Raise your hand if you’ve been turkey hunting this season! Or raise your hand if you like turkey! Because this recipe works perfectly with both domestic and wild birds.

I know some of you have been telling me your turkey hunting stories via email. It’s a thrilling time, turkey hunting season is, it’s so uncertain and adrenaline pumping. And when you put all of that work into your dinner you really want to make the most of the ingredients. When I bagged two gobblers a little while ago I made a whiskey glazed turkey breast and this.

If you like turkey, or meatballs, or gravy, or Ikea, then you will like this recipe.

Here are some of the things you will need: ground turkey, butter, shallot, garlic, egg, bread crumbs, sherry, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, ground allspice, ground nutmeg, ground cardamom, sea salt, freshly ground pepper, all purpose flour, turkey stock, lingonberry sauce or red current jelly, and plain yogurt. Amen.

Begin by sweating the shallots in a bit of butter until they are soft and translucent. Then you’ll set them aside to cool for a few minutes before you add them to the meat. You don’t want the meat to cook prematurely.

Then you’ll combine it all together in a bowl, minus the flour, stock, lingonberry, yogurt, and extra butter.

Give it a nice mix. You could add your other favorite fresh herbs here as well, especially since herb season is upon us. Basil would give it an Italian flare. But I’m going Swedish here so I stuck with parsley. Although I don’t give the Swedes credit for parsley really.

It will be sticky and quite uniform when fully incorporated.

Then you roll the meat into individual 1-inch balls and set them on a plate.

Get the rest of the butter bubbling in a pan and add the meatballs in batches, probably two batches so they brown nicely and you don’t overcrowd the pan.

Brown them nicely on all sides turning often so they maintain their spherical shape.

Remove them from the pan and set aside on a plate. Whisk in the flour to the remaining pan fat. If your pan is very dry, feel free to add more butter here.

Meanwhile, bring some stock to a simmer. This is going to make a roux. In order to prevent lumps in your gravy, the liquid needs to be hot when you add it.

Whisk the gravy as you add the stock a little at a time.

Then once it is lump free and uniform, add the meatballs back in and cook on a very low simmer.

When the sauce is at the consistency that you’d like, whisk in some lingonberry sauce or red currant jelly. This gives it a subtle sweetness.

Then drop in a dollop of plain yogurt for some tang. I like a bit of tang in my food. Unless of course it’s not meant to have tang and it’s simply gone bad, then I prefer no tang.

And there it will be, coated in light brown, creamy gravy.

Give these a try sometime! They are so comforting, particularly in the colder months, which makes these prime time for fall turkey season.

“Wild Turkey Swedish Meatballs”

Also try: wild boar, antlered game, upland game birds, rabbit, squirrel, duck
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time55 mins
Servings: 4 small portions


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound ground turkey leg meat
  • ½ cup shallot finely diced (you can use a food processor for this)
  • 4 cloves garlic minced (you can use a food processor for this)
  • 1 whole egg
  • ¾ cup breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup sherry
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup fresh parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 3 cups turkey stock
  • 1 tablespoon lingonberry sauce or red current jelly
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt


  • In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt the 2 tablespoons butter until it bubbles. Add the minced shallots and garlic and sweat over low heat until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with a dash of salt to help release the moisture. Turn off the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the turkey, shallots, garlic, egg, breadcrumbs, sherry, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, allspice, nutmeg, cardamom, salt and pepper. Add the cooled onion and garlic mixture and mix just until incorporated.
  • Shape the meat mixture into 1-inch balls and place on a sheet tray or plate, you will end up with about 20 meatballs.
  • Heat the turkey stock in a small pot and bring to a simmer, then turn off the heat and set aside.
  • In the skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Brown the balls in the butter over medium heat for about 1 minute on each side, just so they are browned but not cooked through. Remove them with a slotted spoon or tongs back to a plate.
  • Once all of the meat has been browned, use the pan juices to make a sauce. Whisk in the flour until it is thick and clumpy and let cook for a few minutes while you whisk. A thick paste will form. Next whisk in the warm stock a little at a time until you have a light brown sauce.
  • Let the sauce thicken slightly, then return the turkey meatballs to the pan. Cook on low heat for 10 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally, so that the sauce reduces further. Turn off the heat and whisk in the lingonberry sauce and yogurt. Serve immediately with a dollop of mashed potatoes and more lingonberry sauce on the side.