Oven-Baked Turkey Meatballs

Serves 4

These turkey meatballs are one of those simple recipes I get asked to make again and again for the families I cook for. They are certainly kid-friendly. These meatballs are flavorful and tender (not always easy to do with turkey) as well as easy to cook because they bake in the oven rather than fry in a pan. I've included my favorite, go-to tomato sauce.

1/2 pound ground dark turkey meat
1/2 pound ground white turkey meat
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup grated parmesan reggiano cheese
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 egg yolk
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon table salt)
1/4 teaspoon fresh pepper

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 (28-oz) cans whole tomatoes, drained of juices, chopped or pulsed 4-5 times in food processor
a pinch or 2 of sugar
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons fresh basil, slivered, or minced parsley
1/4 tsp. salt, or more to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°.  Make meatballs by mixing the ground turkey, bread crumbs, water, parmesan cheese, garlic, oregano, parsley, egg yolk, salt and pepper together in a bowl. Roll into balls and place on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper for easy clean-up. Bake for about 15 minutes; cut into one to make sure it’s cooked through.
  2. To make the sauce: Heat oil in a medium-size, thick-bottomed saucepan. Add garlic and sizzle for less than a minute. Add tomatoes, sugar and oregano. Turn heat to high and when sauce begins to bubble, turn heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Season with salt and add basil or parsley (or both if you have them).
Recipe by Catherine Walthers
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