Turkey Meatballs

Turkey Meatballs!

Turkey Meatballs! Yum!

Turkey Meatballs are the reason I always keep ground turkey in the house. They’re a go-to. When plans changed this summer and my mom came over with my cousins for dinner, I needed my fool-proof back up plan: my turkey meatballs. Just looking at that picture makes my mouth water- they are that good. Need proof? My little cousin, Jeremy, who loves to make fun of me endlessly (as all little cousins do), had a bite and said “wow… this is good!… I didn’t know Chris could cook!”

There isn’t any one way to make them- I change the recipe all the time- but one thing that I’ve found that is a necessary in this meal is the use of 99% fat free ground turkey. I recently made them with 93% fat-free ground turkey because it was on sale, and while they tasted good (a little richer than normal) they fell apart easily and didn’t have the flavor and consistency I was used to. Besides that, make them in a chicken broth with rice, in a tomato sauce with pasta, or sauté them with lots of different vegetables- they are beyond versatile. My favorite way is in a chicken broth sauce with grape tomatoes and brown rice. They’re heavenly!! My second favorite? Saving 3-5 of the meatballs (which is almost impossible) and having them the next day in a portabella cap. Divine!!

Turkey Meatballs – serves 4

1 cup rice
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp whole milk
1 tbsp ketchup
1 and 3/4 cup grated Romano cheese
3/4 tspn salt
3/4 tspn fresh ground black pepper
1 pd ground turkey
1/4 cup olive oil
1 and 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth

1. In a medium bowl stir together breadcrumbs, parsley, eggs, milk, ketchup, Romano cheese, salt and pepper.  Add turkey and combine.  Scoop turkey into balls. I like to make them small because they cook quicker but still retain their flavor.

2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Put in the first batch of meatballs in one layer and cook without moving until brown on the bottom, about 2 minutes.  Turn meatballs and brown tops, about another 2 minutes.  Remove and add the second batch. Do this until all are browned. Add all of them back to the hot pan and add chicken broth. Bring to a boil and, using a wooden spoon, scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan.

3. At this point, you can add grape tomato’s that have been sliced in half, or sliced mushrooms, or sliced zucchini or any of your other favorite vegetables. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through, about 5 minutes.

4. Serve over rice and top with freshly grated Romano.  Spoon any left over juices in the pan over the meatballs and rice.

I know I say this a lot but I always mean it: it was quick and easy to make and the results are spectacular. Give them a try and I promise they will become a part of your go-to dinners as well.

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