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Lean & Mean Turkey Meatballs

Posted by Moira Trott | Feb 18, 2015 4:00:00 PM

(Just like Mama used to make…)

Growing up in New Jersey with my Italian, Puerto Rican and Polish mix of a family meant food was always important and always present! Trying to eat healthy has always been a struggle in a world full of pastas, fresh breads, rice and lots of potatoes.

I’ve taken what I learned from my mother, brother and grandmother and started to make my own recipes by using healthier ingredients along with a few updates on how to cook things. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of those glorious carbs and fried foods, but they don’t love me back. Here is the recipe for my Turkey Meatballs that everyone swears are better than beef.


1lb 99% Lean Ground Turkey
2-3 Garlic Cloves (Diced – I prefer fresh)
4 leaves Fresh Basil (Finely chopped)
¼ cup Panko or ¼ cup Grated Carrots
1 Egg
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
Red Pepper Flakes (to taste)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and grab your cupcake pans or line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Dice the garlic and finely chop the fresh basil leaves. Grab a large mixing bowl and place the ground turkey in the bowl, add garlic, basil, egg, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Mix freely with your hands (got to get a little dirty for this one!) I use a freehand approach to seasoning,
  3. Add the Panko or carrots, I try to use as little as possible, add as you see fit to ensure the meatballs stick together, and continue to combine mixture with hands.
  4. Once well combined, use hands to roll, not pack (THIS IS KEY! Don’t use too much pressure, you don’t want the balls to be dense) the meatballs and place in the cupcake pan or on the baking sheet. Each meatball should be about 1.5-2 inches, but you can always make them smaller/bigger if you’d like, just make sure to adjust baking time accordingly.
  5. Place the baking sheet with meatballs in the oven for 15-20 minutes and enjoy! Feel free to top with some grated Parmesan cheese, yum!

I like to serve these meatballs with some Zucchini Pasta and a simple red sauce (Diced Tomatoes, EVOO, Garlic, Basil, S&P) or Sautéed Spinach with garlic.

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Topics: Nutrition

Written by Moira Trott

Contributor to The Alaska Club, serving the Anchorage Mat-Su, Fairbanks, and Juneau area with the best gym membership deals available in a fitness club.

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