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This is how you make the BEST Turkey Meatballs!

RECIPE: This is how you make the BEST Turkey Meatballs!

Want to make the best tasting meatballs? I’ve got you covered. Just-ground turkey with loads of veggies  – and a technique that adds ton of flavor, and yields a tender meatball!

The BEST Turkey Meatball recipe ever!
Use a scoop to ensure evenly shaped meatballs

The Technique: brown meatballs in a skillet, then cover with sauce and bake. 

This is how you make the BEST Turkey Meatballs!

Ingredients

2 pounds freshly ground turkey* (thigh)

¾ cup onion, peeled, small dice

1 tablespoon freshly grated garlic

½ cup finely grated carrot  

½ cup finely grated zucchini 

1  ½ cups fresh spinach, cleaned and dried (packed)

1/ 4 cup fresh parsley, cleaned, dried and chopped

1 slice white bread; gluten-free, Italian or Sourdough 

1 large egg, beaten (I used pasture raised) 

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, ground fine with your fingertips

½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder (can use red pepper flakes)

1 teaspoon sea salt 

1 cup chopped tomatoes in juice ( I use Pomi brand)

1 tablespoon tomato paste (I use Mutti brand (has no “natural flavoring”)

2 ½ cups marinara sauce (I use Rao’s brand) 

¼ cup shaved reggiano parmesan cheese 

3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves

Instructions

1

In a large bowl add first 12 ingredients.
For spinach – I add to my 4 cup food processor and pulse until fine.
Add a slice of bread after to the food processor, and pulse until fine crumbs.

2

Mix the ground turkey, vegetables and seasoning together until well distributed.
Have a rimmed baking tray ready lined with parchment paper.
Using a 2″ scoop – scoop out the mixture with rounded tops.
Use watered hands and roll the balls gently until nice and round.
Add them to the lined pan.

3

Freeze for 15 minutes until firm, yet not hard on the bottoms.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Add 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil to a large skillet – I use my seasoned cast iron one.
Heat to medium – when very hot add half of the meatballs and cook, shaking the pan, or gently rolling them with a wooden spoon – until good and browned all around.

4

Remove them to a 9″ x 13″ baking pan (I used ceramic.)
Repeat with remaining meatballs; add a teaspoon more oil if needed, add to baking pan.

5

In the skillet add the chopped tomatoes in juice and cook over moderate heat until reduced slightly, 3 minutes. Add tomato paste and marinara sauce and bring just to a boil.
Spoon the sauce over the meatballs.

6

Cover with parchment paper to fit (I recycle the parchment from the baking pan!)
Cover with heavy foil, seal tightly and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes, until bubbly and cooked through.

7

To Serve:
Top meatballs and sauce over individual bowls of warm pasta.
Add roasted vegetables (if using) – shaved parmesan cheese and basil leaves and enjoy.

8

Roast Veggies for a Healthier Dinner:
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut Japanese eggplant (very tender) in half lengthwise.
Cut small sized zucchini in half lengthwise.
Add to a baking pan – drizzle a few teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil with a pinch of salt & pepper. Mix in. Roast, cut side down until golden underneath and cooked through, 15 – 20 minutes. Cut on an angle into 1″ pieces and add to the meatballs.

*If possible ask you butcher to bring turkey thighs fresh for you. I have found there is a superior test difference, with no preservatives. Although – I also use a organic ground package.
Stays fresh almost 1 week when covered well in sauce and in an airtight container. These meatballs freeze well!

See BLOG for many more photos and information.

Also in blog: Investigation on packaged ground turkey; what is “rosemary extract”?

This recipe may not be reproduced without the consent of its author, Karen Sheer

To say hello, discuss a recipe, share one, or have a comment - I would love to know what you think!

    • H
    • 5 Mar 2020
    Reply

    I’ve made America’s Test Kitchen turkey meatloaf and it was a ‘thumbs down’ as per my family. I agreed. I’ve also tried Trader Joe’s turkey meatballs and didn’t care for them. So I’m going to go to Whole Foods (aka.Whole Paycheck) for the turkey you suggest and try your recipe. I have several organic pasture farms near me, so once farmers markets open, I will purchase from them.
    Question: I prefer to bake the meatballs rather than fry. Will I get the same results?
    Many thanks.
    Your recipes are intriguing… you should post tutorial videos on YouTube. I would subscribe.

    1. Reply

      Thanks for your thoughts. Let me know how you like (love) the recipe!
      You CAN bake the meatballs. One reason I pan-fry is so that they stay “very round.”
      So bake them at a high temperature – 400 degrees until golden (can brush with olive oil.)
      Then – cover with sauce, turn heat down to 350, cover with sauce and bake until cooked and tender, about 30
      minutes more. Add parchment over, then foil.

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