Champagne Turkey Meatballs

Sorry, no weekend recap today! I know you’re all devastated. I actually had a fantastic weekend, but I just didn’t feel like capturing it. I’ve noticed that I sometimes have a hard time living in the moment when I have my camera or phone. I get this messed up feeling that if it isn’t photographed, it didn’t actually happen. Clearly I have a problem.  champagne turkey meatballs I’m not entirely sure when things changed, but I’ve somehow managed to develop an interest in photography. Remember when I did a whole post about food photography being the bane of my existence? Well, I take it back. Somewhere between then and now my camera and I became friends. It likely had something to do with the fact that I actually read the manual…one year later. I want to clarify that I do NOT enjoy food photography when I am hangry. The pictures never turn out well because I am too impatient to keep trying to get the best shot. I can always tell when I’ve taken a photo in a rush, but my stomach takes precedence no matter what.  champagne turkey meatballs 2 I have approximately 48 hours to overwhelm you with New Years recipes. I apologize in advance if I harass your twitter/facebook feeds reposting mine and my friend’s deliciousness. New Years is like the underdog to Christmas. Christmas gets a solid 6 weeks of build-up and New Years only a measly week. So I’m giving it the credit it deserves. Today we’re doing a champagne turkey meatball appetizer, tomorrow a dessert and Wednesday you’ll be privy to my resolutions that I’m attempting to not fail at this year. Stay tuned! 

Champagne Turkey Meatballs

by The Healthy Maven

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 25 mins

Keywords: bake cook appetizer entree dairy-free gluten-free turkey champagne

Ingredients (Yields: about 1 dozen meatball)

  • For the meatballs:
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • ½ medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 rice cake, crumbled
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • ground pepper
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • ½ can cranberries, whole
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup champagne


For the meatballs:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Combine all meatball ingredients and mix with hands.

3. Roll into 1 inch balls (or larger if serving as an entree) and place on a parchment or silicone-lined baking sheet.

4. Bake for 15 mins.

For the Sauce:

1. Combine all sauce ingredients in a large pot and cook on high until mixture begins to boil.

2. Add in meatballs and stir to coat.

3. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered for 10 mins.

4. Place a toothpick in each meatball and serve as an appetizer.

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Do you enjoy photography? What are your New Years plans? 


  1. says

    I hate having to take pictures of my recipes! I always just want to get to eating it because most of my recipes and for that days meals. I don’t ever feel like fussing with props and placement, but I have been trying harder lately. I almost died yesterday because I made a recipe the previous day and didn’t get to photograph it and through I would do it the next day, but low and behold it was pouring rain all day and there was no natural lighting! But I couldn’t have this recipe go to waste so I found a tiny spot by the kitchen window and made it work to the best of my ability, haha!
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine recently posted…Power Monday #26 Guiding Purposes For 2014

  2. says

    Yeah taking recipes of food when you’re hungry is the worst. Usually, when I shoot my recipes I have to plates: one of the stuff I’m taking pics of, and another one for me to eat meanwhile… It’s the only way I can make thing work ; )
    These meatballs look gorgeous by the way! It’s lunchtime here and I’m so hungry that I could eat all of them. Literally: all. of. them.
    Happy new year! xxx
    Consuelo @ Honey & Figs recently posted…{Makeover Mondays} Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu

  3. says

    Haha I agree that my pictures do notttt turn out when I am hangry. I’m starting to enjoy photography more but I have a loooot to learn and a lot of practicing to do. These meatballs look delicious! I actually ate some for dinner last night :D So good.
    erin @ The Almond Eater recently posted…Mom’s Stir Fry

  4. says

    I have the same problem when it comes to taking pictures of “life” things… I have the hardest time being able to justify whipping out the camera when I’m trying to be in the moment, but then I regret not having captured some shots because they’re so great to look back on. And taking pictures while hungry? Definitely one of the worst things there is… Your shots are looking pretty freaking amazing lately, though!
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. monthly favourites – december 2013 .

  5. says

    Oh my gosh I don’t even eat meat and I’m drooling over these! You’re so clever.
    And I’m glad you and photography are no longer enemies, you are SO good at it! This look awesome.

    Also, I demand a weekend recap. I don’t care if you have to miss out on the moment, I want pictures.
    I kid. That’s how I have been the past 2 months. I’m the worst. Ha!
    Meghan @fitnesscrEATures recently posted…“Holiday” Season Frustrations

  6. says

    As much as I love food photography and love it when my photos come out looking great, it’s also the bane of my existence! Sometimes it just takes too much thought!
    Your photos are gorgeous, so you’re doing something right!
    My husband and I have made ourselves so old and fuddy duddy ( we’re only in our prime 40’s ;)) we stay in on New Year’s Eve and are asleep before midnight! We’re terrible.
    So, no cool parties for us and so I never make appetisers and so never post any!!
    I just enjoy looking at everyone else’s, these meatballs are gorgeous! Perfect for a festive party platter.

    Happy New Year!

    Coffee and Crumpets recently posted…My 13 Favourite Posts for 2013

  7. says

    Yum yum yum, I totally agree too! New Years actually gets less than a week, because everyone talks about how sad they are that Christmas is over for at least two days before getting excited for the new year.
    I am curious about these meatballs! Did they come out sweet?

  8. says

    I can kind of tell you’ve found your love of photography, because your pictures were always great, but lately I feel like every recipe I am blown away! I should consider reading the manual to my busted camera… and/or using my real camera instead of my iPhone. #bloggerfail
    Kim @ BusyBod recently posted…Marvelously unplugged

  9. says

    Well you know I love meatballs. Very interesting idea to crumble a rice cake in it to give it some hold without the breadcrumbs. You’re a gluten free genius! Also, I give you props for recapping every weekend. I am both 1) too boring to do so and 2) too lazy to do so. I like reading about yours though! Happy new year love.
    Amy @ Long Drive Journey recently posted…The Best Is Yet to Come

    • says

      I thought I had a stroke of genius when I was out of breadcrumbs but obviously the big man got there first. Damnnn

      And yes it’s a sign. And then polish off the rest of the bottle while you’re at it and send me drunk selfies please!

  10. says

    I totally hear you on sometimes just needing to take the weekend off from taking pictures. It can be so nice to just live without feeling obligated to always whip out my camera!

    That’s so cool that you used champagne in the sauce for these – I’ve never heard of doing that before!
    Chelsea @ Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen recently posted…Christmas 2013

  11. says

    Ooo I’m loving the literal interpretation of cocktail meatballs! ;)
    Your food photography is just gorgeous! The photos are definitely making me drool, but I get the hangry thing. I do not know how some people take at least twenty pictures of their food in different positions and with different props. If I’m hungry, it is one picture and then eat time!
    Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves recently posted…TRX Arms and Core Workout

  12. says

    These look SO good and so appropriate for New Years! I have some ground turkey in our freezer, so I might have to make these for my husband and I tomorrow night. We are staying in and making a nice dinner after my son goes to bed and we haven’t decided on what to make, so these are an idea…

    I’m slowly learning how to take better pictures, but I tend to get in a hurry, (especially if I’m hungry or have Keenan around) which makes the quality suffer. I’m hoping to learn more this coming year and become a better photographer!
    Melissa @ Fit ‘n’ Well Mommy recently posted…MIMM – A Marvelous Break And Christmas!

  13. says

    Your photos are so good, Davida! You and the camera are definitely becoming very good friends;) These meatballs make up for the devastation I felt because of no recap post ;) They look delicious!

  14. says

    For the first time I don’t feel like a freak in the blogosphere! Sometimes I can’t stand all the waiting around while I snap a picture, just gimme, gimme, gimme! (Says the hungry little gremlin who lives in my tummy … I imagine).

    I’ve experimented recently with chicken in white wine, it gives it such a lovely caramel/crystal flavor and it’s so simple! It’s my “fancy” dish that I use to impress :P

    Which, at last count, it only impressed me hahaha
    Mitchell recently posted…Strange But Good: Kangaroo Burgers

  15. says

    One of my 2014 goals is to actually learn how to use my camera! Kevin got me a mini-photography studio thing that I haven’t even opened, my sister in law got me a food photography book, and my mom got me a few new place settings. If that’s not a recipe for better photos, I don’t know what is :). Happy New Year, friend!
    Megan (The Lyons’ Share) recently posted…Taking Responsibility for 2014

  16. says

    I LOVE this idea… the best part is that you obviously also have to finish the champagne because you just can’t have random flat champagne in the fridge, right?

    Funny you posted this – I have a turkey meatball recipe sitting in my drafts that I need to edit the photos for. (twins) Maybe next week will be my week!
    Cassie recently posted…Spill It Sunday [3]: 2013 Recap

  17. says

    You are so right! Do not stage a food photo shoot when you’re hungry. It’s akin to going to the grocery store when there’s a rumbling in your tummy. No good can come from it.
    Beautiful pictures!! You must have just eaten!

  18. says

    Omg, these look INCREDIBLE! Cranberries and champagne? My mind is blown! You know, I’ve been wanting to try making meat balls for a long time now…but I’ve always heard so many horror stories of meatballs gone wrong! Haha! One of these days, I’ll put on my big girl pants and manhandle some MEAT! Oh yes, I just said that! ;)

    Food photography! LOVE IT! Love looking at it, love studying it, love taking it….even if I suck sometimes! I totally hear ya on the hangriness! Been there…done that. It is IMPOSSIBLE to get a good shot when your hands are shaking your so hungry!
    Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli recently posted…Peanut Butter Pumpkin Banana Wrap


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