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Turkey Meatball Recipe

2013-04-03 20.53.41


This recipe is a variation of Giada De Laurentiis “Mini Turkey Meatball” recipe. The ingredients and measurements are the same as she suggests.  My version deviates after the pan fry/browning process because I didn’t want my meatballs to be cooked in marinara sauce.  I was concerned that sauteing the meatballs for 5 minutes wasn’t enough to properly cook them through the center. One can get away with this when using pork but it is too risky when cooking ground poultry. So, to retain the  moist and delicious flavor of the meat, I baked them in a covered baking pan in my counter-top convection oven.  By covering them  with aluminum foil the meatballs continue to cook with steam. This also prevents them from getting dry and losing their texture and flavor.

Turkey Meatballs


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 — I got the breast meat once by mistake. It was still good but not the same as regular ground!
3 tablespoons olive oil
26 ounces Simple Tomato Sauce, recipe follows, or store-bought marinara sauce


All the ingredients measured out and placed into a large bowl.

All the ingredients measured out and placed into a large bowl.

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








Roll the meatballs into even 1" - 1.5 " balls and place onto  aluminum foil.

Roll the meatballs into even 1″ – 1.5 ” balls and place onto aluminum foil.

Shape the turkey mixture into 1 1/4-inch-diameter meatballs. Place on a large plate or baking sheet.








Before you begin the pan fry process, preheat your convection oven to 400 degrees. Heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and saute until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer the browned turkey meatballs to a cooking rack with a sheet of aluminum underneath it to catch any extra oil drippings.


Sautes turkey meatballs transferred to a square baking pan.

Sauted turkey meatballs transferred to a square baking pan.

Take a square baking pan and spray the bottom and edges with PAM spray. Carefully transfer the meatballs to the pan. I used a Calphalon 8” Square Pan and it fit the meatballs perfectly. Cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake in the mini convection oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. After that, cut the heat off, open the oven door for 30 seconds, and close it up again and let the pan sit and cool down with the oven, at least another 20 minutes to assure that the meatballs are cooked through.






Serving Suggestions

Serve these the same way that you would serve regular meatballs, with pasta or marinara sauce. If you are going for a low carb option, get creative with lettuce wraps. Use Boston bib or romaine lettuce, a slice of cheese, and wrap the meatball. If you are in the mood for an Italian meatball sub, spread garlic butter on the toasted Italian sub roll, layer red sauce, meatballs and mozzarella cheese onto the toast and enjoy! Or try this with garlic Texas Toast. I like to have these the day after as a quick and healthy protein portion. Just cover and microwave.


Last Made On

05/06/2014 – Shane visits me at my new home!

This was the first time Shane was visiting me in my new house. We hadn’t seen in each since she moved into her rental with grandma in late January, and now that we have properly moved into our new house, it was time to see my soul sister and show her our new place. I wanted to make the evening special by making Shane’s favorite light meal before heading on to the spa. The meatballs came out PERFECT!

06/26/2013 – The best EVER! Redemption for Shane’s Birthday

Shane requested these and Sol and I prepared them together. Somehow it came out as being one of the tastiest that I can remember . We served these delicious meatball on perfectly toasted garlic bread, with a layer or marinara sauce, and shredded cheese on top. We couldn’t stop eating it! This was definitely a worthy food redemption after learning that turkey breast meat does not result in the same flavor that you get when using dark meat. The leftovers were even more delicious. Shane requested me to make these again on my next turn to cook!

 06/09 /2013 –  Birthday Girl’s (Shane)  Homemade Meal Request

Made these on June 9th, as an early birthday girl request for Shane. She made her spicy green beans, and cheesy mac casserole. Also served with garlic toast.

Made these on June 9th, as an early birthday girl request for Shane. She made her spicy green beans, and cheesy mac casserole. Also served with garlic toast.


I wanted to take Shane out to a special spot for her birthday, but I also wanted to make her something homemade as well. She had no problem calling out “Turkey Meatballs” and my special cheesecake for dessert.

I came through for my little sister, but for some reason the meatballs didn’t taste the same. They were still good but I realized that I accidentally picked up ground Turkey Breast meat instead of the standard ground Dark Turkey Meat. Although I was a little disappointed, but Shane’s delicious cheesy mac casserole and spicy green beans made everything awesome :-)






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