There was nothing better when I was younger than a big bowl of pasta and my mom's meatballs during the winter, especially on a Sunday. She always cooked them to perfection; they would just break apart and melt in your mouth ....which I guess it an interesting way to describe meatballs, normally that phrase would be reserved for chocolate, but they just did! BUT, gone are the days where I live at home, my 4 hour swimming practice days are over, and my appetite doesn't quite resemble that of an animal. However, I still get those nostalgic cravings for meatballs, but now I want to keep them on the lighter side.
For this recipe, I used lean turkey meat, bake them, fill them with fresh herbs and spices, make them completely dairy free and gluten free. They are actually simple to make, require one bowl, take about 20 minutes to bake in the oven and you have enough turkey meatballs for the week as leftovers or you can freeze them for when you are in a pinch.
Serving them over zucchini noodles with a red sauce or spaghetti squash with pesto is probably my favorite way to have them but pasta is always a comforting choice.
In this recipe, I used fresh herbs and spices. I tend to not measure exactly, but know that I tend to have a heavy hand when it comes to adding them. I also added DF cream cheese from Kite Hill into the mixture, but you can also use a ricotta cheese as well. This helps keeps the turkey meatballs from becoming too dry. To help keep everything together I used 1 egg and ground up fine ground & sea salt crackers from Simple Mills instead of your traditional bread crumbs. These are gluten free and made from a mixture of nut & seed flours. You then mix everything in just one bowl, roll them into desired size, and bake them!
Since you are baking these meatballs they will have more of a texture to them, if you prefer ones that break apart easily, after you bake them for a few minutes, or quickly fry them in a sauce pan, I would recommend that you let them simmer in a red sauce for a few hours.
Here's what you need to do:
Yields: 12 turkey meatballs (golf ball sized)
1 lb lean ground turkey meat
1/4 cup onions, chopped
1/2 cup parsley
6 springs thyme
1/4 cup oregano
1/2 cup ground Simple Mills fine ground sea salt crackers (or breadcrumbs of choice)
1/4 cup Kite-Hill DF plain cream cheese
1 organic egg
few pinches of sea salt
few pinches of pepper
2 gloves of garlic, minced
1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. Sautée the onions and the garlic in coconut oil over medium heat until golden brown, about 5 or so minutes. Be careful not to burn. Set aside to cool.
3. In a large mixing bowl, add the remaining ingredients and mix with your hands. Add in the garlic and the onions.
4. Roll into balls and place on the baking sheet.
5. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes in total. Flip the turkey meatballs after 10 minutes. (10 minutes roughly on each side)