Turkey Spinach Meatballs

Meatballs are one of those versatile dishes that might seem mystifying or hard to make, but they don’t have to be. I will likely post more meatball recipes when we get back to the cooler, fall weather, but a turkey-spinach meatball has the right flavors for summer.

Spinach Turkey

Turkey Spinach Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 1 10-ounce package of frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup herbed or plain breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 pound ground turkey

Prep

  • Mix the spinach, egg, breadcrumbs, onion, and garlic salt together in a medium-sized bowl.
  • Add the ground turkey into the mixture and mix with your hands.
  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and place a rack inside a shallow baking pan.
  • Shape your mixture into 2-inch balls and place on rack. You should end up with about 14-16 meatballs.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. The center should no longer be pink and you want the internal temp to be about 160 degrees.
  • Drain on paper towels.

Ok, I have meatballs. Now what do I do with them?

Well, to be fair, you can eat them on their own, with a nice cherry-tomato salad or fat slices of seasoned beef steak tomatoes. It’s low carb, super healthy, and perfect if its summertime and you want hearty without the heavy. But here are some other options. My personal creation, Farmer’s Market Soup, is at the very end and also a fabulous option if you want healthy and hearty. Highly recommended as an alternative to chicken noodle soup if you have a household suffering from flu and cold season and your need to nourish them back to life!

Capellini and Meatballs

  • Simmer them in 2 cups of your favorite marinara sauce until the sauce is thick and bubbly. Reduce the heat to low.
    (Tip: The sauce can wait, but the pasta can’t. Always make your sauce first and reduce heat all the way down to low.)
  • Bring water to bowl and add a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil to the water, plus a little salt. Cook the pasta for 4-5 minutes and drain. Only do a very light rinse or you will lose all the oil.
  • Divide pasta and simmering meatballs into four bowls and serve with a little freshly grated parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper.

Meatball Subs

  • Simmer them in 2 cups of your favorite marinara sauce until the sauce is thick and bubbly. Reduce the heat to low.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Cut open 4 sandwich rolls; crusty, french rolls from the bakery if you’ve got ’em.
  • Ladle meatballs and sauce into rolls. About 4 meatballs each.
  • Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese and crushed red peppers, then top with a slice provolone cheese.
  • Bake for 2-3 minutes at 400 degrees to melt the cheese and lightly toast the bread.

Swedish Meatballs

  • Prepare one package of egg noodles according to directions on package.
  • Combine 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup, 1/4 cup milk, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 tablespoon dried parsley, and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg in medium sauce pan and stir.
  • Fold in meatballs and simmer for about 5 minutes, until sauce and meatballs are all heated through.
  • Pour over egg noodles, garnish with a little fresh parsley for color and serve with salt and pepper to taste. Red pepper flakes can also be offered if your brood likes their meals with a little kick.

Farmer’s Market Meatball Soup

  • In a large pot of dutch oven, add meatballs.Step One Meatballs
  • In a cast iron or stainless steel skillet, add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and a BUNCH of fresh, chopped squash. There are so many types of squash in season during the summer and many farms just sell medley bags in their stalls with green, yellow, etc. Include one or two peeled and chopped carrots. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until a little tender. Don’t cook them all the way down as they need to survive the soup boiling process. Toss them in the pot with the meatballs.Step 2 Saute Squash
  • Next, in the same skillet, add more olive oil and pop in a head of roughly chopped spinach. If you can find a market stall that sells mixed bags of kale, spinach, and arugula (or other combo of dark, leafy greens) that is even better. Also add in a 1/2 basket of sliced white mushrooms. Sauté these gently, just until the leafy veggies wilt. Add them to the pot.Step 3 Saute Spinach
  • Take a moment to savor all that lovely color. Mmmm….Colorful Veggies
  • Next, add water to the pot, enough to just cover the top of all the veggies. I am guessing this is close to 8 cups. Bring to a boil.Step 4 Add Water
  • When the water is boiling, I add two large cubes of either chicken or vegetable bouillon to the water. This saves you the trouble of using broth (which spoils and is expensive) and adding a lot of salt.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Now, here you have a choice. If you just want a light soup, you can simmer for another 10 minutes and be done with it. If you want a little more bulk to the soup you can return to a boil and either add 4 tablespoons of rice, lentils, couscous, or quinoa to your broth.
  • Simmer with the lid on for 10-15 minutes.
  • At this point I do a few rounds of taste testing. I try a spoonful and if its a little bland I add salt and black pepper, about 1/4 teaspoon at a time. I just keep stirring, tasting, and seasoning until I hit the ‘oooohhhh yeaaaah’ flavor. This is totally your call.

I serve this soup piping hot in a huge bowl with a hunk of lightly toasted french bread. I also put out crushed red peppers, Sriracha, salsa roja, pepper sauces like Franks or Tabasco, salt, pepper, sour cream, and grated parmesan cheese. It’s a fun soup to doctor up and I like to provide all the options.

~Nom On

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