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Turkey Meatballs

First mistake – taking Tom to the supermarket with me. Now, he picks up every box and bag, reads the label, makes a ‘pfffft’ sound and puts it back.

I take something from the shelf, he says, ‘I can’t eat that!’  FGS, the doctor did not say NO SALT the doctor said lower and moderate your salt intake. His salt intake had to have been cut by more than half just by stopping the tortilla chip and salsa binging! I now make fresh salsa and bake tortilla chips for him.

So we walk across the meat department and I am quickly trying to think about what to make for dinner every night this week. Red meat once a week is fine, but he’s trying to avoid it at all costs. Seriously, how much chicken and turkey can eat before you start to cluck?

I made the mistake of asking what he’s like for dinner. “Pasta and meatballs.’ Okay, I can do that. As I reach for the meatball mix my grocer makes, he says, ‘Oh, no, do you have to use red meat?’ Sigh.

So Turkey Meatballs, here we come. I have had them before and they were terrible. Dry. Flavorless. Yucky.  I turned to Giada for help and guidance. If any one could come up with a great turkey meatball she would be the one to do just that.

I looked at three different turkey meatball recipes of Giada’s and tweaked it a bit and came up with this. This recipe is mostly from the Mini Turkey Meatballs recipe found on Food Network.

  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground dark turkey meat 

NOTE: I bought a turkey mix of light and dark, 85/15%. All light would be way too dry. KETCHUP? Really? It wasn’t alot, so how bad could it be?

Preheat oven to 350.

Add the turkey, onion, garlic, egg, bread crumbs, ketchup, parsley, Parmesan, Pecorino, salt and pepper to a large bowl and blend.

Shape the turkey mixture into meatballs. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and place meatballs on baking sheet. I baked them for about 30 minutes, turning them once.

While the meatballs were cooking a made a quick marinara sauce for them. A clove of minced garlic, a little olive oil, allspice (thanks, mom) and toasting the dried herbs first (only good thing Nonna ever taught me), crushed tomatoes. Simmer while the meatballs are baking.

Once the meatballs were done, I let them sit for a moment or two before their plunge into the sauce.

After the meatballs went into the sauce, and pasta was cooked, I poured the Penne into the sauce and tossed it together. A sprinkle of parsley and a little Parmigiano Reggiano and we were ready to go!

NOTE: Barilla makes a great pasta called Barilla Pasta Plus. Same great Barilla taste, just multi-grain and high in protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. 

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8 Responses

  1. Lovely! These meatballs have been popular.
    We have been eying salt too – but take away fast food and packaged foods and you are already way ahead.

  2. LOL. I can so visualize this. I have a recipe for mini turkey meatballs that is addictive. Have to eat before I cook them and be alone in the kitchen. But I will try your recipe next time. Thanks!

  3. Definitely going to try the meatball. toasting the herbs sounds like a great idea too. The Barilla pasta you mentioned is very good.

  4. These look scrumptious! I will definitely be adding this to my family’s meal rotation. Can’t wait!

  5. I’ve always had problems w/ dry turkey meatballs. Will have to try this recipe.

  6. These do look delicious. I have them marked to try too.
    😉

  7. Cutting back on food and salt is always hard, but these turkey meatballs look like a great way to do that! Great pick!

  8. These little meatballs look great, as does your wonderful sauce (love the idea of the allspice – got to try that). Great dish.
    Sue 🙂

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