I have made these Baked Turkey Meatballs with Ricotta so many times over the last few months I have seriously lost count. I can honestly say that they have been a huge hit every time.
I have one memory associated with them, that definitely stands out from all the others. Last year we spent the Labor day long weekend with two other couples and their kids in a little log cabin by the water at Lake Tahoe. It was perfect, idyllic even. We ate, we drank, we watched the fireworks, we went for a hike (if you count riding to the top on the gondola, and then turning back 5 minutes later because 4 of the 6 children were whining, then sure, we hiked), took the canoes out on the lake, and played charades at night.
It was so much fun. I prepared a big batch of these baked turkey meatballs with ricotta, and some heirloom tomato sauce to bring with me, because as much as I love cooking, I just wanted to relax all weekend, and prepping food in a small house with 12 people hovering around, just wasn’t on my agenda. Of course, I forgot to bring the pasta, and so our lovely friend Tom spent the evening hand making (as in, hand rolling and everything) spinach pappardelle while we sipped red wine and chatted. It was a real treat.
It is by far one of my fondest memories from last year, and one which I hope we will get the opportunity to repeat one day again soon. Although if I do get to repeat it, I will not have that ‘one last glass of wine‘ at the end of the last night, after the kids had gone to bed, and the charades were getting heated…as the drive home the next day, sandwiched between two car seats in the back of a small car, was not my fondest memory from last year 🙂 Far from it. We live and we learn right?
Back to the baked turkey meatballs with ricotta. These little gems are very easy to prepare, if not a little time-consuming. They are light and fluffy, and simply delicious. I tend to make a double batch and freeze half (after cooking), as they hold up really well in the freezer. Just let them defrost, cover in your sauce of choice and bake for about 20 minutes.
Be sure to pop back and let me know if you try these baked turkey meatballs. Leave a comment, like on Facebook, or pin to Pinterest for later!
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 tbsp whole milk
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese plus more to serve
- 1 egg beaten
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/3 cup red onion minced
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley finely chopped
- 2/3 cup homemade whole wheat breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs
- 1 lb ground turkey
- salt and pepper to taste
- I batch homemade tomato sauce or 1 jar store bought sauce, replacing the heirlooms with regular tomatoes if that's what you have
- freshly cooked pasta to serve
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients (except for the tomato sauce and pasta), and mix to ensure everything is well combined
- Cover and let the mixture rest in the fridge for about 30 mins
- Preheat the oven to 400F
- Coat the bottom of a large roasting pan with some avocado oil (or cooking oil of choice), roll the turkey mixture into balls (a heaped tbsp for each ball), and place in the prepared pan. Ensure the balls are not touching
- Roast the meatballs for 15 mins
- Remove the meatballs from the oven, reduce the temperature to 325F and then pour the tomato sauce over the meatballs, return to the oven and cook for another 20 mins
- Once cooked through, serve the meatballs over some freshly cooked pasta, with a big scoop of sauce. Top wth a sprinkle of parsley and another of parmesan, serve and enjoy