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
In a medium bowl, combine the egg, basil, salt, pepper, oregano, garlic, and water.
Mix together until well-combined.
Add the onion, turkey, bread crumbs, and cheese.
Mix with your hands until the mixture is uniform.
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.
Brown on all sides, 7 to 8 minutes total.
Pour the marinara sauce over the meatballs and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low, cover tightly with a lid, and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through, about 15 minutes.
Sprinkle with more basil, if desired, and serve.
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