If you have ever had the kind of turkey meatballs they sell at Trader Joe's or the grocery store in the frozen aisle, I've got news for you. These are better. Waaaayyyy better. Like, knock your socks off better!
Here's what you'll need:
- 20 oz package Italian seasoned ground turkey
- One large egg, beaten
- 1/2 a large white or yellow onion, finely diced
- 8 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used plain, but italian bread crumbs would be great too)
- 5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp Italian herb blend
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp salt
- fresh cracked black pepper
Got everything? Yay! Let's make some meatballzzz. Start by dicing up half your onion, mincing the garlic, and giving the parsley a good chop. You want the onion and garlic to be as small as possible so you don't have huge chunks in your meatballs.
Next, add a drizzle (1-2 Tbsp) of olive oil to a skillet over medium heat. Allow the oil to heat up for a few minutes, then add your diced onion. Saute for 2-3 minutes, or until starting to soften and turn transluscent.
Add in the garlic, and saute for another 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.
After a couple minutes, it will look like this. Transfer this mixture to a separate plate to allow it to cool a bit while you make the rest of your meatball mixture.
In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey, bread crumbs, egg, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, and all of the spices. The spice measurements I listed in the ingredients list were just an estimate, because I usually just dash my spices straight in without measuring first. A good rule of thumb is to add more than you think you need, especially salt and pepper, because turkey can be quite bland if it is underseasoned.
If you want them extra spicy, add a dash or two of hot sauce (Sriracha is my favorite!) or extra red pepper flakes.
Mix this all together until it is homogenous. Add in the garlic and onion, and mix well again until evenly distributed.
Here's what you'll have at this point - some super-seasoned turkey just beggin' to be made into meatballs.
Using your hands (if you're squeamish about touching raw meat I would recommend wearing gloves), roll approximately 2 Tbsp portions of the turkey mixture into round balls. I used a Tablespoon measuring spoon to scoop heaping portions from the main bowl before rolling them up, and that worked well for me to ensure they were all a similar size.
Once your meatballs are all rolled out, sprinkle some flour onto a separate plate (1/4 cup or so should suffice) and roll your meatballs in the flour until they are coated evenly. Shake off as much excess flour as you can.
These little babies are all coated and ready to saute! Preheat your oven to 400, and heat a heavy skillet (cast-iron works great, non-stick is fine also) with a few more tablespoons of olive oil until hot. Add your meatballs in batches of six or seven so you don't overcrowd the pan, and roll them around as they cook so they brown evenly on all sides.
My camera battery conveniently died at this point, so I don't have any pictures of them sauteeing - sorry. The saute step is the trickiest part and the oil will splatter if it gets too hot, so be very careful. Continue to add more oil as needed - the pan should never be dry.
When you are done sauteeing them all, they'll have a nice golden brown crust. Pop them into a 400 degree oven for 10-15 more minutes to ensure they are cooked all the way through. If you happen to have a meat thermometer, they should be at 165 degrees.
These also freeze very well, which is extremely convenient if you need a quick meal. Just pop them in the microwave for 1 minute or so and voila - homemade meatballs on a whim!
Serve over pasta with marinara sauce (my favorite is Muir Glen fire roasted tomato and garlic) and a sprinkle of parmesan! They are also incredible crumbled up in scrambled eggs, or simply eaten plain.
Yumm. Nothing quite like homemade spaghetti and meatballs! The ultimate comfort food, in my opinion.
If you have any questions or enjoyed this post, please don't hesitate to leave me a comment. Thanks for reading!