I had picked up some ground turkey at Sam’s club the other day which means I had a lot of ground turkey I either had to freeze or use up. I made the chili I shared with you that was great and I will make again so I wanted to try to make some Italian meatballs. I was a little hesitant only because I love my ground beef Italian meatballs and I wasn’t sure that using ground turkey would stand up to the ones I know I love.
You might ask what’s my beef with ground turkey, see what I did there… My mother is going to be so excited I share this story; again. When I was a know it all teenager, she tried to pass off ground turkey in a shepherds pie as ground beef, In my memory she said “it’s the same way I always make it”. I couldn’t get past the color it was ALL wrong and I don’t believe I ate it. That part I can’t be sure, many a times in my youth I sat at the table until my plate was cleaned. But the memory is ingrained in my head. So when I use ground turkey now I tend to add my spices to the pan when I am searing it.
Long story long, I wasn’t searing with spices so I mixed up the meatballs and did my small test patty and was pleasantly surprised. The flavor was really good and the color didn’t bother me. I didn’t adjust anything and made my tray of meatballs. We had some friends over for dinner that night and had meatball grinders which were a hit. Honestly I think I like the grinders better than I like spaghetti and meatballs, crazy talk I know.
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup onion grated
- 2 cloves garlic grated
- ¼ cup chives chopped
- 1½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1½ pounds ground turkey
- 1 large egg
- In a large bowl, combine cheese, bread crumbs, onion, chives, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano and mix well. Add turkey and egg and blend with your hands until well mixed. Make a small test patty to test for flavor and adjust for your liking. While you are cooking your patty cover mixture and chill. These are easiest to form into balls while very cold. Form into 28 meatballs, each about 1¼-inches in diameter
- I place my meatballs on a sheet pan and place them in a 350°F oven for about 20 minutes. You could fry them in a saute pan with a little olive oil. You could place them in a pot of marinara sauce, just set them in the sauce and don't move them for the first 10 minutes or so, you want them to keep their form.
- They freeze well, I generally place them on a clean sheet pan and freeze them individually so I can grab a few at a time for whatever I need them for.
- I place 3 or 4 meatballs and sauce on a grinder roll, cover with a couple of pieces of provolone and place in the oven for about 10-15 minutes.