First off, let me assure you that I am still a vegetarian. Sean, however is not (though I am proud of him for cutting back!). He rarely requests anything from me food-wise, so when he asked on Sunday if I could make these soon, it was no problem (plus it helps get rid of the remaining meat in my freezer that I haven't figured out what to do with).
Back when I gave up red meat, I used a lot of ground turkey. Tacos and pasta with meat sauce get old pretty fast, so I did a recipe search one day and found this one for said meatballs. I've never been a meatball fan, but I was up for a change and modified the recipe to what I had in the house (and shrunk it; 3 lbs. would yield A LOT of meatballs!)
These were an instant hit with both of us. I actually had to be careful because I would just munch on them straight from the oven and be full before dinner! They are great naked or you can serve them in your preferred sauce/entree. The original recipe had these guys stuffed with cheese, and as much as I love cheese, taking this away cuts down on fat, and let's be honest, you know you are likely going to top these with cheese anyway!
In today's preparation, I made a couple more modifications. Though I am not vegan, I recently switched our regular milk to almond milk. Also, I decided to ditch the pre-made pesto in favor of making my own. I HIGHLY recommend this. It's easy, cheap, and man does the kitchen smell great when you first start to grind that basil! A google search will yield you several recipes to choose from.
Turkey Pesto Meatballs
You Will Need:
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup grated parmesean cheese
- 2 tbsp. prepared pesto
- 3 tbsp. milk
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 375 F
- Mix onion, garlic, egg, bread crumbs, cheese, pesto, milk, salt, and black pepper in a bowl.
- Mix in ground turkey until evenly blended, then form into balls.
- Place on a nonstick baking sheet
- Drizzle the olive oil over the meatballs (I find that olive oil cooking spray makes this even and easy).
- Bake in preheated oven until the meatballs are no longer pink in the center, about 30 minutes.
- Serve/enjoy however you like!