choice)


  1. 1.

    Pulse the bread in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Mix bread in a bowl with the milk. Let stand at least five minutes.

  2. 2.

    Combine the turkey, scallions, garlic, parsley, egg, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Add breadcrumb mixture, mix together gently with a fork.

  3. 3.

    Form mixture into balls (about 2 tablespoons each). Freeze meatballs on a baking sheet for two hours, then transfer to a resealable plastic bag or an airtight container and freeze for up to three months.

  4. 4.

    Mini Barbecue Meatball Sliders

  5. 5.

    Adapted from Everyday Food magazine.

  6. 6.

    Broil the meatballs on a well-oiled baking sheet for 10 to 12 minutes, until cooked through. Put one meatball inside each roll, and top with barbecue sauce.