YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Turkey Meatballs

When I arrived home one night this past week, I was absolutely thrilled to be greeted by the heavenly aroma of a crockpot filled to the brim with small turkey meatballs. The meatballs had been bubbling away for many hours, and they were now ready to be ladled into soup bowls. Lucky, lucky us.

Like most of my favorite recipes, this one is very simple. These turkey meatballs contain absolutely no egg, flour, herbs or spices. They get all their unbelievable flavor from cooking ever so-so-so-slowly in their flavorful soup. That is the whole secret to how our Chief Cook-and-Bottle-Washer gets them to taste so amazing.

2 pounds ground turkey (thawed)
1 jar (15.5 oz.) marinara sauce
10 fresh tomatoes (or enough to fill the crockpot 1/2 way)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. cayenne powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. black pepper

Chop the tomatoes into quarters and place in crockpot. Cover with marinara sauce and spices, and turn crockpot to high.

Take small handfuls of raw chopped turkey and roll them in your palms to form small meatballs approximately the size of a walnut. Drop each meatball into the tomato sauce, and continue to cook on high for 1-2 hours. Turn down to low setting, and leave to cook 6-8 hours. A little longer won’t hurt, so don’t worry if you’re running late.

Though not necessary, you can peel the tomatoes prior to quartering. Simply cut an shallow “X” into the bottom of each tomato, and plunge it into boiling water for 30-60 seconds. The peels will slide right off.

This recipe made about 40 meatballs, enough for several meals plus two containers for the freezer. Some we ate over brown rice, some over whole-grain noodles, and some just as is with a generous sprinkling of cilantro on top. It was all extraordinarily good.

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