Waffle Frozen Turkey Meatballs to Make Thanksgiving Sliders

Waffle Frozen Turkey Meatballs to Make Thanksgiving Sliders
Photo: Claire Lower

I am not a big turkey sandwich consumer, but a Thanksgiving sandwich is a different story. The moment you get cranberry sauce involved, I’m all about it. Whether we’re dealing with cold cuts, roasted turkey, or turkey burgers, I will devour the sandwich with gusto if it fits the theme.

On a recent trip to the grocery store, I grabbed a bag of frozen turkey meatballs unsure of exactly what I would do with them (they were $7!). Then, yesterday afternoon, I was pulling out my immersion circulator from my appliance cabinet when inspiration struck. There sat my waffle maker, begging to get involved in the Thanksgiving discourse. “I wonder if I could smash those meatballs into little sliders?” I asked the appliance. He said he thought it was worth a try.

My waffle maker (whose imagined personality and voice are just an extension of my own) was correct. I was indeed able to smash frozen turkey meatballs into juicy little patties with an excellent crust, and they tasted damn good with a little cranberry sauce (set atop a Hawaiian roll, natch).

Frozen meatballs take a little bit of coaxing — they are, after all, hard, frozen spheres of meat — so waffling them is not as “press-and-go” as some of our other offerings in this category. You have to waffle these guys gently, rotating them every couple of minutes until they soften and flatten (this takes about 10 minutes total). Don’t force your waffle maker to close; give it time to let the heat do its thing.

Once you have a hot and juicy little turkey patty, slide it onto a roll coated with a little mayo, a little mustard, and a scoop of cranberry sauce, and add a little slice of brie.

Waffled Thanksgiving Sliders

Ingredients:

  • Frozen fully-cooked turkey meatballs
  • Rolls
  • Mayo
  • Mustard
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Brie

Instructions:

Turn your waffle maker on to medium heat and let it come to temperature. Place a couple of meatballs in the waffle maker and close it, letting the top plate rest on the balls. Let them warm for two minutes, give the top plate a gentle pressing, and let the meatballs cook for a minute more. Once you see a crust start to develop and darken, rotate the meatballs 90 degrees and repeat. Continue this little song and dance until the balls are flattened and have formed a nice golden brown crust on the outside.

Toast your rolls if you want to, then smear the bottom half with a little mayo and some yellow mustard, place the turkey patty on top of the bottom half, spoon a dollop of cranberry sauce on top of the patty, and cap it off with a slice of brie and the top half of the roll. Consume and repeat until you are out of meatballs (or cranberry sauce).

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