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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Anne's Cookbook: Baked Ground Turkey Meatballs, choose your style

Lately we have been making lots of ground turkey meatballs, thinking, possibly mistakenly, that they are more healthy than ground beef meatballs. Even though they are roughly equivalent in fats and nutrients, we find them to be very, very versatile. We have made teriyaki meatballs, Italian meatballs, Swedish meatballs. And now we are ready to made Thai meatballs. By adding hidden vegetables, you do bump up the healthiness of these little gems. The possibilities are endless. I encourage you to be creative.
Teriyaki Ground Turkey Meatballs with Brown Rice

Basic Baked Ground Turkey Meatballs (basic)
  • 1 lb. ground turkey. Look for the organic kind if you can find it.
  • 1 egg, who need something to bind the meat together so it holds its round shape
  • Salt, 1/2 tsp is a good place to start, add more or less to your taste
  • Pepper, 1/4 tsp
  • 1-2 minced garlic cloves
  • Add ingredients below for teriyaki, Italian, Swedish, etc.
  • Shape all the ingredients into meatballs. Place on a cookie sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Bake in a hot oven, 400 degrees F, for 20 minutes until lightly colored.
  • Serves 4.
Teriyaki Meatballs, to the basic recipe add---
  • 2 green onions chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup grated Asian pear, pear, or crisp/tart apple
  • Follow directions above for shaping and baking. While meatballs are baking, make sauce.
  • Sauce. Mix the ingredients in a pot on the stove top and allow to simmer and thicken:
    • 3 Tablespoons of agave syrup, corn syrup, maple syrup, or honey
    • 2- 1/2 T. soy sauce
    • 3 Tablespoons white distilled or rice vinegar
    • 1-1 1/2 T. fresh ginger minced/grated
  • When the meatballs are done baking, add them to the simmering sauce in the pot. Roll them around to become coated.
  • Serve the teriyaki turkey meatballs with rice and a green vegetable like bok choy, snow peas, zucchini, or even a vegetable stir-fry, whatever you like.
  • Leftovers: serve in lettuce wraps with marinated vegetables like carrot twigs, bean sprouts, spiralized cucumbers, thinly sliced green peppers, etc.
 Italian Meatballs, to the basic recipe add---
  • 1/2 cup of grated (fine) carrots, zucchini, summer squash, or sweet potato. I use the finest grate for the carrots and they are so moist and wonderful!
  • 1-2 T. of Italian breadcrumbs, or plain bread crumbs and 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning mix 
  • 1-2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 T. fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • Bake according to the above directions
  • Serve with marina sauce on pasta, or (our favorite) polenta, or blanched spiralized zucchini 
  • For leftovers, make these into turkey meatball subs with marina sauce and a slice of mozzarella cheese on a halved baguette, toasted (or broiled) to melt the cheese.
Swedish meatballs, to the basic recipe add---
  • 1/4-1/2 cup finely chopped or grated onion
  • 1/4 cup finely grated sweet potatoes or carrots
  • 1/4 cup of plain bread crumbs
  • (Only use 1 minced garlic clove or none, as most Swedish meatball recipes do not call for any.)
  • 1/4 t. nutmeg
  • 1/4 t. allspice
  • 1/4 t. cardamom (optional)
  • 1 T. parsley, chopped
  • increase black pepper to 1/2 t.
  • Gravy Sauce: While meatballs are baking, as per above directions above, make the gravy.  (Swedish meatballs are all about the gravy.)
    • Make a roux with 1/3 cup butter and 1/4 cup flour. Whisk together in a saute pan over medium heat until slightly brown and thickened, slowly whisk in---
    • 1 qt of beef, chicken, or turkey broth (I've only used beef broth) when the roux and broth are nicely mixed, stir in--- 
    • 1/2-2/3 cup sour cream or heavy whipping cream
    • Salt and pepper to taste
  • When the meatballs are done baking, add them to the simmering gravy and cover each one.
  • Serve on egg noodles or mashed potatoes. Garnish with more parsley.
Thai Turkey Meatballs and Peanut Sauce, to the basic recipe add--- (I haven't made these meatballs, yet, but I have made the peanut sauce and served it with cooked chicken pieces. Delicious.)
  • 1-2 chopped green onions
  • 1/2 c. finely grated carrots
  • 1 tsp. curry
  • 1-2 tsp. grated ginger, fresh
  • Bake according to directions above. While meatballs are baking, make peanut sauce in a saucepan on the stove:
  • Peanut Sauce:
    • One 14 oz can of coconut milk
    • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
    • 1 T. soy sauce
    • 1 tsp. chopped cilantro
    • 1 T. sugar or honey
    • 1 T. lime juice
    • Simmer until hot and all ingredients are well mixed.
  • Serve with jasmine rice (or whatever rice you like). Top each serving with several meatballs and plenty of peanut sauce. I bet this will become a family favorite.
Have fun experimenting with Baked Turkey Meatballs. Let me know if you have any favorite meatball recipes I can try.

Remember to PIN the recipes to your page for easy access when you want to give baked turkey meatballs a try.


  1. All of these sound delicious! :)

    Thanks for sharing these recipes!

  2. I so admire your creativity with the meatballs! It's all in the accompaniments, isn't it? Meatballs by themselves are pretty boring. :)


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