It’s been a Whirlwind with a capital W around the Mangum household lately, so I love when I can find recipes that not only save me time, but also provide my family with healthy protein and other essential nutrients to boot. These turkey meatballs are winners! They satisfy the nutritional and flavor demands of even the pickiest eater at our house, and believe me, she’s picky!
You have to be willing to get your hands a little down and dirty with this recipe. Meaning, you mix up the meats, egg, milk, breadcrumbs and seasonings with your bare hands and form it into balls ready for the oven. It’s a messy job, and I suppose you could don a pair of latex gloves if you have them, but I just dive right in. Mix it all up, knead it like a bread dough to ensure proper blending. The magic begins when you create a hole in the meatball and then push a piece of mozzarella cheese into it and cover it up with the meat.
You can place these into the slow cooker on top of your favorite marinara sauce; cover and cook for 4 to 5 hours on LOW. Or you can bake them at 350 degrees F for about 15 to 20 minutes which is just enough time to heat up the marinara sauce and make a green salad. That makes for a quick and easy meal!
The cheese is like a little surprise in each meatball, and when you cut into your meatball, out oozes the hidden mozzarella cheese like lava flowing out of a volcano. So cool. I serve them on a pool of marinara pasta sauce topped with shaved Parmesan cheese. Another good piece of news is that this recipe makes about 16 to 18 meatballs the size of a golf ball, so there’s plenty to go around or even store for tomorrow when schedules might be even more zany than they were today. Best of luck and enjoy your holidays!
One Year Ago: Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs
- Cheesy Turkey Meatballs with Marinara Sauce
- 1 1/2 lb 99% fat free ground turkey
- 1/2 pound Italian-seasoned turkey sausage (casings removed)
- 1/4 cup Italian style bread crumbs
- 2 Tbsp low-fat milk
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1/2 tsp each sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 16 to 18 small pieces
- 1 (26-ounce) jar of your favorite marinara pasta sauce
- Shaved Parmesan cheese
- Chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In large bowl, mix turkey, turkey sausage, bread crumbs, milk, egg, salt and pepper with hands until well combined. Shape mixture into 16 to 18 balls about the size of a golf ball.
- With finger or knuckle, make hole in one ball but do not go all the way through. Place one piece of cheese in hole; enclose cheese by pinching hole back together. Repeat with remaining turkey mixture and cheese pieces.
- For the oven: Place meatballs on prepared baking sheet. Place meatballs in the oven and bake at 350 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes or until no longer pink. Remove from oven.
- In the meantime, heat pasta sauce in a small saucepan until bubbly and hot.
- When ready to serve, divide the sauce between 6 to 8 pasta bowls. Place 2 to 3 meatballs on top of the sauce and top with shaved Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley, if desired.
For the slow cooker: Coat a 3 to 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Pour pasta sauce into cooker. Place meatballs in sauce. Cover and cook on LOW for 4 hours or until meatballs are cooked through.
Cook time is for oven baking.
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