Tasty Turkey Spinach Meatballs – Following the Food Meme

21 Jan 2009 by Claire, 4 Comments »

When I ran across Turkey Meatballs on Kalyn’s Kitchen, I knew exactly what I was making for dinner.  The crispy outside and lightly spiced interior called to my need for comfort food in this cold, cold weather.

I took my inspiration from her work, and her inspiration (a recipe from Sarah’s Cucina Bella), and gave it my own twist.  I combined a grated pecorino romano with a little bit of panko to bind the meaballs together, and added a cup of chopped spinach to give it a little bit more green.  I’m really happy with the result – a simple and tasty dish that would work great as an appetizer at a party or on a plate of pasta.

Turkey Spinach Mini Meatballs
makes about 30 meatballs

prep: 10 minutes
total: 35 minutes


1 – 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated romano cheese
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 teaspoon thyme
1 packed cup of baby spinach, finely chopped
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup milk (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

olive oil, for frying

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the turkey, breadcrumbs, cheese, minced garlic, minced shallot, thyme, spinach, egg and Worcestershire. Stir just to combine, trying not to overmix. If the mixture still seems a little dry, add milk 1 tablespoon at a time. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Heat a 1/4 inch deep layer of olive oil in a large, preferably nonstick skillet. While the oil heats, form the meat mixture into 1-2 inch balls. When the oil shimmers, cook the meatballs until they are browned on one side, 4-5 minutes. Turn gently to finish cooking on remaining sides until cooked through, about 10 minutes total. Remove to a paper towel lined plate. Depending on the size of the pan the meatballs may be cooked in batches, as there should be a little space between each meatball in the pan.

Got Leftovers?
These work wonderfully all on their own, dipped in any number of sauces, or as part of another dish. They also freeze perfectly – just put them on a parchment lined baking sheet and put them in the freezer for 1-2 hours. Then they can be dropped into a freezer bag, and kept for several months.

Check back tomorrow for my leftover use – a mini meatball mushroom casserole!

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  1. courtney says:

    That does look yumm. I always feel so conent after eating meatballs. And the turkey makes it even better.

  2. [...] taste), I’ve started trying to make things that can be remade, rather than warmed up.  The Turkey Meatballs were crying out for a makeover, especially given how many I had from the first [...]

  3. rachel says:

    omg, those look amazing. i’ve always hated meatballs, but with turkey instead of beef, they sound really appealing. what kind of sauce would you recommend for dipping?

    (this is rachel from npr btw…found the link on twitter) :)

  4. Hmmm — I just discovered some ground turkey in the fridge that needs to be used tomorrow. I was going to make a meatloaf, but meatballs sound so much better!

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