Big Batch Turkey Meatballs

This recipe makes a lot of meatballs. If you make them golfball sized, you should get around 40. Unless you are feeding an army, I recommend freezing the meatballs individually and then putting them into a bag to be doled out later.

This, like many of the recipes I write, is a blank canvas. I haven’t called for anything but basic flavorings. I like making big batches this way and then adding unique flavors with my sauces or sides. That way, I can change up the flavor profile to suit my taste. Here are some ideas for using your meatballs: Thai coconut sauce with veggies over rice, classic marinara and spaghetti squash, sliced and put into low cal pita with garlicky yogurt, quartered and added to white bean escarole soup, added to veggie fried rice, added with black beans to a burrito.

The key to getting a moist and flavorful meatball lies in the panade, a mixture of bread and liquid that gives moisture to the balls when they are cooked. Any liquid can be used but I call for a mix of milk, stock, soy sauce and fish sauce. Don’t be intimidated or turned off by the fish sauce. Once it is mixed into the meat, there is absolutely no fishy taste (if you can’t find it or don’t want to use it, replace it with more soy. Fish sauce can be found in the asian aisle of the supermarket). The soy sauce will also disappear into the background, providing an umami taste without tasting overtly like soy sauce.

The last thing that sets my recipe apart is the use of unflavored gelatine (Knox brand is most common.) Part of what gives meatballs and burgers their satisfying mouthfeel and springy texture is the connective tissue that is typically found in the tough cuts which are traditionally used for ground meat. By using lean, white meat, we cut down on a lot of fat calories but we lose the flavor and structure benefits of the collagen found in the connective tissues. By using gelatine, a product that is made by extracting the springy proteins found in collagen, we can reclaim many of those benefits.

Like with any recipe, any substitutions, additions or omissions will change the nutritional content of the meatballs.

Ingredients-

3 Large Eggs Calories: 210 Protein: 18

½ Cup Milk Calories: 50 Protein: 4

½ Cup Chicken Stock Calories: – Protein: –

3 Tbsp Fish Sauce Calories: 30 Protein: 5

2 Tbsp Soy Sauce Calories: 10 Protein: –

2 Slices Bread (I use Whole Grain) Calories: 240 Protein: 12

2 Packs Unflavored Gelatine Calories: 60 Protein: 8

4 lbs Lean Turkey Calories: 2400 Protein: 353

1 Tbsp Garlic Powder Calories: – Protein: –

1 Tbsp Onion Powder Calories: – Protein: –

1 Tbsp Fresh cracked Black Pepper Calories: – Protein: –

Salt to taste

 

Total: Calories: 3000 Protein: 400

Per Meatball (if divided into 40 balls) Calories: 75 Protein: 10

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400⁰ F. Cover 1 or 2 sheet pans with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Crack eggs into a large bowl. Gently beat eggs until homogeneous.
  3. Add liquid ingredients to eggs and stir to combine.
  4. Crumble bread into egg mixture and press down so it can absorb as much liquid as possible.
  5. Sprinkle Gelatine on top of the liquid-y bread mixture. Allow gelatine to hydrate and bread to soak for about 15 minutes. Mash bread and gelatine together, it should look like a paste at this point.
  6. Add the Turkey and Spices to the bowl and mix to combine. I find using clean hands is the best way to accomplish this task.
  7. Put a small piece of meat mixture on a plate and microwave for about 15 seconds, to taste for seasoning. The texture will be different from the finished product here, you just want to see if you need any extra salt.
  8. Divide the meatballs into golf ball sized pieces and arrange on the prepared baking trays. Depending on the size of your trays/ balls you may need to do more than one batch.
  9. Bake meatballs until firm and starting to brown, about 20 minutes.
  10. To find the Calorie/ Protein count for your meatballs, take the total Calories/ Protein and divide by how many meatballs you made.
  11. When freezing extras, try spreading them out on a baking sheet with fresh foil freeze overnight. In the morning, transfer to a gallon sized bag with the individual macronutrient count.