March 24, 2009

What's For Dinner? Bar-B-Qued Turkey Meatballs with Pumpkin Sauce

My mother is a great cook and I strive to be just like her. Recently she shared a recipe with me that she and my daddy had really enjoyed eating gluten-free. Since I don't eat tomatoes, dairy or gluten, and red meat hardly ever, we talked about how I could adapt the recipe to fit all my dietary needs. I decided to make a pumpkin sauce, but if you eat tomatoes I have included that option for the lucky you.

I must confess that I usually shy away from recipes like this one, just because I'm kind of funny that I don't like the feel of raw meat all over my hands. Well, I must be growing out of this fetish, because I really like this recipe in spite of the handling of the raw meat. It really tastes delicious to me and I even find them good cold. Well, you might be thinking, how gross to eat these cold, but when I'm hungry and I need quick protein, these work for me. We like how the meatballs are very soft and tender with a bit of tangy flavor with the mild taste of the pumpkin. My boys like them and that makes a dinner that everyone can eat. Hurray!

Bar-B-Qued Turkey Meatballs with Pumpkin Sauce

Meatball Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds ground turkey thighs or ground meat of your choice
1/2 cup crushed gluten-free cornflakes
2 eggs, optional
1/2 cup coconut milk, light
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
7 drops stevia
1/2 cup pumpkin puree

Mix together and shape into balls. Place in a 9x15-inch baking dish.

Make pumpkin sauce with:

1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup organic raw apple cider vinegar
7 drops stevia
2 teaspoons agave nectar
water if needed to thin sauce

Or: make tomato sauce with:

1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons brown sugar or agave nectar
2 tablespoons onions, chopped

Mix together in a bowl and spoon sauce over meatballs. Bake about 30-35 minutes or until done at 350 degrees.


For more gluten-free dinner recipes check out the "What's For Dinner? Gluten-free Style" Blog Carnival hosted by The Gluten-Free Homemaker. You will find some great gluten-free cooks sharing their great recipes.


  1. I've been trying different bread substitutes for my own meatball recipe, but I've never thought of using cornflakes! I'll have to try it. By the way, corn chips don't work too well - I did try that one. Thanks for the idea!

  2. Oooh! My Hubby was just asking if I could do meatballs gluten free. Thanks
    p.s. my boys probably have those very same camo shirts yours are wearing in the pic. So cute!

  3. That looks great. We don't do dairy either, have you found a good sub for hard cheeses? I haven't.

  4. My teens love turkey meatballs. You've given me a new way to try them.

  5. I've never baked meatballs, but I like the idea. I was going to make meatloaf tonight, but I might try this instead! I don't have any corn flakes so I'll probably use instant potatoes, which is what I use in meatloaf. Thanks for the recipe!

  6. What a creative way to use pumpkin! I've got to try this!

  7. I'll have to share this with my mom. She can't eat tomatoes and is always looking for an alternative. She'll be so excited.

  8. Gina, I think I may have tried corn chips, too and you are right, they don't work to well!

    Jessie, If you make the meatballs I hope your hubby likes them.
    The camo shirts are my sons favorites. I'll bet your boys are real cute in theirs!

    Cheryl, I haven't found a good cheese either. My youngest son liked Galaxy Foods, Vegan Soy Cheese, but he has no memory of what real cheese tasted like. Now that my oldest son is soy-free we just don't use it.

    Wendy, How do you make your turkey meatballs?

    Linda, I like baking mine best and even did a test on another recipe that was fried and then I put some in the oven and my family liked the ones from the oven best. It sure makes less mess and gives the cook a break. I like your sub idea of instant potatoes.

    JoAnn, I hope you like it!

  9. Babyfro, When I was deciding what to post I had hoped someone somewhere could use this with the pumpkin!

  10. Wow, what a great idea with the pumpkin. I was off tomatoes for 6 months and now only eat them on a 4 day rotation. I was always looking for alternatives. Great job!!!!!

  11. Debbie -

    What a great idea to use pumpkin for what normally would be a tomato-based sauce. I will keep this in mind for our clients who can not do tomato!

    By the way, you inspired me to roast a small turkey breast I had in my deep freezer using apples, red onions, and honey mustard - I baked it at 300 for about 3 hours.

    Thanks! -Ali :)

  12. The WHOLE Gang, Thanks for the kind words. It seems like tomatoes are in everything when you can't eat them. Glad you are able to rotate them back.

    Ali, I'm delighted to share.
    I feel honored that I inspired YOU! You inspire me! I like your recipe idea.

  13. Pumpkin??? Who'd thunk? It sounds awesome and we will be trying this soon. Thanks for posting it!

  14. Thanks for this recipe! We are trying a version of this today. No pumpkin since we are using it in spaghetti but I'm excited to try these using your base idea.

    Jessie at Blog Schmog

    p.s. did I tell you I moved the "mom" part of my blog? Recipes stay at the old address. :) bye for now.


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