Fall Fowl Balls: Turkey Meatballs with Apples & Nuts

Appetizers & Snacks, Gluten-Free, Parties & Potlucks
For your gluten-free holiday entertaining try Fall Fowl Balls. They’re little turkey meatballs studded with apples, cheddar cheese and rolled in nuts for a light and tasty autumn appetizer! Turkey meat tends to be dry. I add sautéed veggies, grated cheddar and diced dried apples to the turkey meat to give it a nice texture and fall herbs to give a cozy bite.
Fall Fowl Balls: Turkey Meatballs with Apples & Nuts


  • olive oil
  • 6 ounces onion, chopped
  • 2 ounces celery, diced fine
  • 2 ounces carrot, diced fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1 pound turkey, ground
  • 1/4 cup dried apples, diced fine
  • 2 cup grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 2 cups puffed or crispy rice, roughly crushed
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Blanched sliced almonds or Pumpkin seeds, crushed
  • 40 1” balls


  1. Preheat oven to 350 °.
  2. In a small skillet, sauté the onions in 1/4 cup olive oil until they’re translucent, stirring occasionally. Add the celery, carrots, and garlic. Cook for another five minutes. Remove from heat. Cool.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the turkey meat with the onion mixture and the remaining ingredients except the nuts.
  4. Roll one ball about 1” in diameter. Roll it in the nuts and then in your hand to press the nuts into the meatball. If you want a more serious crumb, you can roll the balls in potato starch, egg wash, and nuts, but I wanted it to be fast and easy.
  5. Reheat the skillet and cook off the fall fowl ball until it’s browned and cooked through. Cool and taste it. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
  6. Roll remaining mixture into 1” round balls and then in the nuts. Place on a lightly greased sheet pan.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes until the balls are cooked through.
Total time:
Yield: about 40 1" balls