Friday, March 25, 2016

Parmesan Quinoa Turkey Meatballs

Sounds fancy, don't it? I wanted to make a sophisticated meatball recipe that was healthy, yet full of flavor and also exciting enough that I wouldn't get tired of eating it repeatedly. I made this recipe for our meal prep this past weekend. And I outdid myself.

Here's what you need to do to make this meatball situation happen in your life:

Mince a red bell pepper. 
You'll want a sharp knife for this (if you don't already have a sharp knife, invest in at least one good knife. It's so worth it). A dull knife is going to smash the bell pepper and you will have bell pepper mush instead of minced bell pepper. Gross. Toss those tiny minced pieces of bell pepper into a very large bowl.

Mince 5 cloves of garlic.
Or do what I almost always do and scoop 5 teaspoons of minced garlic (sold in convenient glass containers in the produce isle) into the bowl.

Still with me?

Mince a medium onion. 
If you're not a big onion fan you can use a small onion. And again, you want to really get those onion pieces as small as you can. Big chunks of vegetables will make the meatball fall apart. We don't want that to happen. That upsets us. 

Add 1 cup of cooked quinoa.
Oh dang, we're getting fancy.

Add 3 pounds of ground turkey.
Oh, did I mention this makes 12 servings? Like I said, I made this for our meal prep this past weekend. We make several servings of a few different meals. Click Here for more details about how I meal prep. If you don't want 12 servings I suggest cutting the recipe in half to make 6 servings. 

Add 2 eggs.
Dos huevos.

Add 1 and a half cups of grated Parmesan cheese.
That's a lot of cheese! The cheese really helps give these meatballs an amazing flavor.

Add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. 
Keep in mind that the Parmesan cheese also contains salt, so if you want to keep the sodium level low (or if you prefer food with less salt), use less salt or just omit the salt altogether. You can always add it later when you're eating it if you need to, right?

Add 1 cup of freshly chopped parsley.
I love this part. 1 cup is ridiculous, right? This beautiful green and flavorful parsely is going to give your meatballs so much color and flavor.

This is the messy part. Use your clean hands to mix all the ingredients together. You want to really get in there and make sure everything is combined.

Form meatballs, 3 heaping tablespoons in size.
They should be about the size of 3 heaping tablespoons. Don't drive yourself crazy trying to measure them perfectly. I used a tablespoon measuring spoon (and, full disclosure, I got a little obsessive trying to get exactly 36 of them because I wanted to have 3 per meal for our meal prep). The important thing is that they are all about the same size. So, with this recipe (if you did not cut the recipe in half), you should aim for about 36 meatballs.

Put meatballs in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
This step is important. The meatballs are prone to falling apart, so you want to let them cool and even freeze just a little in order to maintain their round shape as you cook them. Place them on a tray or baking sheet lined with waxed paper and put them in the freezer.

Cook meatballs in olive oil over medium heat in a skillet.
This is the part where you babysit. First of all, you need a very large skillet in order to cook as many meatball as you can. You don't want to crowd them in the skillet. You will need to cook more than one batch. I used two large skillets and cooked a total of 4 batches of meatballs. Keep the rest of the meatballs in the freezer while you are cooking the ones that fit in your skillet (s).

Okay, now the babysitting part: like I said, these meatballs are prone to falling apart. I had 3 meatballs fall apart because I did not freeze my first batch and also because I moved them too much while they were cooking. So the key to babysitting is watching them closely to make sure they don't burn BUT to not flip them until they are brown and cooked enough to survive being flipped without falling apart. You may have some meatballs that fall apart as you are getting the hang of babysitting, but do not worry, deconstructed meatballs still taste great.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove meatballs from skillet when browned on all sides. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.
I used two baking sheets in order to bake all 36 meatballs at the same time. If you only have one you can certainly let half of the meatballs sit and wait on a plate while the other half is in the oven.

We served our meatballs with grilled asparagus and sautéed garlic balsamic mushrooms. Interested in meal prep? Check out my post about how to meal prep.

Clap for your damn self. You just made some fancy meatballs.
Okay, now try them. Do you love them? I hope so!

Parmesan Quinoa Turkey Meatballs

Yield: 12 servings, 3 meatballs each

1 red bell pepper, minced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, minced 
1 Cup cooked quinoa 
3 pounds ground turkey
2 large eggs
1.5 Cups grated Parmesan cheese
Salt, to taste (I used 1 Teaspoon)
1 Teaspoon ground pepper 
1 Cup fresh parsley, chopped 
Olive oil for cooking

1. Add all ingredients except for olive oil to a large bowl and mix very well with hands to combine.

2. Form approximately 36 meatballs, 3 heaping tablespoons in size, and lay on a wax paper-lined baking skeet or tray.

3. Place tray of meatballs in the freezer for about 30 minutes until meatball are slightly frozen on the outside.

4. Cook meatballs in olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until brown on all sides, turning carefully when they are browned with plastic tongs.

5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place parchment paper on a two baking sheets. Place meatballs on prepared baking sheets and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you like ground turkey recipes, you'll love my Turkey Taco Salad.

Follow me on Instagram @howtogetawaywithcooking for more instructions and inspiration for cooking healthful and delicious foods.

Questions? Feedback? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or email me at HTGAWC@gmail.com

No comments:

Post a Comment