Turkey is not a meat that is often thought about outside of a special holiday or on the occasional sandwich. Maybe because turkey is associated with hours of cooking and when not cooked well it can be dry and a bit tasteless.
Yet ground turkey is a healthier, lighter substitute for beef in meatballs. I have made hundreds of turkey meatballs in a quest to find the perfect balance between flavor and moistness. Many versions came out moist with no flavor or dry with lots of flavor...because I added so many spices. After numerous iterations, I finally balanced flavor and texture.
These little lumps of turkey can be served alone with a salad, disguised for beef meatballs in a tomato sauce, or layered on top of pasta pesto for a new classic.
The meatballs also may be cooked and then frozen. Preparing them in a smaller size, like a marble, creates an ideal appetizer making it easy for your guests to easily pop into their mouths.
2 pounds ground turkey meat
3 cloves garlic
1 cup frozen chopped spinach or fresh spinach chopped finely
1 cup ricotta cheese
¼ cup plain breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon salt
time. 45 minutes to make meatballs. 25-30 minutes baking.
serves. 20 large meatballs, 6 people.
1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees
2. Mince the onion and garlic, separately and set aside.
3. Add a little olive oil to small sauté pan over low heat.
4. Mix in the onions and cook for 3 minutes.
5. Put in the spinach to pan and cook another 2 minutes.
6. Add the garlic, mix everything together cooking for about 3 minutes. Set aside.
7. Place ground turkey meat into a large mixing bowl.
8. Using a spoon or your hands, blend in all the rest of ingredients.
9. With an ice cream scoop or large soup spoon, form meatball and place on a large baking tray. They do not spread so can be put close together.
10. Bake for 25-30 minutes. If you want extra crispy, for the last 5 minutes put oven on broil and brown the tops.