Carolina Dreamin’ Appetizer Turkey Meatballs


These award-winning turkey meatballs contain an interesting combination of flavors along with a baked on nutty sauce. Altogether, they have just the right amount of sweet, savory and salty. For easy consumption, serve these turkey meatballs as appetizers with decorative toothpicks to fit the season or your party theme.

Carolina Dreamin' Appetizer Turkey Meatballs Recipe - Dairy-free and Gluten-free!This appetizer recipe for turkey meatballs, with photo, was shared with us by Southern Peanut Growers.

Carolina Dreamin' Appetizer Turkey Meatballs - a naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free recipe!

Special Diet Notes: Carolina Appetizer Turkey Meatballs

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, gluten-free, grain-free, tree nut-free, and soy-free.

For egg-free appetizer turkey meatballs, substitute the egg with a flax egg. Or, in a pinch, just omit the egg and add a little unsweetened milk beverage (2 to 4 tablespoons) to moisten the mixture and help in tenderness and cohesion. See my Egg Substitute Guide for more options.

Carolina Dreamin' Appetizer Turkey Meatballs - a naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free recipe!
Carolina Dreamin' Appetizer Turkey Meatballs
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe was the Southeast Region winner in the Southern Peanut Growers' inaugural 'PB My Way' recipe contest.
Serves: 24 meatballs
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup fig preserves
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced or grated fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1¼ pounds ground turkey
  • 4 green onions, finely chopped (including green tops)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 large egg (see post above for egg-free options)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Diced green onion tops or chopped parsley (optional), for serving
  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, preserves, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice until smooth. Whisk in the ginger, black and red pepper.
  3. Place approximately half of the peanut butter mixture into a mixing bowl (reserve the remainder for later). Add the turkey, green onions, parsley, egg and salt to the mixing bowl and stir lightly but thoroughly to ensure all ingredients are well-distributed.
  4. Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls and place them 1 inch apart on a lightly greased, rimmed baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and brush the tops of the meatballs with the remaining peanut butter mixture.
  6. Bake for about 5 to 8 minutes more, or until nicely browned.
  7. Arrange on a serving plate and sprinkle with diced green onion tops or parsley, if desired.

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About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


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