Direct Your Dining: Honey BBQ Turkey Meatball Mini-Subs | Direct Energy Blog

Direct Your Dining: Honey BBQ Turkey Meatball Mini-Subs

Welcome to Direct Your Dining! This cooking series will introduce you to energy efficient recipes full of tips to keep your meals delicious without using every appliance in the kitchen. Preparing recipes with energy efficiency in mind at least once a week will make cooking a little easier, and may even help reduce your monthly electricity bill. Check in every week for a new recipe full of flavor and creativity that will surely impress your friends and family.

This week’s low energy use recipe is a lighter and faster twist on my classic honey barbecue meatloaf, and it’s arguably even better than the original!

Direct Your Dining: Honey BBQ Turkey Meatball Mini-Subs | Direct Energy Blog
Clean flavors for everyone!

Although it’s one of my family’s favorite decadent meals, it can be pretty heavy, and takes an hour to bake in the oven. But thanks to some slight modifications, this dish is simpler to make and requires less time and energy. Your appetite and utility bill will both be happy!

Instead of a meatloaf made with ground beef pork (and then wrapped in bacon), we’re using only ground turkey. I’ve also swapped the cheesy mashed potatoes I usually serve with the dish for some no-energy-use sweet pickled vegetables and toasted potato buns.

The reason why this dish saves you time and energy because the smaller the dish, the faster things cook. I just spray some canola oil inside a non-stick mini muffin tin and use a tablespoon measurer to scoop the ground meat mixture into each slot.

Direct Your Dining: Honey BBQ Turkey Meatball Mini-Subs | Direct Energy Blog
Sweet and savory FTW!

Make sure to follow the directions below regarding the order of ingredients added to the ground turkey. Everything needs to combine evenly, as you don’t want some meatballs to have big chunks of breadcrumbs or not enough onion.

Save even more time and energy by purchasing your favorite store-bought honey barbecue sauce for this recipe. There are so many delicious options out there (including local craft brands!) that you don’t need  to invest any extra energy making a homemade sauce.

This turkey meatball recipe makes enough food to feed 6 people, so there is plenty to go around.

Honey BBQ Turkey Meatball Mini-Subs

Meatball Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. Ground turkey (93/7 blend)
  • 2 tbsp. Minced sweet yellow onions
  • 1 tbsp. Minced garlic
  • ¼ c. Honey barbecue sauce
  • 3 tbsp. Plain breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp. Whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp. Sea salt
  • ½ tsp. Ground mustard
  • ¼ tsp. Cumin
  • ¼ tsp. Ground white pepper
  • ¼ c. Extra barbecue sauce to brush on finished meatballs

Directions:

Direct Your Dining: Honey BBQ Turkey Meatball Mini-Subs | Direct Energy Blog
Start infusing that turkey with flavor, thanks to this heap of onions and garlic.

1) Add the ground turkey to a bowl with the minced garlic and yellow onions. Mix together thoroughly.

Direct Your Dining: Honey BBQ Turkey Meatball Mini-Subs | Direct Energy Blog
Classic spices elevate this recipe further.

2) Add the sea salt, mustard powder, cumin, and white pepper to the bowl. Combine the ingredients completely.

Direct Your Dining: Honey BBQ Turkey Meatball Mini-Subs | Direct Energy Blog
Egg makes everything better.

3) Make a hole in the center of the turkey and crack the egg into it (as shown in the photo above). Whisk the egg to combine the yolk and whites and then mix the egg into the meat fully.

4) Pour in the barbecue sauce and mix the ingredients very well.

5) In a separate bowl, add the milk to the breadcrumbs and combine to make a slurry.  Add this to the meat mixture and finally mix everything together.

Direct Your Dining: Honey BBQ Turkey Meatball Mini-Subs | Direct Energy Blog
Using this muffin tin makes cleanup much easier!

6) Use a tablespoon to spoon mixture into non-stick sprayed mini muffin tin slots.

7) Bake at 375° F (191° C) for 18 minutes.

Direct Your Dining: Honey BBQ Turkey Meatball Mini-Subs | Direct Energy Blog
Mmm… Barbecue sauce…

8) Remove the meatballs from the muffin tin using tongs and place them in a bowl. Brush the tops of finished meatballs with additional barbecue sauce.

Honey Pickled Vegetable Ingredients:

Direct Your Dining: Honey BBQ Turkey Meatball Mini-Subs | Direct Energy Blog
Quick pickling veggies is easier than you think.
  • 1 c. Matchstick/julienned carrots
  • 1 Large cucumber
  • ½ c. Thinly sliced green onions
  • 2 tbsp. Apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. Honey
  • ¼ tsp. Sea salt
  • ¼ tsp. Black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. Ground coriander

Directions:

1) Wash the cucumber, cut it in half, use a spoon to scoop out the seeds, and thinly slice it as shown above. Add it to a mixing bowl with the carrots.

2) Whisk together the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and honey in a small separate bowl.

Direct Your Dining: Honey BBQ Turkey Meatball Mini-Subs | Direct Energy Blog
These ingredients are quite basic, but they bring the necessary flavor to the dish.

3) Add the sea salt, black pepper, and ground coriander to the mixture in Step Two and whisk vigorously until smooth.

Direct Your Dining: Honey BBQ Turkey Meatball Mini-Subs | Direct Energy Blog
That wasn’t so hard now, was it?!

4) Add the green onions to the carrots and cucumbers. Pour in the liquid from Step Three over all the vegetables. Mix everything together and let the quick pickle set in refrigerator while preparing meatballs.

Direct Your Dining: Honey BBQ Turkey Meatball Mini-Subs | Direct Energy Blog
Three meatballs per bun, please!

You can prepare the pickled vegetables the day before you need them, but keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them.

Direct Your Dining: Honey BBQ Turkey Meatball Mini-Subs | Direct Energy Blog
You can replace meatloaf, hot dogs, and sandwiches with just one recipe!

Toast the buns on the stove or in a toaster, stuff with the meatballs, and top with the pickled vegetables to build a light, delicious dinner that’s perfect for summertime!

Check back in every week for more Direct Your Dining recipes to help reduce your energy use in the kitchen while getting creative with delicious dishes!

Recipe and Images by Stacie Morgan

About 

Stacie is a Texas A&M animal science graduate using her education and passion for food to get creative in the kitchen. She previously worked in business before becoming a mom to a special little boy. She's excited to share recipes her family enjoys at home - and they may even help you save energy in the kitchen.