italian turkey meatballs

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs today.

And no, I’m not referencing the adorable movie that, come on, you know you love. I’m talking slow cooked, succulent, and flavorful meatballs, served atop a bed of pasta and swimming in sauce. You’re with me now, right?

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We had a snow day here not too long ago, and since I was stuck at home all day (happily, I might add!) I decided to let the hubs pick out whatever he wanted for dinner. Being the meat lover that he is, it took him all of one second to blurt out “Meatballs, please!”. This cook was happy to oblige, but with a few special twists.

I am a huge fan of using ground turkey instead of the more ‘traditional’ ground pork, chuck, beef, etc. You all know my food philosophy – if I can make it taste great and keep it healthy, then why not? For me, meatballs are a no-brainer in this situation. Lean ground turkey is a great flavor base, and who doesn’t love turkey?!

In this particular recipe, the lean meat is paired with an assortment of flavorful herbs. Think cracked pepper, oregano, basil, and parsley – all the components you would find in a classic meatball. These are elevated with the addition of earthy Parmesan and sharp Romano cheese.

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Once combined,these beauties come together in no time. And by cooking them in the oven, elevated on a wire rack, most of the fat renders from the meatballs. The outer edges are crisped slightly, giving you that satisfying crunch when you first cut into it. The interior is moist, packed with flavor, and truly satisfying. It doesn’t get any better than that. Enjoy these with a glass of good red wine (I love a Cabernet with this) and I promise, you will be in heaven, and ::probably:: going back for seconds.


Turkey Meatballs

{adapted minimally from Everyday Italian by Giada De Laurentiis}

1/4 C. plain dried bread crumbs

3 T. dried Parsley flakes

1 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. basil

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 T. milk (I used 1%)

3/4 C.grated cheese (I use a blend of Parmesan and Romano)

3/4 tsp. salt

3/4 tsp. fresh cracked pepper

1 lb. ground turkey

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place a wire cooling rack on top, and spray liberally with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, parsley, oregano, basil, eggs, milk, 1/2 C. of the cheese, and the salt and pepper. Add in the turkey and gently stir to combine, being careful not to overwork the meat. Shape the meat mixture into 12-15 meatballs. Line up on the cooling rack, with enough space between them so they are not touching each other.

Bake for 30-35 minutes (cooking time will vary depending on the size of your meatballs). Check halfway through, and rotate the pan if necessary. Serve atop your favorite pasta with sauce of your choice. I love it with my ‘fresh tagliatelle’ pasta and ‘tomato sauce with onion & butter’!

6 thoughts on “italian turkey meatballs

  1. Pingback: gruyere fondue | kitchen konfidential

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