50°F
weather icon Overcast

Divas on a Dime: Turkey meatballs are super easy dinner winner

Sometimes ground turkey gets a bad rap. Years ago, turkey was significantly less expensive than hamburger so frugal-minded folks started swapping it in recipes calling for ground beef with mixed results.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when cooking with ground turkey is expecting it to taste like ground beef. Of course, there’s going to be a difference. If I gave you a piece of steak and a slice of turkey breast, you could tell the difference, right? It’s literally a different animal. So, don’t fight it, go with it.

Turkey is leaner and milder tasting than beef, which makes it so versatile. Like a chameleon, the delicate flavor takes on the surrounding ingredients and allows other subtle flavors to shine.

I have two recipes for turkey meatballs I’m excited to share with you. One is very simple, the other Italian inspired, both delectable.

TURKEY MEATBALLS

What You’ll Need:

2 large eggs

½ cup grated Parmesan

½ cup panko breadcrumbs

2 pounds ground turkey

½ cup onion – finely minced

½ cup flat-leaf parsley – finely minced

½ teaspoon each – garlic powder, salt and pepper

Here’s How:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine eggs, Parmesan and breadcrumbs. Add turkey, onion, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix gently with your hands to combine. Don’t over mix, just until you don’t see any dry patches of Parmesan and everything is evenly distributed. Use a spoon or small scoop to measure heaping tablespoons of the mixture and roll into balls. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake for 18-20 minutes or until heated through.

Optional – add 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning for that “Thanksgiving Turkey” flavor perfect for serving with cream-based sauce or cranberry sauce.

ITALIAN TURKEY MEATBALLS

What You’ll Need:

2 large eggs

1 cup grated Parmesan, or half cheese, half breadcrumbs

1 pound ground turkey

1 pound Italian-style turkey sausage (if linked, removed from casings)

½ cup onion finely minced – (about half of a medium onion)

3 to 4 cloves garlic – minced

½ teaspoon each – salt and pepper

1 (10-ounce) box chopped frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry

Here’s How:

Preheat oven to 400°F degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment.

In a large bowl combine eggs, Parmesan and breadcrumbs if using, add turkey, turkey sausage, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Break the squeezed spinach into small pieces and sprinkle over meat mixture. Mix gently with your hands to combine. Don’t over mix, just until you don’t see any dry patches of Parmesan. Use a spoon or small scoop to measure heaping tablespoons of the mixture and roll into balls. Place on prepared baking pan and bake for 18-20 minutes or until heated through.

You can adjust these recipes to your diet preferences. If you’re gluten-free, omit breadcrumbs and replace with Parmesan cheese or almond meal. Dairy-free? Omit the Parmesan and use breadcrumbs or almond meal. Low-carb? No breadcrumbs and more cheese!

What to do with all these meatballs? Serve as an after-school snack or appetizer with dip (like Greek yogurt, barbecue, salsa, sweet chili sauce). Add to soup, salad or pizza. Serve over pasta or zoodles with marinara or Alfredo sauce. Make meatball subs sandwiches with marinara and melted mozzarella. Stuff pita with meatballs and hummus.

These recipes are perfect for making a double batch and freezing half. Bake only until half cooked, about 10 minutes so they don’t dry out when reheated.

It’s a wonderful feeling when you want a zero-effort meal in a hurry and remember you have a bag o’meatballs in the freezer! Hallelujah!

Lifestyle expert Patti Diamond is the recipe developer and food writer of the website “Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous!” Visit Patti at www.divasonadime.com and join the conversation on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom. Email Patti at divapatti@divasonadime.com

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Divas on a Dime: Top 10 tips for a low stress, low-cost Thanksgiving

OK, folks! We’ve got less than two weeks until The Big Day. If you’re hosting this most food-centric holiday, you know it can get expensive and be very stressful. I’m going on 30 years of making Thanksgiving dinner for my family and friends. Have I had turkey-tastrophies? Of course! But I’ve learned from my mistakes and get better every year. So, I’d like to humbly share some advice.

Divas on a Dime: It’s time for make-ahead meals for the holidays

Have you ever wished the dinner fairy would appear with an effortless dinner for your family? I sure have, usually at 8 o’clock in the evening, dying of hunger, with 100 plates spinning and none of them dinner plates!

Divas on a Dime: Creative uses for leftover Halloween candy

Thursday was Halloween and you know what that means? Today is National Eat Your Kid’s Candy While They’re at School Day! I’m (sort of) kidding. I love all the holidays, but this one can leave us with an overabundance of candy and that’s the very definition of “too much of a good thing.”

Pahrump library hosting art event

Works created by Pahrump Arts Council members during the “Eye of the Beholder” workshop held in early October are currently on exhibit at the Pahrump Community Library through Jan. 10, organizers announced this week.

Halloween is big business

U.S. consumers are looking to social media for Halloween costume and decoration ideas as spending is expected to reach a near-record amount this year, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights &Analytics, the federation announced.

November arts and culture in desert communities near Pahrump

A new chill in the air, the smell of old-fashioned deep pit barbecue, history, music and reunions with old friends — it must be Shoshone’s Old West Days! This venerable first weekend in November tradition kicks off another a busy round of arts and culture events in and on the southeastern edge of Death Valley National Park.