At first, this recipe might look sparse. Turkey meatballs…that’s it?
It is, for now! I wanted to provide the simple recipe I use for making turkey meatballs, and it will serve as the base for a few other recipes I want to show you soon!
My mom showed me this recipe for turkey meatballs back in the day, and I’ve been making them this way ever since. What is great about these little guys is that even though they take a little bit of time and effort, you can make a huge batch at once and freeze them for later use. I like to separate the finished meatballs into small packages of about 8 meatballs each to freeze – just enough to pull out and defrost for a meal for two one evening! You can add them to a simple pasta and sauce, put them in a sandwich, pop them on toothpicks with marinara sauce as an appetizer at a party, or drop them in soup (Italian Wedding Soup is forthcoming on the blog: stay tuned!).
The trick is to not make these little meatballs too big; I typically use a tablespoon sized spoon to scoop oversized ball shapes…about the size of a golf ball.
And the other secret trick? Adding shredded zucchini to the turkey meatballs! The zucchini doesn’t add a strong flavor to them, but it does add moisture, which is a great thing! Plus, I just like zucchini – a lot.
You don’t have to use ground turkey breast either – you could use ground chicken breast as well (I do that sometimes when the price is better). I love that these little meatballs are light and fluffy…and not hard on the waistline.
Ok, so start whipping up a batch, will ya?
- 1½ lb ground turkey breast
- 1 medium zucchini, roughly chopped
- ½ yellow onion, roughly chopped (approx. ¼ cup)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tbsp Montreal Steak seasoning
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper
- ½ cup Italian bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a food processor, combine onion, zucchini, and garlic. Pulse until the ingredients have a fine mince.
- Combine the onion/zucchini/garlic mixture into a large bowl with the ground turkey breast and all remaining ingredients. Use your hands (or a strong spatula) to combine the mixture.
- Use a tablespoon to scoop turkey mixture into meatballs roughly the size of golf balls (or use a small cookie scoop to make smaller meatballs if preferred). Lightly roll in your hands to keep the shape spherical, and place on a sheet of wax paper.
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil across the pan, then drop the rolled meatballs in evenly, allowing ample space between each meatball so you are able to turn them (you'll have to cook the meatballs in more than one batch). Cook for about 2 minutes, until the side on the pan is golden brown. Use tongs or a spatula to turn the meatballs over. When meatballs have browned on all sides, remove from skillet and transfer to a cookie sheet/baking pan. Continue this process until all meatballs are browned. They will not be fully cooked at this point, just browned on the outside.
- When the meatballs are all browned, place the cookie sheet/baking pan in the preheated oven to finish cooking. Bake for about 10 minutes (until cooked through) for golf ball sized meatballs; adjust time according to the size of the meatballs you create.
- Place meatballs in sauce, soup, or however you would like to serve them. Enjoy!
What is your favorite dish with meatballs?