Up Your Thanksgiving Game With These Dirty Turkey Meatballs

There are few dishes that embody Thanksgiving more than Turkey (even though turkey wasn’t center stage at the first Thanksgiving). But, the same old slab of roasted turkey meat slathered in gravy has gotten a little dull after a few decades of Thanksgiving get-togethers. Lucky for you, long-time Los Angeles-area bartender Eric “ET” Tecosky of Jones Hollywood has a better option for you: Dirty Turkey Meatballs.

Not only is the recipe a change-up from the usual Thanksgiving fare, it’s also a bit healthier than filling your gut with sausage stuffing, mashed potatoes, and giant slabs of roasted turkey. “I’m heading to Hawaii in December with my wife and recently caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror,” explained Tecosky. “Since she always looks perfect, I decided my Thanksgiving was going to need some modifications if board shorts were in my future.”

Instead of a full-on Thanksgiving turkey, this year the chef/bartender is making Dirty Turkey meatballs and serving them over a bed of zucchini pasta (you can also serve them by themselves as an appetizer, too). “It’s still decadent, but not too heavy,” Tecosky told us.

His turkey-based meatballs are made with ground turkey, salt, pepper and a few other ingredients. But, like any good barman, Tecosky decided to add a bit of cocktail flair to the recipe. “The secret ingredient in the meatballs is Dirty Sue Premium Olive Juice, which lends a briny flavor that pairs perfectly with a dirty martini.”

Dirty Turkey Meatballs


· 1 lb ground turkey
· ¾ tsp salt
· ¼ tsp pepper
· 1 T dried basil
· 1 T dried parsley
· 1T Dirty Sue Premium Olive Juice
· 3 T Brown Rice flour
· 1 egg (beaten)
· 4 garlic cloves (chopped fine)
· ¼ onion (chopped fine)
· 1 T tomato sauce or ketchup


· Preheat oven to 375.
· In a mixing bowl add all ingredients but the turkey
· Use a wooden spoon to mix everything together
· Add Turkey and use hands to combine Turkey with seasonings (plastic gloves make this much easier for clean-up and probably hygiene)
· Form small to medium meatballs and place on a baking tray that has been lightly oiled.
· Bake for 15 minutes
· Turn meatballs over and bake another 5-8 minutes (A light crisp should be on the outside of the meatball)
· Serve with your favorite homemade red sauce over Zucchini pasta*

* Zucchini pasta – Using a hand or countertop veggie spiral tool – make your desired amount of “pasta”. Place some sauce in a pan, add pasta and top with sauce. Heat over a medium flame for about 10 minutes or until pasta has the perfect al dente snap. Add meatballs at the end to heat and serve in a bowl with some fresh grated parmesan cheese.