Mom's Tomato Soup Meatballs

March  9, 2021
8 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten. Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog. Prop Stylist: Amanda Widis
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Makes 24 to 28 meatballs
Author Notes

My mom's tomato soup meatballs are the only recipe my family makes religiously every Thanksgiving—they're tangy, lightly sweet, have a solid kick (thanks to the ginger), and more tender than any turkey meatballs you've every met thanks to (you guessed it) the tomato soup. —Erin Alexander

What You'll Need
  • For the meatballs:
  • 2 pounds ground turkey (1 pound of dark meat, 1 pound white meat)
  • 2 celery stalks, super finely diced
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, super finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup creamy tomato soup
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1 dash kosher salt
  • 1 dash freshly ground black pepper
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 1/2 quarts creamy tomato soup
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 small bunch finely chopped tarragon, for garnish (optional)
  1. To make the meatballs: Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine the ingredients in a large mixing bowl (I like to use my hands to squish everything together). Once well combined, form into medium-size meatballs—you should be able to make roughly 24 to 28.
  3. Place the meatballs on a greased baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until browned and cooked through.
  4. Place the cooked meatballs in a 2 ½-quart casserole dish.
  5. While the meatballs cook, make the sauce: Combine the ingredients (except the tarragon) in a large pot and heat over medium-low until all the ingredients are fragrant, about 10 to 15 minutes. (The brown sugar should be fully dissolved and the ground ginger should be well distributed.)
  6. Pour the sauce over the cooked meatballs, cover with aluminum foil, and refrigerate overnight. (You can also serve them straight away with the sauce.)
  7. If serving the next day, let the meatballs come up to room temperature and reheat in the oven at 325-350°F for 20 to 30 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped tarragon and serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jill Maltby-Abbott
    Jill Maltby-Abbott
  • Peter Beckerle
    Peter Beckerle
  • Erin Alexander
    Erin Alexander

6 Reviews

LULULAND July 31, 2021
When the recipe calls for creamy tomato soup, do you mean make the canned tomato soup with milk?
becky H. May 28, 2020
My family loved this. The meatballs are very tender and the soy-ginger-garlic works well. I wasn’t sure what to do with so much sauce, but mopping it up with a good bread as suggested by another reviewer sounds good. Making the meatballs small would make a great appetizer.
Jill M. January 11, 2020
We're huge fans. Great meatball consistency. Interesting ingredients. We used a vegan tomato soup recipe and made a soup in advance. Because our tomato soup used a coconut milk base, we we thinking we should have cut the brown sugar in the sauce down a bit. It makes two dinners and 2 lunches for our household of 2!
Peter B. December 28, 2019
These were odd tasting. I followed the recipe to a tee. The ginger in the soup was just strange to me.
Logan B. December 20, 2019
I JUST made this, the meatballs and the sauce, and it is THE BEST "meatball and sauce" recipe I've ever tasted!! It was so good that I sopped up the bottom of the sauce pan with a chunk of sourdough and savored every bite. Definitely a make again and will now be a regular in my repertoire!
Erin A. December 20, 2019
Ahh I am so happy to hear that!!! So glad to hear it's going to be a regular :)