Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Easy Baked Turkey Meatballs by Colleen

Turkey Makes A Good Meatball, too

So the turkey meatballs are very similar to the basic meatball recipe that I sent awhile back to Feast Everyday(Easy Meatballs, March, 2010), but here it is with a few modifications.  

These are baked.  And use ground turkey instead of ground beef.

Many meatball recipes call for rolling the balls in flour and frying in oil before finishing in a sauce or in the oven. You can still do that if you want - it just adds more work and more calories, but if you want the crunchy texture of the fried meatball, go right ahead. 
This version produces a very slight crunch on the meatball with a soft, fluffy interior. But they still hold together in the sauce.

This is a double batch, but it is so easy to do and the meatballs freeze really well, so it makes sense to have a large quantity. But you can halve the recipe if you don’t plan on freezing any of the meatballs or you aren’t feeding an army!

---Colleen

Turkey Meatballs

Makes 20-24 meatballs

2 lbs ground turkey (I used 93% fat free although you can use 99% fat free)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 eggs
2 cups herb and garlic breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 cup half and half (you can use milk or cream cut with water)
2-3 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 Tbs Bomba Tomato Paste (this is a brand of tomato paste that has tomatoes plus a few other spices/veg for a deeper flavor)
2-3 teaspoons Penzey’s dried garlic (I crushed it between my palms - can use fresh garlic too)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat all the ingredients except the turkey together until well mixed. Add in the turkey and mix thoroughly until bread crumb/egg mix is distributed through the turkey.

Get a large roasting pan and line with a sheet of parchment paper. 

Get a large cookie scoop (about 1/4 cup volume) and scoop out mix onto parchment paper. The balls don’t really spread so they can be fairly close together, but not touching. 

Bake for 30-40 minutes until a meat probe inserted in the meatballs registers at least 180 degrees. 

Remove from oven and cool for freezing, or add to sauce if using right away. 

Makes about 20-24 large meatballs depending on your scoop size. I would consider a serving to be 2-3 meatballs, 4-5 for a hungry teen.

If you want smaller, appetizer sized meatballs, you can just use a small scoop and reduce the baking time.

  ---Colleen

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