We used to have a cat named Jack. Jack was a sly, slow-moving, long-haired Persian that would rarely come when called, but if you put out a small bowl of vanilla ice cream, out of nowhere he would magically appear.
This is sort of how my dad is with meatballs.
All I have to do is say, "Dad, I'm making meatballs," and he's halfway out the door on the way over. He loves these turkey meatballs.
It's hard to go wrong with meatballs. You just need to make sure you don't over-mix them, and you brown them slowly enough, and in enough fat, so that flavor develops and the meatballs cook through.
How to Make Moist Turkey Meatballs
That said, meatballs made with ground turkey can tend to be on the dry side.
To counter that for our turkey meatballs we add some sour cream to the mix, in addition to breadcrumbs. It works!
We also use ground turkey thigh meat, which we are able to get at our local butcher. If you can get ground thighs, I recommend it. Not only will they be more moist because thigh meat is fattier than breast meat, but also more flavorful.
Ground Turkey Recipes
- Turkey Taco Salad
- Ground Turkey Chili with Black Beans
- Turkey Sloppy Joes
- Turkey Meatloaf
- Herbed Turkey Burgers
Turkey Meatballs with Tomatoes and Basil
For the meatballs
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey (thigh meat if available)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/3 cup flour, for dredging
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
For the sauce
1/2 jalapeño chile, seeded, minced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons white wine or chicken stock
1 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped (can substitute a 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes)
1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
Freshly grated mozzarella or Parmesan cheese, for serving
Make the turkey meatball mix:
In a large bowl, add the turkey, breadcrumbs, sour cream, egg, minced basil, salt, rosemary, oregano, thyme, fennel seeds, and red pepper flakes. Gently mix together using your (clean) hands.
Form the meatballs and dredge them in flour:
Place the flour in a shallow bowl or plate. Use the palms of your hands to form 1 1/2 to 2-inch wide meatballs.
Roll the meatballs in the dredging flour and set them on a plate or tray. You should have about 18 to 22 meatballs.
Brown the turkey meatballs in olive oil:
Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a large, shallow sauté pan. Gently place the meatballs in the pan. You may need to work in batches as to not crowd the pan.
Once the meatballs are sizzling, reduce the heat to medium-low and gently cook them on at least 3 sides, so that they get browned pretty much all over and cooked through.
Use a fork to nudge the meatballs in the pan. Cooking the meatballs should take about 10 minutes per batch. A gentle heat will ensure that the browned meatballs get cooked through.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the meatballs from the pan to a bowl and set aside.
Make the sauce base:
Add the jalapeño and garlic to the pan and cook for 1 minute. Add the white wine or chicken stock. Increase the heat to high and boil down the liquid to the point where a wooden spoon leaves a trail through the pan as you scrape it along the bottom of the pan.
Return meatballs to the pan, add tomatoes:
Return the meatballs to the pan and coat all over with the pan sauce.
Add the fresh tomatoes and toss to coat. Cook until the tomatoes just begin to break down, about 4 minutes. Do not overcook the tomatoes.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the fresh basil.
Serve with freshly grated cheese:
Serve with fresh mozzarella or Parmesan cheese. Serve alone or with pasta, rice, or in a sandwich roll.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 4 to 6|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 34g||43%|
|Saturated Fat 10g||49%|
|Total Carbohydrate 32g||12%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||12%|
|Total Sugars 7g|
|Vitamin C 21mg||107%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|