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Turkey Meatballs in Marinara Sauce

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Turkey Meatballs in Marinara Sauce

Everyone seems to love meatballs, so much so that I devoted an entire chapter to them in my new cookbook. These turkey meatballs are a lighter alternative to my classic Italian meatballs made with beef, pork and veal. They are tender and flavorful despite the lean turkey, thanks to the addition of garlic, onions, basil, and grated Pecorino Romano cheese. Pan-frying the meatballs in a bit of olive oil also adds flavor – and since you only need one skillet for the meatballs and sauce, cleanup is a breeze.

If you have a good homemade sauce on hand, go ahead and use it, but for those busy weeknights, a good quality jar of marinara sauce, such as Rao’s, gets the job done deliciously. Serve the meatballs over spaghetti or polenta, beside a roasted vegetable, or stuffed into a hoagie roll for a meatball sandwich. They hit the spot no matter how you eat them!

What You’ll Need To Make Turkey Meatballs

turkey meatballs ingredients

Step-by-Step Instructions

In a medium bowl, combine the egg, basil, salt, pepper, oregano, garlic, and water.

egg and seasoning in bowl

Mix together until well-combined.

beaten egg and seasoning in bowl

Add the onion, turkey, bread crumbs, and cheese.

adding ground turkey, onion, cheese, and breadcrumbs to egg mixture

Mix with your hands until the mixture is uniform.

turkey meatballs mixture

Lightly wet your hands with water and form the mixture into balls just slightly larger than golf balls. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the meatballs in a single layer.

browning turkey meatballs in oil

Brown on all sides, 7 to 8 minutes total.

browned turkey meatballs

Pour the marinara sauce over the meatballs and bring to a boil.

adding sauce to meatballs

Reduce the heat to low, cover tightly with a lid, and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through, about 15 minutes.

covering turkey meatballs and simmering until cooked through

Sprinkle with more basil, if desired, and serve.

Photo by Edalin Photography

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