Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Turkey Meatballs

After four tries, I've finally come up with the perfect, flavorful and juicy turkey meatballs. Yes, you heard right: turkey. I believe that the key to these meatballs are fresh breadcrumbs, none of that store bought stuff. I also think that the cheese adds additional creaminess. The recipe is a combination of a Dave Baggs ground beef meatball recipe slightly altered by me. The reason I do turkey instead of ground beef is because there are members in my family that don't eat red meat.

Use these turkey meatballs in a meatball sub and top with your favorite marinara sauce or use them in spaghetti (make it whole wheat spaghetti if you want to add more fiber and protein to your diet) and you will have yourself a really good, hearty meal and you won't even miss the ground beef!

INGREDIENTS (makes 24 to 28 meatballs)

  • 2 to 2-1/2 lb. ground turkey
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 Tablespoon dried parsley flakes or 4 Tablespoons of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups fresh, soft breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup grated mild cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients until they are well distributed. Don't worry about overmixing. Place it in the fridge for 30 minutes to let the breadcrumbs absorb all the flavors.

Form turkey mixture into golf-sized meatballs.

Place them in a greased cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Turn meatballs over and bake another 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. At this point you can store them and use them the next day (I find that leaving them in the fridge overnight makes the meatballs taste better the next day) or place them in freezer bags and freeze and store whenever you need to use them.

To make fresh breadcrumbs: place 1/2" pieces of French bread or thick white bread in a food processor and whiz until you get your breadcrumbs.

To make a very simple marinara sauce: saute 1 large minced garlic clove in 1 tablespoon olive oil for 30 seconds. Add 1 teaspoon fresh oregano and 1 bay leaf. Let it saute 30 more seconds. Add one (28 oz) can of "6 in 1 Tomato Sauce" and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and several grinds of black pepper. Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, if needed.

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