Turkey Pompoms is much catchier than “Thanksgiving Dinner Balls” or “What to do with your turkey dinner left-overs”; but not much!  There are many variations of this kicking around the internet, but we rather liked this early version that is sticks to simple classic turkey dinner flavor profile: celery, onions, and fragrant sage and thyme — thanks to the poultry seasoning.

Turkey Pompoms - 1958

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Turkey Pompoms can accompany your turkey dinner or be a solution to your Thanskgiving leftovers. Serve as a starter, on the side, or as a main dish.


  • Muffin pan or shallow baking dish


  • 5 cups Bread cut into Cubes
  • 3 stalks Celery Diced
  • ½ Onion Diced
  • ½ cup Chopped Walnuts ((optional))
  • ¾ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Ground Pepper
  • 2 tsp Poultry Seasoning
  • 1 stick Butter ((melted))
  • ½ cup Broth (Chicken or Turkey) or Water ((hot))


  • Preheat oven to 375 °F. Grease muffin pan or baking dish.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine bread, celery, walnuts, onion, salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, and turkey.
  • Add melted butter and only enough broth to moisten. Stir until evenly moist.
  • Shape into 12 balls. Place in greased muffin pan or on baking dish.
  • Bake 30-35 minutes of until golden and crisp. Serve hot.
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish


The original recipe called for MSG (monosodium glutamate) which we omitted here. While there is no scientific foundation to the rumored health risks associated with MSG, it could be difficult to source.  Instead  we increased the salt, onions, and herbs. We also tried this recipe with and without walnuts and with turkey sausage. The above version is our favorite.

Serving Suggestions


Adapted from a recipe called “Turkey Pompons” in Good Housekeeping’s Christmas Cook Book (1958).

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