What is it about meatballs that kids just love? My 7-year old grandson goes crazy for this meal. We all do though.
This is one of those quick and easy weeknight recipes that’s fun for the whole family. I made it gluten free for my GF loved ones. Turkey (or chicken) meatballs in a simple onion sauce. Yes, mushrooms would be great in it as well, but mushrooms are temperamental in the fridge and not a staple at my house. I have to plan ahead with mushrooms.
But onions–I always have those on hand. And this meal is about that. Using what you have on hand and filling bellies with simple, nutritious food.
Now, to make this as healthy as possible, use organic ingredients and buy the best ground turkey or chicken you can get. I know many of of us in small towns are limited. But do your best. That’s all you can do, right?
Here are my notes:
–So you would think that rolling out meatballs is a painstaking task, right? Well, I promise it goes by really fast. Let me give you this tip: use a cookie scoop. I don’t know why, but using my fingers to scrape the meat into my hands to roll it and getting that meat under my nails really drives me bonkers crazy, but I am okay with just rolling it between my hands into a ball. That doesn’t bother me. (I mean, I don’t love getting meat on my hands, but I don’t shudder.) So the cookie scoop scrapes it and puts it in my hands, then I roll it into a ball, then drop in the oil. And all the meatballs are uniform that way.
–When you’re browning the meatballs, you’re doing just that, browning. They will not be done on the inside. That’s okay, because you are going to submerge them in the sauce and they will simmer and get thoroughly cooked that way.
–You can definitely substitute ground chicken for turkey. I do that a lot.
–You can serve these over rice, quinoa, noodles, mashed potatoes, etc. Whatever you want. You could make a meatball sandwich out of them, too.
–Yes, make them ahead. You can do this a number of different ways. You could make the meat mixture ahead and store it in the fridge. You could roll the balls out and store those in the fridge or freezer. (I have not tried freezing them, but I’m sure it would be fine.) I mean, if you are gonna get meat on your hands, you might as well double the recipe and put some up for later, right?
–I thickened my sauce with organic cornstarch, but you could use flour if you are not GF, or another type of thickener.
–You can use dried parsley, but fresh parsley is so cheap at the grocery store and adds so much flavor. I highly recommend it.
- 2 pounds ground turkey meat (or ground chicken)
- 1 beaten egg
- ½ cup gluten free bread crumbs (can substitute regular)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley (can substitute dried)
- Extra virgin olive oil for coating skillet
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced or chopped
- 4 cups chicken broth or stock
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 tablespoons water
- Cooked brown rice or cooked quinoa
- Chopped fresh parsley for garnish, if desired
- Place the turkey meat and next 7 ingredients in a bowl. Use hands to mix well.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat the bottom of the skillet with oil. Roll turkey mixture into small balls (I like to use a cookie scoop to keep them uniform) and add to hot oil, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Cook until golden brown, turning once. (Work in batches, adding more oil as necessary.) Remove to a platter. (They will NOT be done on the inside.)
- Add onions to hot pan and sauté until tender. Add the broth and, using a flat whisk or regular whisk, scrape of the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil.
- Stir together the cornstarch and 4 tablespoons water in a small glass. Pour into the hot broth, and stir. Add the meatballs back into the mixture and cook for about 20 minutes over medium heat or until sauce reduces by about ⅓.
- Serve in bowls over brown rice, quinoa, noodles, or whatever you want. Garnish with fresh, chopped parsley.