Baked Turkey Meatballs

I know this sounds all-too-healthy by the title, but true Italians ensure a generous amount of Parmigiano Reggiano and seasoned breadcrumbs in their handmixed meatballs. Inspired by some leftover tomato sauce and lean ground turkey in the fridge, cooking the meatballs under the broiler with a quick turn every now and then provides the perfect amount of browning. This is a pretty classic flavor profile for meatballs, which is what I love about it. I thoroughly mince the onion to fully incorporate, so it prevents the fearful memories of accidentally biting into the onion-laden meatballs that my dad would make for the adults, with the non-onion for the kids. Simple pomodoro sauce with fresh basil and a light layer of cheese for the garnish makes for an easy weeknight dinner that’s healthful and enough to feed a crowd! Makes 12 two-inch round meatballs.
1 ¼LBSground lean turkey
1Xonion, finely chopped
¼CUPfinely grated parmesan cheese, plus additional for garnish
1Xegg, beaten
¼CUPfresh basil leaves, finely chopped, plus additional for garnish
1Xlemon, zested
1TBSPNtomato paste
2Xgarlic cloves, finely chopped
1TSPNred pepper flakes
1TSPNdried parsley
3CUPSpomodoro sauce

  1. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet by lining with tin foil, and rub with a little olive oil. Begin preheating the broil function in your oven.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, add the ground turkey, breadcrumbs, onion, and cheese. Using a fork, gently fold the ingredients together and do not over mix!
  3. Combine the egg with the milk, and add this mixture to the bowl.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients, and season with fresh ground pepper and sea salt.
  5. Using your hands or a spatula, bring the mixture together gently until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated, but being careful not to over work the turkey. 
  6. Moisten your hands with a little water, and roll portions of the turkey mixture into small-medium size balls, depending on the size you prefer. Place the rounded turkey meatballs on the prepared baking sheet.
  7. Set the meatballs under the broiler, and broil for about 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally to evenly brown the meatballs on all sides.
  8. Remove from the oven and serve with your favorite tomato sauce. Garnish with extra grated parmesan cheese and basil leaves, and season with additional salt and pepper, if you like!

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