Wednesday, February 27, 2008


These meatballs are scrumptious with the benefit of being very low fat and healthy. The rich flavor is a combination of grilled portabellos, carrots, celery and onions that I added to the ground turkey. I grind my own turkey breast using my beloved Kitchen Aid Mixer and the handy food grinder attachment, so if you can that is what I would recommend. This recipe will easily yield enough meatballs for 2 meals. Or, you can save 1/2 of the mixture to make a Salisbury steak dish. If you de-bone and grind your own turkey, it costs less than hamburger with a fraction of the fat content.

If you like these meatballs, you might also like our Italian Style Turkey Ball Recipe



For the meatballs

  • 1lb of ground turkey breast
  • 1-2 portabello mushrooms
  • 1 medium size carrot
  • 2 stalk of celery, including leaves
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup of flat leave parsley
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of onion powder NOT SALT
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder NOT SALT
  • 2tsp of worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup of flavored bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup of finely ground cornmeal

For the sauce (double quantities if you are making the entire batch which is about 55-60 or so meatballs)

  • 1/2 cup of red wine
  • 1 cup of turkey stock
  • 6 oz of thinly sliced crimini or white mushrooms
  • 1 tsp of minced parsley
  • 1/2 tsp of freshly minced garlic
  • olive oil


  1. Wipe any dirt off the portabello mushrooms and trim the stem. Set the stems aside for later.
  2. Drizzle olive oil over the entire portabellos, top and bottom.
  3. Season them with onion and garlic powder.
  4. Salt and pepper and set aside to marinade for about 15 minutes.
  5. (OPTIONAL)For the bread crumbs, I made my own by brushing stale bread with olive oil and minced garlic. Pop them in the oven at 400F until they are crispy. Once they are done and cool, use a food processor and process the bread into finely ground breadcrumbs. Remove from the food processor and put in a large mixing bowl. No need to clean the food processor for the next steps.
  6. Or, you can use the Italian flavored bread crumbs. Put them in a large mixing bowl.
  7. Clean, peel and coarsely chop the carrot. Put it in the food processor.
  8. Clean and coarsley chop the celery. Add it to the food processor.
  9. Wash the parsley and add it to the food processor.
  10. Coarsely chop the yellow onion and add it to the food processor.
  11. Add the stems from the portabellos.
  12. Now, process the ingredients in the food processor until they are finely chopped.
  13. Place the entire mixture into a fine sieve and let the juice drain out for a few minutes. Be sure to place a bowl under the sieve to catch the juices which will be added to the sauce later.
  14. If you are using a grill, bring the temperature to medium high and set the portabello with the gills down. Leave it grilling on that side just until you start to see some juice escaping. Turn the mushrooms so the cap side is now cooking. The order of grilling is crucial because you want the juice to be trapped inside the cap of the mushroom. Continue grilling for a few more minutes. Remove and let them cool slightly. Don't want to grill, use a nonstick heavy bottom frying pan and coat the bottom with olive oil. Heat it on medium high and when the oil begins to shimmer, set the portabellos with gills down and proceed as in the grilling version. Cut them into strips and put them in the food processor. Grind them down until it is like a coarse puree.
  15. Save any juices that may have escaped from the mushrooms and add to the bowl with the other collected juices.
  16. To the bread crumbs, add the carrot, celery, onion mixture and incorporated into the bread crumbs. This is important because any excess liquid will be absorbed by the crumbs and will make the meatballs tender and juicy.
  17. Next add the turkey and thoroughly mix in.
  18. Add the salt, garlic and onion powder. Mix them in.
  19. Add the grilled portabello puree and mix thoroughly.
  20. Put the cornmeal in a shallow dish.
  21. To form the meatballs, I like to use a small metal ice cream scoop which has about 1 inch diameter. If you like big meatballs, then use a larger scoop or just form into bigger balls. Scoop the mixture with the scoop and roll it to form a nice ball.
  22. Roll the ball in the cornmeal and set aside on a dish. If you are making the entire quantity, it will yield about 55-60 meatballs. Otherwise, form about 30 balls and save the rest of mixture for the Salisbury dish.
  23. Add all collected juices to the stock and set aside.
  24. Using a large deep skillet, coat the bottom with a generous amount of olive oil. Heat on medium, until the oil is hot and carefully add the meatballs one at a time.
  25. Brown the meatballs on all sides. It should take a couple of minutes per turn. For larger meatballs, it will take a little longer to brown. Once in a while, pick the entire pot and swirl the meatballs around to ensure that they are not sticking to the bottom of the pot and are browning evenly.
  26. Gently push some of the meatballs aside and add the mushrooms to the pan and cook until just wilted. Add the minced parsley and garlic. You will have to move the garlic around so that it doesn't burn.
  27. Turn the heat down to low and add the wine. Pick up the pan and swirl the contents around. The wine will have cooked down almost immediately. You should have a dense slurry of a sauce.
  28. Add the mixed stock to the pot and simmer for about 20 minutes. The sauce will be a thick and rich consistancy at this point. The thickening agent is the cornmeal that was used to coat the meatballs.
  29. Serve with rice or another favorite side.

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