Sunny, With a Chance of Meatballs
When I thought about what I wanted to make for dinner this week, for some reason I wanted meatballs. No idea why. I just did. And that's pretty weird for me - I tend to want vegetables more, and I generally only make meat because I know B wants/needs it. But today - well, today I wanted meatballs.
I had some vague recollection of someone telling me about ground turkey meatballs with spinach and feta, but I had no clue who it was. Since the odds of me finding the person and/or the recipe were slim to none, I went to the old standby: the Google search. Google did not let me down. A plethora of turkey spinach meatball recipes appeared. One in particular seemed like it would be good, but I mixed in some elements of a couple of other recipes, only because they seemed good.
To start, you need one pound of ground turkey, one 10-ounce package of frozen spinach, three ounces of feta cheese, one egg, and 1/4 cup bread crumbs.
Put all of the above into a bowl. Add one teaspoon of oregano and one-half teaspoon of black pepper. This was in another recipe - the original one I used didn't call for any spices, but I didn't like that. I'm a big fan of adding spices to recipes because you get flavor without calories. Win-win. Anyway, mix the ingredients WELL. You want a little of everything in each meatball.
*Note - no need to add salt. The feta is pretty salty, and you also wind up putting the meatballs in marinara sauce later, so between the two you get your salt. Trust me, there's no shortage of flavor.
*Note 2 - if you need gluten-free, just leave out the bread crumbs. We really couldn't tell they were there, anyway. Maybe just add a second egg to bind everything together, and you're in business!
Once everything is very well mixed, form into meatballs, like so:
Once you get your meatballs together, put a large pan with high walls on the burner on high heat. Spray with cooking spray (we use the olive oil spray). Drop meatballs until the pan until you run out of room. Sear without flipping until that side is crusty. Flip to the other side and do the same. Roll them around a little. Then, put them on foil on a cookie sheet.
Repeat until you have browned all the meatballs and placed them all on the cookie sheet. The original recipe didn't call for baking the meatballs in the oven, but we felt like they would cook better (and more expeditiously) with a few minutes in the oven. So we baked the meatballs for 6 minutes at 350 degrees, and that was just about perfect.
Then return the meatballs to their original pan, along with a jar of your favorite pasta sauce, and let simmer for 10 minutes until the meatballs and sauce are heated through and well-mixed.
Ta-da! That's it! Pretty easy, huh? We served ours over pasta, but we bought some whole wheat pitas to put the leftovers in for lunch this week (we're big fans of versatile meals). You can also eat them by themselves, maybe with some roasted green beans or broccoli to round out the meal.
Click here to see the base recipe I used, or see below with my additions/changes. As always, feel free to add or remove ingredients as YOU please. And regardless of how you eat them, please remember to do one just one thing: enjoy!
Turkey, spinach and feta meatballs
1 lb. ground turkey (we used a 1.5-lb. package from Costco)
1 10-oz package of frozen spinach (we used a 16-oz package)
3 ounces of feta cheese (I just eyeballed the cheese)
1/4 C bread crumbs
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 jar your favorite marinara sauce
Put turkey, spinach, cheese, bread crumbs, egg and spices into a bowl. Mix very well.
Roll mixture into meatballs (I like them a little smaller, but you can make them whatever size works for you).
Heat a pan until sizzling, then spray with cooking spray.
Put a layer of meatballs in the pan and sear on both sides.
Remove and put on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Repeat until all meatballs have been browned.
Put browned meatballs into a 350-degree oven for 5-7 minutes.
Remove, and put back in the pan, along with a jar of marinara sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until meatballs are coated with sauce and heated through.
Serve on pasta, in pita bread, or on their own.
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