Monday, August 25, 2014

Easy Turkey Meatballs

Unless we're grabbing some from the freezer, meatballs are not normally part of our weeknight dinner rotation. Who has time to make them from scratch after arriving home from a long day? All that chopping, mixing, and rolling is too much work for a weekday dinner. Or so I thought...

Taking a few shortcuts (minimize chopping and dicing!) is the key to weeknight meatballs, but you have to be okay with it. These shortcuts may offend some people's sensibilities (oh my God, you used sauce from a jar?). For example I always have a tube of basil in my fridge for those times that I need basil, but don't have any to chop up. I also like to keep roasted garlic on hand in the fridge. It's easy to do (check out this post for instructions) and is a great way to use up garlic that might otherwise go bad. 

So the trick in making meatballs during the week is using shortcuts. And you know what? They're really good - especially with a big bowl of pasta.

Easy Turkey Meatballs
Makes 18  golf ball sized meatballs

1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
1 egg
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon basil
Garlic, either 1 whole head roasted or 2-3 fresh cloves, minced
salt, couple of pinches
fresh ground black pepper, 5-6 turns of the mill
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 pound ground turkey
2 cups favorite tomato sauce

In a large bowl combine the first 6 ingredients, plus 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once combined add in the ground turkey and mix together.

In a large pan heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. While the pan is preheating quickly form golf ball sized meatballs. Add the meatballs to the pan. Depending on the size of your pan you may need to do this in batches. You want the meatballs to have some space so they brown properly. I used a 5 quart saute pan.

Give the meatballs a chance to brown all over by periodically rolling them around. You may need to adjust the heat up or down. Once browned, lower the heat to medium and add in the tomato sauce. Gently stir the meatballs around so they get coated with the sauce. You want the sauce to simmer, so adjust the heat to medium or medium low. Allow the meatballs to simmer in the sauce for at least another 10 minutes.


2-3 meatballs is a good serving size. They freeze well if you don't need all 18 meatballs (which is about 6-9 servings) for your dinner. I just popped mine into a freezer bag, laid it out flat so all the meatballs were in a single layer, and place them in the freezer.

2 comments:

  1. I used to hate making meatballs because I din't like to spend time making the balls and them frying them, but I'm making them more often now. I either put them in the oven or cook them directly in the tomato sauce. I must try them with the feta cheese, it looks yummy. I just use parmesan.

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    Replies
    1. Feta is a nice switch-up on the cheese sometimes -- it's subtle, but a good addition. Thanks for stopping by!

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