Nothing says comfort like meatballs. These Italian turkey meatballs are super tender and flavorful, gluten free, dairy free and low fat. So feel free to come back for seconds or even thirds.
These are the meatballs we can't stop eating. One of my favorite weeknight dinners is these homemade turkey meatballs simmered in Rao's (store-bought) marinara sauce with angel hair pasta, or with spaghetti squash, for a healthy, low-carb dinner.
What sets these turkey meatballs apart from classic Italian style meatballs is ground turkey instead of ground beef and pork. And, unlike most Italian style meatballs, there's no cheese, bread or milk in this recipe. These little polpette (Italian for "meatballs") get all their flavor and texture from vegetables. Onions and garlic, of course. And a surprise ingredient, grated sweet potato, which gives the meatballs a wonderful texture and an earthy sweetness. There's also tomato paste in the mix, which adds rich umami flavor to the meatballs. Chickpea flour makes the mixture just dry enough to roll, yet leaves it with a super tender consistency.
How to make these tasty Italian turkey meatballs:
- Combine ground turkey (I like to use half dark meat and half light meat) with chopped onion, minced garlic, an egg, tomato paste, grated sweet potato, salt and pepper. (I grated the sweet potato on a box grater and then chopped it more finely on a cutting board.) Add 3 tablespoons of gluten free flour. I used a mix of garbanzo bean and fava bean flour from Bob's Red Mill.
- Refrigerate the mixture for at least a half hour to firm it up and making rolling easier. Roll up the meatballs and sauté them in a little oil, to brown them.
- In a saucepan, combine the meatballs with your favorite store-bought marinara sauce and gently simmer them for 25 minutes.
- Serve Italian turkey meatballs with pasta or spaghetti squash or zoodles.
By the way, if you don't mind gluten in your meatballs, feel free to use bread crumbs instead of gluten-free flour. I've tested the recipe with bread crumbs and so did my oldest son, who's s a bit of a meatball expert. He makes meatballs every Monday night for "Meatball Monday," and invites friends over. Here's what he texted me one Monday night when he made these: "These meatballs are so amazing...my friends are going nuts for them...they're the softest meatballs I've made so far." I was very happy to get that text. 🙂
I want to give a shout out to my friend Nina who gave me the idea of putting sweet potatoes in meatballs. Such a genius idea. Thank you Nina!
Other delicious ground turkey recipes to try
- Ottolenghi's Turkey-Zucchini Meatballs
- Turkey Falafel Meatballs
- Sicilian Turkey Meatloaf with Potatoes Capers and Wine
- Quick Turkey Ragu
If you try this Italian Turkey Meatballs Recipe, I hope you'll come back and leave a star rating and a comment. I'd love to know what you think!Print