I don’t know about you guys, but I used to completely not enjoy cooking with ground turkey. It seemed like every time I attempted to make turkey meatballs or turkey burgers they turned out dry and bland. But if you’re like me, you also get tired of the daily rotations of beef and chicken.
I embarked upon a mission to make the juiciest, tastiest turkey meatballs of all time, just to have another option for mealprepping or as another dinner protein to have handy. These meatballs did not disappoint, delivering all the moistness you’d expect from a meatball, and an explosion of flavor in every bite.
I was trying to figure out just why these turkey meatballs are so satisfying, and why I feel just so gosh dang good after eating them, when I came across this article on Mark’s Daily Apple. It turns out that turkey (when made into juicy, delicious meatballs) doesn’t just taste good, but it’s also loaded with tryptophan, the precursor to serotonin. Serotonin, known as the “feel-good hormone,” is vital in regulating your mood, sleep, and even your sexual desire. But enough science about why turkey is great. Let’s make some balls of meat!!
Serves: 10 medium-sized meatballs
- 1 pound ground turkey (I used Trader Joe’s)
- 1 egg
- 1 large handful of kale (chopped)
- 3-4 cloves of fresh garlic
- Salt + pepper
- Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning (AS MUCH AS YOU WANT. SERIOUSLY I USED LIKE 1/4 OF THE JAR)
- 10 cubes of cheese – I used Trader Joe’s Grassfed Organic Cheddar slices; I just stacked two slices up and cut them into squares, but I recommend cutting cubes from a block of cheese.
- 1 tablespoon Kerrygold Grassfed Butter (unsalted) – for the pan
How To Do It:
1. Put the pound of turkey into a large mixing bowl and season it generously with salt + pepper. Crack the egg inside, then douse that thing with Everything but the bagel seasoning!
2. Take your large handful of kale (about this much) and chop it all up into smaller pieces. Make sure to remove all stems, lest you be in for a crunchy surprise on biting into your meatball! Add the chopped kale to the bowl with the turkey.
3. To crush the garlic, you will need a mortar + pestle tool, as pictured. Peel all skin off the garlic cloves and chop them into somewhat smaller pieces. Put them in the mortar + pestle and crush them up!
4. Add the crushed garlic to the turkey. Use a large spoon to mix all the ingredients well (or use your hands – they’re going to get dirty anyways when you are ready to start rolling the meat into balls).
5. Now we’re ready for the best part: the cheesy insides! You can use whatever type of cheese you like best, I recommend cheddar or mozzarella…I bet it would be fantastic with feta cheese as well. I double-stacked these organic cheddar slices from Trader Joe’s and cut them into squares, just because this is what I had on hand. However, I’m 347% sure that it would probably be easier to cut a block of cheese into cubes.
6. Then it’s time to get messy. Using your hands, take a small handful of the meat mixture and roll it into a ball. Using your thumb, create an indentation in the middle. This is for your cheese. Insert a cube of cheese, take another pinch of meat to cover the cheese, and continue rolling into a ball so that all the cheese is covered.
7. Continue until all turkey is used up. You should have about 10 medium sized meatballs.
8. Add the butter to your pan and heat it on medium-high heat. Allow the pan to get hot (once the butter starts to bubble) and then add the meatballs one by one. Cook them about 8-10 minutes, continuously turning them with a spatula so they can get browned all around, and making sure they cook all the way through (remember, you don’t want medium-rare turkey….)
Unless you have some sort of magic power that I don’t, these meatballs are not going to be perfectly round. They will get flat-ish on some sides because the meat is so soft. But the softness of the meat and cooking them in butter are the keys to what make this recipe so juicy! The meatballs will absorb the butter, giving them lots of flavor! These are great for meal prep lunches, or to have on hand for preparing quick dinners. The first night I made them I paired them with cauliflower rice and some veggies. The next night I threw the leftovers into a kale salad. Boom – five minute meal magic! Enjoy them with zucchini noodles and marinara sauce to combat those Italian food cravings!
Super versatile, super yummy! Hope you enjoy guys! If you decide to make them, feel free to leave a comment and let me know how they turned out!