Help Me Make Healthy Turkey Meatballs...

Lounge By Mug-a-Bug Updated 23 Jan 2010 , 9:23pm by prterrell

Mug-a-Bug Posted 22 Jan 2010 , 1:19am
post #1 of 14

I can't really make anything besides cake icon_biggrin.gif And even that I trouble with...

I bought pre-seasoned ground turkey and wish to make meatballs. I read to dust them with flour and sautee. Can I cook them a healthier way? I want them to be delicious. Thanks for the input. icon_biggrin.gif

13 replies
Doug Posted 22 Jan 2010 , 1:25am
post #2 of 14

bake them.

to extend them, add seasoned bread crumbs (homemade ones the best as can control salt amount)

then just roll them up, pop them on a baking sheet and bake at 350 until nicely brown.

better yet, put a cookie rack on the baking sheet and the fat will drain away while baking.

the delicious part comes from the choice of seasoning primarily. turkey is pretty bland. experiment to find what tastes best to you. (for me, bring on the chili powder, the jalapenos, the garlic, the onion)

prterrell Posted 22 Jan 2010 , 1:45am
post #3 of 14

Pre-seasoned? You know that means it's pre-loaded with salt, right?

Actually, sauteeing isn't that unhealthy. Just spray the pan with olive oil pam (or 1 tbsp olive oil) and cook them, rotating sides as they brown, over medium heat until an instant read thermometer inserted into several of them reads 160 degrees (this is the temp for poultry). Remove them from the pan and blot on paper towels. Drain all the grease out of the pan, add your tomato sauce and then put the meatballs back in. Bring just to a boil, reduce to a simmer and simmer 20 minutes.

To make the meatballs themselves, mix the turkey (I'm assuming it's 1 lb) with 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs (whole wheat to be more healthy) and an egg. Use the same scoop you use for cup cakes to scoop up the meat and then roll between your hands to form a ball (this way they'll all be the same size).

Next time, just buy plain ground turkey (make sure it's the kind that doesn't have the skin ground in with it, or it's actually fattier than lean ground beef!). Here's what to add to 1lb of meat (besides the above mentioned breadcrumbs and egg, same seasonings work with ground turkey or ground beef, or my fav, 1/2 ground beef and 1/2 ground pork):
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1-2 tsp kosher salt (I prefer my food less salty)
1-2 tsp ground black pepper (I love fresh ground black pepper)
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced (or more, depending on how much garlic you like)
2 tbsp fresh finely minced yellow or Spanish onion OR 1 tbsp dried minced onion
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
I also like to add 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, but you can leave it out if you think it's too fatty

prterrell Posted 22 Jan 2010 , 8:41am
post #4 of 14

PS - If you like them spicier, add 1/4 tsp cayenne and 1/2 tsp paprika.

If you like bell pepper, you can add 1 - 2 tbsp finely minced to the mix as well.

1 - 2 tbsp finely minced crimini ("baby bella") mushrooms are another good mix-in.

Cook beef or beef-pork mix meatballs to 150 deg F.

Hope your supper turned out yummy!

I love to have my meatballs on toasted italian bread with sauteed onions, peppers, and mushrooms, a little sauce, and melted mozzarella and provolone cheese. Yum! yum!

SecretAgentCakeBaker Posted 22 Jan 2010 , 1:04pm
post #5 of 14

Turkey gets dry easily. My husband's chef friend told us his secret to tasty meatballs; he adds some water to the meat. Not a lot, just a teaspoon or so to a pound of meat. You might want to try that so they don't get so dry.

TexasSugar Posted 22 Jan 2010 , 3:00pm
post #6 of 14

I haven't made turkey meatballs yet, but I bake all my beef ones. I line a cookie sheet with foil, spray it with cooking spray them pop them in the oven at 350 until they are done.

I also use the cookie/cupcake/ice cream/pancake scoop to make meatballs. I think that is one of the handiest utensils to have in the kitchen.

peg818 Posted 22 Jan 2010 , 3:04pm
post #7 of 14

i mix 50/50 beef and turkey for a consistency thing grd turkey alone has a different texture that many don't care for.

KHalstead Posted 22 Jan 2010 , 5:25pm
post #8 of 14

if you're using regular ground turkey (vs. ground turkey breast) you know it has the same amount of fat at the lean ground beef?

I exchanged all of our household recipes from ground beef to ground turkey cuz i was on weight watchers....only to find out the ground turkey had almost identical calories and fat DUH!!!

The ground turkey BREAST on the other hand is much less calories and fat! Also, adding oatmeal (instant, just dry flakes) to your meat mixture and adding some milk (tenderizer, and for moisture) really helps especially if you're using turkey breast as they can dry out quickly. Also adding finely chopped or even pureed celery and carrots that have been sauteed to the meat mixture helps with the moisture too!!

Mug-a-Bug Posted 23 Jan 2010 , 6:40pm
post #9 of 14

Thanks everyone. I am going to make these tonight. Wish I could pass out samples, lol! I think I will sautee them in a little butter. I'm not on a weight loss mission, I just am trying to be healthier, and I don't eat cows icon_lol.gif

Thanks for all the tips! Prterrel, next time I think I will be brave and buy the regular turkey. Thanks thumbs_up.gif

prterrell Posted 23 Jan 2010 , 7:56pm
post #10 of 14

If you're trying to eat healtier, olive oil would be a better fat to saute in than butter. Olive oil is actually so good for you that Weight Watchers requires you to eat 2 tbsp of it every day.

Mug-a-Bug Posted 23 Jan 2010 , 8:27pm
post #11 of 14

OOOOoooo, YES, I will use olive oil. My husband's co-worker brought us some from Greece. Thanks for helping. thumbs_up.gif

prterrell Posted 23 Jan 2010 , 8:49pm
post #12 of 14

mug-a-bug where are you located? Just curious as you mentioned having olive oil from Greece and the way you said it made me think it's difficult to find where you are?

Anyway, the high-quality extra virgin stuff is best for eating directly (drizzled on food or in a vinaigrette). The "light" olive oil is better for sauteeing as the heat erradicates all the wonderful florals and flavors of the extra-virgin.

So, save your imported olive oil for salad or bread or drizzling over steamed veggies!

Mug-a-Bug Posted 23 Jan 2010 , 8:53pm
post #13 of 14

Oh, I'm in Colorado. My husband travels and works with guys who travel all over the world. His friend goes to Greece a lot and brings us Olive Oil on demand. It's good, but honestly I can't tell that much of a difference icon_rolleyes.gif I must make these tonight, will let you know how they turn out. You're so helpful thumbs_up.gif Must be nice to be multi-talented.

prterrell Posted 23 Jan 2010 , 9:23pm
post #14 of 14

Annnd now I really want a meatball sub. icon_biggrin.gif

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