Sunday, March 15, 2009

Turkey Meatballs



I came across a recipe for turkey meatloaf in my Barefoot Contessa cookbook recently, and it inspired me to attempt some turkey meatballs,  in the name of  my variety-craving tastebuds.  As my husband and I found out the hard way last week, ground turkey can be incredibly bland.  We decided it needed a definite kick so don’t be afraid to be liberal with the spices.  We tried just baking them in the oven last week, but they never got a nice brown crust, and although not dry, they weren’t exactly juicy either and were a sort of unappetizing colour.   We decided to fry them this time, with cooking being finished in the oven.  These were so good my husband exclaimed these might be the best thing we’ve ever made.  I couldn’t stop mmmmmm-ing, and as someone who never cared for the texture of ground meat, these are simply amazingly tasty and moist.

Turkey Meatballs

1 lb ground lean turkey

Half  of 1 medium onion, chopped finely

1 package stovetop stuffing for chicken

1/4 cup chicken broth (or other liquid such as tomato juice, or even water)

1/4 cup ketchup

1 egg

1 tsp garlic powder (or 1 clove garlic minced fine)

1  tsp salt

1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

Vegetable oil for frying

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Heat oil in large heavy frying pan over medium heat, you want enough oil to just cover the bottom of the pan.  Its important you have the oil hot before adding the meatballs, so that they do not become soggy.  You know its hot enough when the oil bubbles madly when a drop of water is dropped into the pan (careful if you do this as it may splash up!).

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, set aside.  Combine ground turkey, finely chopped onion, contents of 1 package of stovetop stuffing, chicken broth, ketchup, egg and spices in large bowl.   Roll mixture into uniform balls approximately the size of golf balls or slightly smaller between your hands.  Try to keep them all roughly the same size so that they will cook evenly.

Add to the hot oil, in batches if necessary.  You want enough room that you can turn them over.  Brown the meatballs on both sides, this does not take too long if the oil is hot enough, a couple minutes or so per side.  Scoop out meatballs with a slotted spoon to lined baking sheet as batches finish.

When all meatballs have been browned and are on the baking sheet, pop them in the 400F oven until thoroughly cooked through, to a temperature of 170F.  My most loved kitchen gadget, a dual digital probe thermometer makes this easier as it can stay outside the oven while the probe is in the oven in fattest meatball.  If you don’t have a thermometer, this took about 10 minutes, and a meatball split in half should be cooked thoroughly in the middle.

Digital therm1

(It took several attempts to get a good picture, which explains why it climbed past 170 while I was trying!)

And there you have it!  Very good served with sliced white mushrooms and sliced onions fried in some butter till browned according to my husband (I don’t do mushrooms). 

fried mushrooms with onions

They are also great the next day, just keep covered in the fridge, and put in a sandwich or simply reheated.




  1. Thanks Mike! They're good with ground chicken too, and so awesome as leftovers!