The other day, on a whim, I had a hankering dinner meatballs. Authentic Italian meatballs—the kind that every says their Grandma’s are the best—call for a mixture of veal, or beef, and pork. This mixture results in a tender, juicy meatball with loads of flavor. The problem? I don’t keep beef or pork on hand and I didn’t have time to go to the store to purchase just for these dinner items. I did, however, have some ground turkey, and inspired with making a more accessible recipe, I got started on making my own.
Dinner meatballs are large, and the authentic recipes call for cooking them in simmering red sauce. I didn’t want to go that route because with the turkey, I wasn’t sure if the meatballs would retain their shape. Some recipes call for pan frying beforehand so they are browned on the outside. In this case, I wanted fast and easy and I didn’t want a lot of cleanup, so I opted to bake them, slightly undercooked.
When they were done baking, I dunked them in my spaghetti sauce that I had cooking on the backburner.
These meatballs simmered in the sauce until the sauce reduced. This allowed all the flavor of the sauce to seep into the meatball.
When ready, I topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and served with a dinner salad.
So, while these meatballs weren’t authentic per se, they were authentically good, and easy enough to make again.
- ½ cup onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3 lbs ground turkey
- ⅓ cup Italian bread crumbs
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- ½ cup milk
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- ½ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- Homemade spaghetti sauce
- Have the homemade spaghetti sauce simmering on the stovetop.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
- Using an ice cream scooper, scoop out similar sized balls and place on the baking sheet. I used about 2 scoops per meatball, which resulted in 14 entree-sized meatballs.
- Bake for 30 minutes, slightly undercooking.
- Add to the red sauce and cook together until reduced, about 30 more minutes.
- Serve with grated Parmesan cheese and garnish with chopped Italian parsley.