You need these Turkey Ricotta Meatballs in your life. As soon as possible. You won’t even miss the fact that there is no beef, veal or pork. They are super flavorful, and they never dry out- thanks to the ricotta. And…they take very little time to put together. It’s a win all around. Even the biggest meat lovers love these non-traditional meatballs.
Guilt-free with all the flavor. Per favore!
Full disclosure– I LOVE anything with ricotta. Anything. (So, I might try to sneak it in where I can, and I have to admit, this is it.) It’s light, creamy and marries beautifully with all sorts of flavors. But you’ll love these meatballs too, whether you’re as in love with the delectable cheese as I am, or not. It melts right in and keeps the meatballs from drying out. Even people who turn their nose at turkey meat love these turkey ricotta meatballs.
- 1 lb Ground Turkey
- Garlic Salt and Pepper
- Olive Oil
- 2/3 Cup Ricotta
- 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese (plus more for topping when cooked)
- 3/4-1 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
- One Egg
- 1 Jar Tomato Sauce
- 2-3 Teaspoons Grated Garlic
- Chicken broth - optional
- In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey, garlic salt and pepper and a light drizzle of olive oil. Add the ricotta and parmesan cheese, mix well. Add in the 3/4 cup of the bread crumbs, then stir in the egg. Mix well. If it seems too wet, add another 1/4 cup of the panko. You want the meat to be slightly tacky but not goopy. The should roll in your hands and not stick to your hands. Add more of the ingredients in little quantities until the consistency is right.
- Roll them into golf ball sized meatballs. Set aside on plate or sheet of parchment paper.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat, cover the pan with a thin layer of olive oil (you can add more as needed) and place about 5-6 at a time (depending on the size of the skillet) being careful not to crowd. Lightly brown on each side, and let cook until they loosen on their own. Be gentle so that you don't break them apart.
- Once golden on each side, move to a plate lined with paper towel and cook the next batch. Repeat until they're all done.
- Reduce heat to low. Wipe out the pan, and add the jar of tomato sauce and grated garlic to the skillet. Add the meatballs back to the pan and let simmer for 15-20min or until cooked through.
- (To make sure I get all the sauce out of the jar, I pour about 1/4cup of chicken broth and shake it up and pour into the skillet.)
- Remove pan from heat and serve.
Ideally, you want them to be nicely browned, but sometimes you look away for a second too long and they get a little crispy. Don’t fret, they spend a lovely time having a bath in the bubbly tomato sauce so they don’t get dry or hard at all. In fact, it’s a little extra flavor. You should cook these on medium heat but if you find the oil is too hot, or there is burning, turn the heat down a couple notches.
These meatballs are also awesome for parties. I made them recently for a potluck and it’s super easy to double or triple the batches. There’s just a little difference in the end preparation. Instead of returning the meatballs to the pan and adding sauce, you’ll just need to employ a crock pot and a little extra simmering time. (Make sure you have a jar of sauce for each batch of meatballs.) Set the slow cooker to high and pour in a jar of sauce, and add a sprinkle of minced garlic. As the meatballs are ready, place them gently in the sauce. Once a batch is in, add another jar of sauce and repeat until done. I did a triple batch and let them cook on high for an hour and a half. Just make sure they are cooked all the way through… and you’re set to go.
As for what to serve with these meatballs… I like to steam up some bodacious broccoli and toss it in a slight bit of butter and a bit of the grated parm. And instead of pasta, I opt for a whipped up cheesy garlic bread to dip in the sauce.
But, if you want to stick with a traditional pasta/meatball combo, I would suggest penne or rigatoni.
How do you prefer to serve a meatball meal? With pasta? In a sub sandwich? With just a side salad or veg? Share your favorite!