Gluten Free Turkey Meatballs in Red Sauce
These turkey meatballs came out so juicy and tender! Not to get a swelled head or anything but these were gooooood. Kid approved too.
I had never made meatballs this way before. I usually bake them or use a crock pot which takes time and patience. But these were done in 30 minutes! Both the sauce and the meatballs were easy.
I even added a secret ingredient. I wanted to incorporate a veggie to bump up the nutritional value but needed it to be stealth since there would be kiddies eating these too. So I pureed a half bag of organic baby spinach and added it to the sauce. You couldn’t tell it was there at all. But I think it really added to the flavor and they never knew – shhhh.
I doubled this recipe but didn’t double all of the ingredients. I only used a half bag of spinach, the 1 bay leaf and the 1/2 onion. The ingredient list below is just for a single batch.
Bottom line is that I will only make meatballs this way from now as they turned out to be the best I’ve ever made. You can eat these as they are in the red sauce or top some quinoa, brown rice noodles, zucchini pasta or sweet potato pasta. So many ways to enjoy.
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 - 3 tsp minced garlic
- 3 - 14 oz cans crushed tomatoes (I like Muir Glen organic, fire roasted)
- 1 - 6 oz can tomato paste
- ½ small onion, keep whole
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp oregano
- ¼ cup fresh chopped basil
- dash of salt and fresh pepper to taste
- Optional: ½ bag of fresh baby spinach (you cant tell its there but it thickens up the sauce and ramps up the nutrition factor).
- Optional: 1 can diced tomatoes (I used Muir Glen organic fire roasted).
- 1 lb lean ground turkey
- ¼ cup gluten free panko crumbs (I used Ian's Gluten Free Original)
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 egg
- 1 - 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp onion salt
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- In a medium size pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until golden, being careful not to burn.
- Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, onion, salt, pepper, oregano, basil (if not using the pureed spinach) and bay leaf. Stir and reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer.
- Optional: If using the pureed spinach, put the spinach, can of diced tomatoes and basil in food processor and puree. Stir into tomato mixture, cover and let simmer for 15 - 20 minutes.
- While the sauce is simmering, you can make the meatballs.
- In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, garlic and cheese.
- Using your hands, mix all the ingredients well until everything is combined.
- Form small meatballs, about the size of a ping ping ball.
- Once all are formed, add the meatballs to the sauce. Carefully slightly sink them into the sauce, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Be careful stirring as the meatballs are tender.
- Discard the onion and basil leaf before serving.