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Mini Meatballs with Raspberry-Balsamic Barbecue Sauce


Make sure to have skewers to serve these beautiful meatballs with sweet mango and bitter radicchio, which balance and compliment this appetizer.

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Rate this recipe 4.4/5 (12 Votes)


  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan, finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces ground dark turkey meat
  • 8 ounces spicy Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • SAUCE:
  • 2 cups frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 2/3 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 3 tablespoons packed golden brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • Zest of 1 small lemon
  • 2 to 3 large mangoes, peeled, pitted and cut into thirty six 3/4-inch cubes
  • 36 (1-inch) pieces torn radicchio leaves


Servings 4
Preparation time 50mins
Cooking time 75mins
Adapted from


Step 1

In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, basil, parsley, milk, tomato paste, garlic, salt, pepper, egg, garlic and onions. Using a wooden spoon, stir to blend. Add the ground turkey and sausage meat. Using fingers, gently mix all the ingredients until thoroughly combined. Using a tablespoon measure, form the meat mixture into 1 to 1 1/4-inch balls (about 36 meatballs).

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until well browned on all sides and cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

In a food processor or blender, blend together the raspberries, ketchup, jam, sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, salt, pepper and lemon zest until smooth. Pour the sauce into a heavy medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until slightly thickened, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and cool for 10 minutes. Pour into a small serving bowl.

Thread 1 meatball, 1 mango cube and 1 piece of radicchio leaf onto each skewer. Arrange the meatballs on a platter and serve the barbecue sauce alongside for dipping.


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