Sundried Tomato Turkey Meatballs


OMG! I will never again make another meatball using a different recipe.  This is hands down the best tasting meatball.  So much so, that I didn’t even want to eat it with pasta.  For me that is a big deal.   Pasta and meatballs belong together, but these Italian turkey meatballs can totally stand alone. 

Giada made similar meatballs on her weekly show that I watch every weekend.  I took her basic recipe and made it my own using sundried tomatoes, roasted garlic and a few other tweaks. They are simply delicious with the right amount of heat and flavor.  And don’t forget, lower in fat and calories. If you don't want to make the sauce, simply use you favorite jar version and add some of your favorite spices and fresh herbs.  Enjoy!

Sundried Tomato Classic Italian Turkey Meatballs
Adapted from Classic Italian Turkey Meatballs by Giada de Laurentiis

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

1/4 cup half and half, at room temperature

1 tablespoon tomato paste

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 large eggs, at room temperature

2 large cloves roasted garlic, mashed
4 tablespoons of sundried tomatoes chopped

1 small onion, finely chopped
1 pound ground dark turkey meat

1 pound spicy Italian turkey sausage, casings removed

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 large cloves garlic, smashed and peeled

1 large onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon crush red pepper
Two 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, cheese, chopped basil, chopped parsley, half and half, tomato paste, eggs, roasted garlic, chopped onion, and chopped sun dried tomatoes. Using a spoon, blend all together until well incorporated. With your hand, mix the ground turkey and spicy turkey sausage until well combined.  Roll the meat mixture in 1-1½ inch ball. Place on a baking sheet covered in foil and spray with a spray oil. Drizzle each meatball with oil and cook for about 15 minutes.  Cut one in half to ensure it is cooked through. Then add to the sauce.

Heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet with 2-inch-high sides over medium-high heat. Add the onions, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the basil, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper, and crushed tomatoes. Bring to a simmer. Cook over medium heat until the sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup basil. Adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper to taste if it needs it.  Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce and let sit to partner with the sauce. Serve with grated Parmesan and fresh chopped parsley.

<3 mk

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