Thursday, December 1, 2011

Healthier Turkey Meatballs

First off, WOW! I'm trilled that so many of you entered the giveaway. Reading what everyone was thankful for was amazing and really pushed me to think more about what I'm thankful for. The winner of the giveaway is Star Van Gelder. Star, please e-mail me ( and I'll work out the details to get you your knife!
One of Joey's all-time favorite meals is spaghetti and meatballs. And although I don't have even an ounce of Italian in me, I do think I make a pretty mean version. Growing up, my favorite meal was when my mom would make what we called porcupine meatballs. They were large meatballs filled with rice and baked in the oven. We actually ate our meatballs with mashed potatoes and steamed veggies instead of atop pasta and it was amazingly delicious.

For the past couple years I've been making meatballs simmered in marinara sauce for optimal flavor and to maintain moisture, which is especially important when you are cooking with something leaner such as ground turkey.

Healthier Turkey Meatballs
*2 slices whole wheat bread
*1/3 cup skim or low-fat milk
*1 large egg, lightly beaten
*1 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
*1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
*1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
*1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
*1 lb. ground turkey
*1 tablespoon olive oil
*1 (28-ounce) jar tomato-basil marinara sauce or other preferred marinara sauce
*4 to 6 servings whole wheat angel hair pasta, prepared according to package instructions (optional)

*In a large bowl, soak the whole wheat bread in the milk. Crumble up the bread with your fingers into small pieces. Add in the egg, Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese, salt and black pepper. Stir to combine. Add in the turkey and work mixture together with your hands until evenly combined.
*Form turkey mixture into meatballs, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Set aside.
*In a very large skillet (that has a lid) heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the meatballs to the oil in the pan. Cook about 3 or 4 minutes, flip, and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes on the second side. Meatballs should have a crisp golden crust on both sides. Add the marinara sauce to the pan and bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through and no pink remains.
*Serve atop the whole wheat angel hair pasta. Top with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Happy Cooking!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Do you have your mom's recipe to share? It sounds interesting and I'd love to try it. Thanks.

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