Easy Turkey Meatballs

by Kimberly Hickok

My husband is a meat lover – beef, pork, sausages, lamb and venison. I, on the other hand, am a big fan of fish, chicken and vegetables. Sometimes it’s challenging melding our taste. I’m happy to say that this recipe for Turkey Meatballs made everyone, including our son Justin, very happy.

You know how they say that necessity is the mother of invention? Well, this recipe is a result of the brainstorming that happened when I ended up with 3 lbs. of ground turkey after Thanksgiving. How did that happen? A family member got a partially-boned turkey from work. They ground it up and asked if I wanted some.

Anyone who know me knows that I rarely turn down any offer of food – especially if the food is FREE.

My dilemma was what to do with it that everyone in the family will like. A few ideas came to mind – turkey chili, turkey meatloaf or turkey burgers but I’m not sure that the guys will like it. I settle on meatballs. Who doesn’t like a meatball, right?

Here’s what I came up with.

Turkey Meatballs (makes about 16 – 2” balls)
1 ½ lbs. ground turkey
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 slices of Italian (or white) bread, cut into ¼” cubes
½ cup milk
1 large egg
1 tbsp. parsley
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp. salt
Olive Oil

Over medium-high heat, cook onions in about a tablespoon of olive oil until transparent. Turn off heat and add garlic. Stir and let cool. While the onions are cooking, add milk to the bread and let soak.

In a large bowl combine ground turkey, egg, parsley, salt and pepper. When the onions and garlic are cool, add to the meat mixture. Squeeze milk from the bread and add that to the bowl too. Mix everything together well. The meat mixture will be very moist. You don’t want it dry. Moist is good.

In a large shallow bowl or plate add about 2/3 cup of flour. Next form into balls. I use an ice cream scoop so that they all are about the same size. Drop the meatballs into the flour and toss until they’re lightly coated with flour.

Olive oil, flour and meat mixture all ready to be formed into balls.

Gently shape into balls and coat in flour.

In a large skillet, pour enough olive oil in to completely cover the bottom. Heat over medium-high heat and when the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the meatballs. Brown on all sides, turning carefully with tongs. This should take about 8-10 minutes. I finish cooking the meatballs in marinara but you can also turn the heat down, cover the skillet and cook for another 5 or 6 minutes until they’re done.

You don’t need a lot of oil in the pan. Be sure to brown the meatballs on all sides.

I know this recipe is a keeper because I’ve already made it twice and Mark says they’re “almost as good as ‘real’ meatballs.” Mind you – he says this with his mouth full. And that’s when I know that this recipe will stay in the ‘keep’ folder.

Served with fettucine.

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1 comment

janicedoty December 15, 2012 - 1:29 pm

Kim–We’ve been using the ground turkey from Nature’s Place–and what a difference it makes!! I always deferred from making turkey meatballs because I didn’t like the other brands but now I will–thanks fro what looks like a great recipe!!


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