I had cooked these healthy Mediterranean chicken / turkey meatballs last week for this week’s meal plan. After snapping all the photos I needed, I tucked them away in a large Tupperware container. One of the best parts of food blogging is eating all the leftover goodies, and I was certainly looking forward to munching on these later. Sadly I never got the chance. I had friends visiting last weekend, and these turkey meatballs were completely devoured before I came home to them. Luckily it’s a pretty simple recipe, so I plan to make them again soon. Plus, what chef doesn’t derive great happiness knowing that their food was enjoyed and eagerly inhaled by those they love? It’s what motivates me to pick up my knife time and time again.
Meatballs are one of my favorite things to make. Using chicken or turkey makes them a healthy option; ground meat is not too expensive; they are always a crowd pleaser; their uses are versatile – pasta toppings, sandwich fillings, finger food for a party; and they can be seasoned to taste like anything you want them to taste like. Plus if you have picky children, they offer a great medium to hide nutritious things (hidden kale meatball recipe here). The cooking formula is quite simple – some ground meat, usually an ingredient from the onion family, a binder like egg, something dry like bread crumbs or panko to make the meat workable, and then whatever seasonings you want.
When I came up with this recipe, I was searching my fridge to see what seasonings I could use. I found myself with basil that was about to go bad and an almost empty jar of sun-dried tomatoes. These seemed like a nice Mediterranean combination (hence the name) that would also offer a lot of flavor. Clearly I was right since they were gobbled up. I recommend you double the recipe below, because these suckers will be gone in a flash!
Video below shows a demonstration of this recipe + a meatball rolling tip that would make your grandmother proud:
- Basil, Parsley, or Dill – 1/2 cup, chopped
- Red onion – 1/2
- Sundried tomatoes – 1/4 cup
- Ground turkey / chicken – 1 lb.
- Oregano – 1 tsp.
- Panko – 1/2 to 3/4 cup
- Egg – 1
- Crushed garlic – 1 tbs. (or 4 cloves)
- Veg / canola / grapeseed oil – 1 tbs.
- Herbs – Chop
- Red onion – Dice
- Sundried tomatoes – Chop
- Meatballs – Mix together ground meat with herbs, diced onion, chopped sundried tomatoes, oregano, panko, egg, crushed garlic (or minced cloves), 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, and pepper. Start with 1/2 cup of panko and add more if the mixture looks too wet. Roll meatballs, ~1.5″ in diameter
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Place a cooling rack into a baking sheet and keep that next to your meatball searing station
- Heat a non-stick frying / sauté pan or cast iron skillet over med-high heat. Add 1 tbs. oil
- Add meatballs to heated oil. Sear meatballs until golden, ~2 minutes on each side. Move meatballs to the cooling rack when seared. Repeat if you had to split the meatballs into more than 1 batch
- Place meatballs in the oven and bake for 12 to 15 min, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees
- Want to know our trick for keeping meat from sticking to our hands when rolling meatballs? Keep a bowl of water nearby. Video how-to here
- We bake meatballs on a rack so fat drips off vs. cook in the fat