When I say “meatball,” what comes to mind (aside from a visual image of a meatball)? I have fond memories of eating meatballs as a child. My mom would make all sorts, from grape jelly to brown gravy to marinara sauce to ketchup. I realized after a few years of living on my own that I never made meatballs! My husband loves them, and I enjoy them as well, so why have I never made them before?
Perhaps I thought they were time consuming or tricky to make. Maybe I went through a no-meatball funk. Whatever the reason, I’ve changed my mind.
I began with this basic turkey meatball. It’s classic! Ground turkey makes up the base (you could substitute this with beef or chicken). Toss in a bunch of flavorful herbs and an egg to bind it all together. That’s it. No seriously, that takes a total of 2 minutes (because unscrewing and re-screwing all of those herb jars takes time.).
Next, work a bit of the mixture into the shape of a mini meatball. You can use a spoon or a melon ball scoop, but hands are just the fastest and easiest method. Note: remove any rings before you stick your hands into this raw meat mixture. You can make the meatballs any size you’d like, but be sure to keep a consistent size across the entire batch. Note: the smaller the meatball, the faster it cooks.
After these lovely meatballs, I ventured into adding spinach to my turkey meatballs. While it was good, I wanted to sneak in even more veggies and nutrients, so I branched out and made these amazing turkey, lentil, spinach, parmesan meatballs. (You can find that recipe here.) Those were such a hit that I made an extra batch to store in the freezer for a quick meal. As a parent, I’m sure you appreciate all of the hidden vegetables that you kids consume but they can’t taste!
Start with these base recipe, then add in more ingredients, such as spinach or carrots or parmesan cheese. Be a scientist in your own kitchen, and invite your kids into the process too!
- 1.5 pounds ground turkey
- 1/2 small onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp Worcestershire
- 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp Italian herbs
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp paprika cajun seasoning, or seasoning salt (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Line a baking sheet with foil and brush/spray with olive oil to avoid the meatballs sticking to the pan.
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, working the mixture together with your hands.
- Shape into 1-inch round meatballs and place on baking sheet.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes, until golden and cooked through.