Elk and Saskatoon Meatball Tetrazzini - top view

Elk and Saskatoon Meatball Tetrazzini

Elk and Saskatoon Meatball Tetrazzini - side view

This recipe for Elk and Saskatoon Meatball Tetrazzini came about because I love the combination of lean Elk with saskatoon berries. But, I was also craving the rich, creaminess of a mushroom tetrazzini. I hoped, the leanness of the elk would marry well with the subtle notes of sherry so typical of tetrazzini. I also subbed out the usual rosemary and parsley for sage and juniper that grow in the same habitat as elk and saskatoon berries. Because we all know, what grows together goes together!

Fun Fact: Tetrazzini is a pasta dish that was invented in the U.S. in the early 1900’s. It’s named after an Italian Opera Star, Luisa Tetrazzini. The pasta used may very but the elements of cream sauce and a little sherry are constant. The meat used is usually turkey or chicken. The elk meatballs I chose to substitute tucked in nicely between the swirls of fettuccini. BTW – this dish got two thumbs up from my sometimes fussy hubby.


Elk and Saskatoon Meatball Tetrazzini

Elk and Saskatoon Meatball Tetrazzini - close up

Lean elk meatballs tucked into swirls of creamy mushroom fettuccini.

  • Author: Karen Anderson
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: broiling, boiling, baking
  • Cuisine: American Italian


For the meatballs:

1 lb ground elk meat

½ cup frozen saskatoon berries

1 egg

½ cup bread crumbs

1 teaspoon ground sage

1 teaspoon freshly ground dried juniper berries

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

For the pasta:

½ pound fettucini


1 Tablespoon olive oil

2 large shallots

3 cups sliced crimini (brown button) mushrooms

1 teaspoon coarsely ground sage (plus more for garnish)

¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour

⅓ cup sherry

⅔ cup cream

2 cups hot (chicken or mushroom) broth

Salt and Pepper to taste


For the meatballs:

  1. Preheat the oven to broil and place a rack on a rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Place the elk, saskatoon berries, egg, breadcrumbs, sage, juniper, Worcestershire, salt and pepper in a bowl and use your hands to mix the ingredients thoroughly.
  3. Use a small cookies scoop to create 24 meatballs and place them on the rack.
  4. Place the meatballs in the oven and broil for 5 minutes – watching closely.
  5. Remove and set aside.

For the pasta:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450℉ and grease a large casserole dish.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, add the fettucini and cook to al dente (soft but still toothsome). Drain and set aside.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a deep-sided skillet over medium heat and add the shallots, mushrooms and sage, cooking until most of the liquid is gone from the mushrooms.
  4. Sprinkle the mushrooms mix with the flour and cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes to make sure the flour is no longer raw tasting.
  5. Add the sherry and stir to begin making a sauce, add the cream and continue to stir before adding the broth. Simmer for about 5 minutes – until it thickens then add the pasta and meatballs and turn the whole thing into the prepared casserole dish.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Garnish with a bit more coarsely ground sage.
  8. Enjoy bubbling hot with some crusty bread and a green salad.



Keywords: Elk and Saskatoon Meatball Tetrazzini

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