Bust Out the Bacon – Bacon Honey Bourbon Turkey Meatballs

19 Aug

Even though the weather is still pretty warm around here, I know that summer is starting to wind down, school will be starting up in a few weeks and before you know it the fall weather will be upon us again. Cooler weather means turning back to using the oven more for meals, but it also can mean things like parties on the weekends for football games and get-togethers and you may even start thinking about your holiday parties for the year. Whether you are looking for a new snack option to try out or want something a little different for dinner, meatballs can be the perfect option for you. Meatballs can be much more versatile than just the standard ones you might throw into some tomato sauce. You can make Swedish meatballs, sweet and sour meatballs or make meatballs using other proteins like pork, sausage, lamb or turkey. I came across this recipe on a blog called Gal on a Mission and the original recipe calls for using ground chicken, but I thought ground turkey would work out just as well and tweaked it a bit to make it my own.

Bacon Honey Bourbon Turkey Meatballs

For the Meatballs:

6 strips of bacon

8 ounces button mushrooms, washed and dried

16 ounces ground turkey

1 Italian sausage link (mild or hot), casing removed

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoons chili powder

3 garlic cloves, minced

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

3 fresh basil leaves, chopped, or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil

½ cup breadcrumbs

For the Honey Bourbon Barbecue Sauce:

½ cup water

1 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce, homemade or store-bought

3 tablespoons bourbon

1 tablespoon honey

fresh chopped parsley, to garnish (optional)

For the meatballs, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray or grease a large skillet. Set the pan aside.


Pulse together the bacon and button mushrooms in the food processor until they are well blended. Place the mushroom and bacon mixture, the ground turkey and the Italian sausage, salt, pepper, chili powder, and garlic, and breadcrumbs into a medium mixing bowl and mix until all of the ingredients are well combined. Scoop the meat mixture using a medium cookie scoop or roll the mixture by hand and place the meatballs onto the baking sheet or in the skillet. Repeat the process until all of the meat has been used.

Bake the meatballs for  about 20 to 25 minutes in the oven until they are golden brown.

For the honey bourbon barbecue sauce whisk together the water, barbecue sauce, bourbon, and honey in a large skillet. Simmer the skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes, add the cooked meatballs to the sauce, coat each meatball, and simmer the meatballs over low-to-medium heat for about 15 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.

Garnish the meatballs with the fresh parsley, if desired,  and serve.

It’s a pretty simple recipe that combines some great ingredients so you end up with meatballs that have excellent flavor. The turkey, combined with the bacon and sausage, give great texture and taste to the meatballs and provide some of the added fat the meatballs need when you use turkey to boost the flavor. the mushrooms help to provide some extra texture, but if you’re not a mushroom fan, I think you could leave them out and the recipe would be fine.  I really liked the sauce for the meatballs. You get the sweetness of the honey with the hint of flavor from the bourbon and your barbecue sauce for a thick, rich sauce that everyone will love. I made the meatballs a little bigger since we were having these as a dinner, but if you make them smaller I think they are perfect to use for any type of party appetizer you might be looking for so you can offer something a little different this year. For dinner, I served them with some rice but they might go really nicely with some German potato salad or roasted potatoes.

That’s all I have for today.Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!


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Posted by on August 19, 2016 in Appetizers, Dinner, Poultry, Sauce, Sausage, Turkey


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